A trip to the dentist can cause waves of emotions to come over a person who suffers from extreme dental anxiety. Find out why we fear the dentist.

You might feel silly, but you’re not alone if you’re scared of going to the dentist. In fact, one in five Americans suffers from dentophobia. While going to the dentist is, for many, a horrifying (or at least unpleasant) prospect, it is, unfortunately, a necessary thing to do if you want to keep your teeth.

If you find yourself having more than a small number of jitters when you think about your next dental exam, you’re probably wondering how to make the trip a little more bearable. You might think that overcoming your fear of going is a good first step to this, and you’re right.

But how can you do this? We’re here to help! Read on to bust your dental anxiety and have a relaxing teeth cleaning.

Identify Your Fears

It sounds cliche, but if you ever want to overcome your fears, you’re going to have to identify them first. After all, the first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge that the problem exists. Fears work this way, too, because there’s usually something that you find upsetting beyond the entire dental visit.

Are you nervous that someone is going to have their fingers in your mouth? Does the idea of the mouthwash they use make you shiver? Or are you noise or light sensitive and don’t like the environment?

No matter what your fear is, there are ways of resolving the situation. Find what helps you, whether it’s researching how sanitary the gloves and equipment are, asking the dentist for a different flavor of mouthwash, or asking to use earbuds during your visit to block out noise.

Learn About Your Dentist

Doing your research is a great way to alleviate fear. It will be easy to brave the dental chair and improve your smile once you know that your dentist is trustworthy and understand that they want to help you.

Look up the workings of specific dentist appointments and read the comforting stories that other people have to tell. Doing this will help you know what to expect from your own visit and alleviate anxiety.

You can also read reviews online of the specific dentist you’re visiting. Better yet, almost all practitioners have their credentials and qualifications online, so you can look at these pages and know for a fact that you’re in good hands.

Talk to Loved Ones

Talking to family, friends, or a partner about your anxiety can also help to alleviate it. These trusted people might tell you the realities of their visit as well as personal anecdotes that help you feel better of what’s to come.

Even if they aren’t able to stop you from being nervous, knowing that you have support is a great start to overcoming challenges.

Stop Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety can be hard to crush, but by identifying and learning about your fears as well as by discussing them with others, you can bite down on what’s really bothering you and begin to feel more comfortable.

Now that you know how to overcome your fear of the dentist, check out this article to learn how to fight any other phobias you might have.

Good luck!