Are you afraid of the dentist? Do you consider cancelling your appointment days before, or not showing up at all? Do you feel helpless and uncomfortable in the cleaning chair? If you are, you aren’t alone. Over 75% of Americans experience dental phobia to some degree, 10% are extremely terrified and reluctant to get a dental checkup. That’s a lot of people! In this article, we want to go over why people fear the dentist, and steps you can take to make your visit to the dentist a lot easier on your mind.
Why Do People Fear the Dentist?
There are quite a lot of reasons why people develop a bad taste for dentist in their mouths. From harsh dentist personalities, to injury, to terrible experiences, all of these can affect someone starting at a really young age. Most anxieties start at childhood, when as young kids we are learning about the world. Our body and mind are learning about the dangers in the world. Accidents such as a pick scraping against the gum accidentally or an immense pain when getting a cavity filled at an early age will reinforce the fear of the dentist. Dig into the worst feelings you have personally. They feel terrible don’t they? So why would you go to the dentist when you can just avoid it entirely?
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Others don’t go to the dentist because they feel like they’re not in control. Having someone you just met and don’t really know too much about be in full control of what’s going on in your mouth is a terrifying ordeal. Feelings of anxiety are often why people reschedule their dentist appointment or skip out on it entirely.
Interesting Fact: Humans have an uncanny desire to protect open air passages. We are naturally self-conscious to open up our mouths and exposed to vulnerabilities.
We conducted a study, and examined a couple interesting facts about those who have dental phobia. There are some people that choose to eat only soft foods instead of harder foods to avoid chipping a tooth and have to go to the dentist. Others reported dreaming about dentist experiences, and dread sleeping for fear of having these nightmares again.
People who have bad cases of dental phobia suffer years on end from toothaches, gum disease, and poor dental hygiene. Avoiding the dentist is much more than what is sounds like. It’s something that can affect your entire identity, who you are, what you value.