Public speaking, heights, flying, death, spiders, and the dentist. Sometimes it seems we can be afraid of some pretty innocuous things. Livescience.com reports that, out of 1,100 people surveyed, 5.5% were afraid of a trip to the dentist’s office, and of those women were 2.5 times more likely to be afraid.
The fact of the matter is that the anxiety associated with a trip to the dentist is merely that: anxiety. It all too often is not rooted in reality. A quote from yourfamilyshealth.com tries to explain the cause of dental anxiety:
Some people are afraid of the unknown. Others are frightened by stories of negative dental experiences from family and friends. Still others associate the dental exam with a feeling of helplessness and a loss of control.
Most of the time, however, the fear and anxiety are rooted in traumatic childhood experiences, says Krochak. “Perhaps the hygienist made a careless comment during an exam. Or maybe the dentist was insensitive or rough or even inflicted pain.”
These fears seem irrational if we look at them in the light. If childhood trauma is at the heart of your anxiety, just remember, you are an adult and if something is causing you pain you can simply say so. The dentist is your friend, not your enemy. He realizes that prevention is the best medicine, and if you can muster up the courage for routine visits, compelled visits will become all but unnecessary, and which is better: Going when you want to go, or being forced to go by an unavoidable problem? Take control of your fears and see your dentist routinely, for as Ben Franklin said: “A little neglect may breed great mischief.”