You’re not alone. As many as 20% of people refuse to go to the dentist due to anxiety, some of which stems from embarrassment about the physical state of their mouth.
Yet avoiding checkups, cleanings, and regular routine care because you’re too ashamed to go to the dentist could leave you worse off, no matter your mouth’s condition.
Let’s break down those reasons for embarrassment:
Fear: MY TEETH WILL BE THE WORST THE DENTIST HAS EVER SEEN.
Reality: A dentist sees many patients every day, a majority of which come in because of problems like decay, chipped teeth, and even gum disease. A dentist’s job is to keep teeth healthy and to fix any issues they might find.
The longer you delay, the more potential for decay.
FEAR: I DON’T WANT THE DENTIST TO LECTURE ME.
Reality: Most dentists are pretty understanding. Whether it’s financial constraints or not having enough time, dentists understand why people avoid appointments. They’re happy to help and want to keep you coming back so your smile stays healthy!
FEAR: MY DENTIST WILL JUDGE MY LIFESTYLE.
Reality: Dentists understand that everyone is different. Whether you’re a smoker, a night grinder, or even an infrequent brusher, the more they know about your habits, the better they can assist you.
If you still think you’re too embarrassed to go to the dentist, try these 3 tips:
1. Communicate your concerns. Explain to your dentist why you’re embarrassed before your visit. Sharing your concerns with the dentist and dental staff will help them adapt their treatment to your needs and put you at ease while you’re in the chair.
2. Think of the benefits. Addressing any existing issues with your teeth is the only way they’re going to get better, and the rewards go deeper than just your smile. Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health; taking care of your teeth is the foundation to a healthy body.
3. Try relaxation techniques. Even after you’ve mustered your courage, walking through the dental office door can be stressful. Approaches like deep breathing or even acupuncture can help keep you calm for your appointment.
Now get out there and reclaim your dental experience!