Ah, the good ol’ dental scare where even veteran adults fear the noisy drills and intrusive procedures. However, it’s time to combat the fears that have come in the way of you and your gleeful smile. An online community has bestowed their secret strategies for navigating their dental journey.
1. Honesty Is the Best Policy
“Get in there, be honest about your last check-up, and realize you’re doing what’s best for your health,” says one. Just be honest about your case with the dentist. That way, they can help you better.
Another user went eight years without a dentist visit. They finally got the courage to call for an appointment, expecting to be judged terribly. After they told them how long it had been, the dentist remarked, “That’s cool; how is Tuesday?”
2. Flossy Finesse
One commenter recommends flossing at least once a day for the coming week so your gums don’t bleed as soon as the dentists touch them. “I floss every day, and my hygienist always comments on how nice it is to floss someone’s teeth without them bleeding everywhere,” they write.
3. Sensitivity Scare
If flossing isn’t enough and you’re sure you’ll still have sensitive gums when the appointment comes around, don’t worry. “One thing they told me was to brush with Sensodyne or sensitive teeth toothpaste for a few weeks, or however long you have before the visit. They said doing that reduces tooth sensitivity during cleaning,” shares one member.
4. Judgment-free Zone
It’s important to remember that when you’re seeing a health practitioner, there is no judgment about how “bad” your case is. A user recalls being anxious about an appointment because they were sure they were the worst patient their hygienist had seen all year.
However, the hygienist laughed and told them that in an average week, she sees people who haven’t had an appointment in decades or even older people who have never been to a dentist in their lives! “She spent some extra time on my cleaning, and all was well. I didn’t even have any cavities.”
5. Tuning Out With Tunes
One person swears by their playlist as the ultimate anesthesia. They recommend bringing your earbuds to listen to music as it’ll help drown out the noise of drills. They ended up having four wisdom teeth removed while awake. There was no pain during the procedure, only some soreness, which went away with two weeks of healing and some ibuprofen. Can you imagine?
6. A Worthwhile Experience
At times, thinking of the result can encourage you to go in for that appointment. Take this case, for example. The last time one person went to the dentist was ten years ago for a filling.
They returned with pieces of tooth breaking off from the filling, some gingivitis, and tartar buildup. “It took an hour or so to get me sorted, and I was on my way with my smile looking better than I could’ve imagined! Just in time for my friend’s wedding too!”
7. Facing Your Fears
How about telling your dentist about your anxiety? One commenter suggests calling the office and saying, “I know it may be an abnormal question, but I haven’t been to the dentist in several years, and I’m concerned about my appointment. Is there anything I can do to make my appointment easier?”
While the advice they offer may be basic, they’ll forward your concerns to your hygienist and dentist. That way, they know the score ahead of time and can treat you with a little extra compassion.
8. Worst-case Scenario
Perhaps you’re overthinking, and your teeth aren’t as bad as you’d imagine. For instance, one person remembers being petrified and was sure they had 10+ cavities. In reality, they just had some mild gum issues. They got a $100 laser treatment to repair the gums and had a plan to come in every three months for a year.
9. Now or Never
One person admits they did a great job setting the appointment and getting back on track with their dental health. “You gotta start somewhere, and better now than when you start having problems,” they write.
Besides, it’ll only leave you smiling ear-to-ear like this one person who says, “I feel great to be on top of my dental health, especially with how the health of your mouth can affect the health of your whole body.”
10. A Technological Revolution
If you saw the dentist ten years ago, you have some catching up to do. As a commenter points out, “You may be pleasantly surprised at the advances they’ve made.” Gone are the days of torture, thanks to new and improved drugs, equipment, and techniques.
11. Medicinal Magic
Lastly, if your dental anxiety is out of control, you can even ask your dentist to prescribe a mild anti-anxiety medication. A user got one from their dentist because “no one wants to work on someone who has a death grip, sweating, shaking and trying not to arch their back away from the incoming gloved hands. Not to mention the tears.”
This article originally appeared on Craving Veg.