My Fear of the Dentist

I was just reading this excellent blog post on a dentalvention and it reminded me of my own fear of the dentist.

You know, because I never used to be afraid of the dentist. I mean, I didn’t like the dentist, I wasn’t in love with going to the dentist, but then I had a bad experience, and now I’m terrified of going to the dentist again. Even though I really should, since Dominic chipped one of my front teeth a while back when he head butted me, on accident.

The last time I went to the dentist, he told me all my teeth were going to fall out by the time I was 25. (Scare tactics, which I hate by the way, because I don’t think fear leads to lasting change and I don’t think this is true and it just helped serve to drive me away from dentists.) They also told me that I was such a horrible/problem patient that if I wanted they could write on my chart that they prefer never to see me again. They said some other really mean stuff that I (thankfully) don’t remember. I don’t think I was a bad patient, I mean the only thing I can possibly think of is that I wanted explanations for what they were doing and what they recommended. And if asking for explanations and wanting to understand what was happening makes me such a bad patient, then I don’t want to be a good one I think.

Anyways, because I am pretty sensitive, I cried on and off for the next couple of hours after that (things you have learned about me through blogging: I cry way more than anyone realizes). And that day began my fear of going to the dentist. It was pretty traumatic for me to feel so shamed and put down in that way. Maybe if I had loved the dentist before that, I could have brushed it off as an isolated experience but I already wasn’t the hugest dentist fan and had been skeptical of them previously.

Anyways, I’m writing this post now because I’m getting back on the horse. I have to really talk this up to myself because I am so scared they are going to be mean to me again even though it’s different people. But I know Teeth are important and taking care of them is important too. And because I want to set a good example for Dominic. So I already have an appointment for the first week in Feb. because I am going to do it even when I’m scared. I know I can’t be the only one afraid of the dentist so what are your tips on making a visit to the dentist less traumatic?

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