Humor For Healthy Teeth?
Laughter and Positive Thinking Can Be Good for Your Teeth
Are you or a family member scared of going to the dentist? Many people are. Some laughter and positive thinking might help. You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine and at Devon Dental Centre, Dr. Mike and the team certainly believe that to be true! Studies have shown that laughter helps release endorphins, improves circulation and blood pressure, and over the long term, boosts the immune system. Laughter can alleviate anxiety and tension, and is often the antidote for awkward, uncomfortable and stressful situations.
Nothing Funny About Dental Fear
While there is nothing funny about fear of the dentist or dental procedures, humor can be incredibly helpful in soothing a patient’s anxiety. Fear of going to the dentist is relatively common. For some, it may just cause mild anxiety, for others, it is a real phobia and can result in going years without visiting the dentist. Not being able to see the dentist for long periods of time can have unfortunate health impacts, beyond your oral health. This may be difficult for some to comprehend, but if you or someone you know suffers from dental fear, you understand how difficult it can be.
Find Strategies to Combat Dental Fear
There are several strategies for dealing with fear of the dentist. Strategies like finding the right dentist for you, meditation and relaxation techniques, distraction, and, our favorite, humor! You may find that one or a combination of these strategies can be helpful when dealing with dental anxiety:
Find a dentist you can trust – the most important step in combating dental fear is, of course, finding a dentist who is experienced in dealing with fearful patients. A good dentist can make all the difference in the world for someone dealing with fear. Not all dentists have this skill, and in fact, for some people their dental fear began with a negative experience with an unfriendly or rough dentist.
Relaxation and meditation – aside from the right dentist, many patients find using relaxation techniques such as meditation and distraction to be helpful in dealing with their fear. Listening to your favorite music while you wait or during some procedures can help relax and offer you some enjoyment while visiting us. Bring a book or magazine that you want to catch up on to read before your appointment or between procedures.
Work Humor Into Your Dental Visit – recent studies have shown humor may be the most effective tool for easing the fears of dental patients. There are a few reasons for this. Laughter has a relaxing effect and it eases stress and anxiety with the release of endorphins. Just as important though, is its effect on the dentist-patient relationship. When we are able to joke and laugh with our patients, it creates a more common, equal ground that allows the patient to feel understood and at ease.
Final Thoughts on Humor in Dentistry
If you have extreme anxiety, it may be helpful to have a supportive and humorous friend or family member bring you to the dentist. They can help keep you distracted while in the waiting room and make sure you get to and from your appointment safely. When you book your appointment with us, please don’t hesitate to let us know you are dealing with some level of anxiety. We are here to provide a service but also to educate and empower our patients to take control of their dental and overall health care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to have things explained, and to tell us if you are uncomfortable at any point. Dental fear can and does get better over time. Finding a dentist you trust and feel comfortable with, one who can make you laugh, may just make your dental fear a thing of the past. Come see Dr. Mike and his team at Devon Dental Centre, let us help you combat your dental fear.