Dental Diaries: Why People Don’t Go to the Dentist
Are You Afraid of the Dentist?
Many people do not go to the dentist, even though they should. As a dental professional, I've heard all sorts of reasons from family, friends and patients as to why they've been putting off their dental checkups. Here is a list of some of the most common reasons, and why you shouldn't give in to the same and avoid your dentist.
Fear: Fear seems to be an influential factor in avoiding the dentist. Lots of people have painful childhood memories of the dentist. Whether it stems from a physically painful event, such as a dentist hitting a nerve or just the psychological fear of sitting in a big chair and having a stranger poke around your mouth with sharp metal tools, it’s very effective in keeping people far away from anything that resembles a dentist’s office. There may also be other types of fear, such as worrying about disappointing your dentist when they see how little you've cared for your teeth or the fear of further treatment.
The best way to combat this fear is to talk to your dentist. Tell them what you’re afraid of. Dentists are very understanding and aware of common fears and will be happy to help make you as comfortable as possible.
Time Consuming and Expensive: People live busy lives. It can be daunting to add a dentist appointment to an already busy schedule. But the truth is that an hour-long checkup at least once a year can save much more time in the future. The same goes for money. It can seem like an expensive endeavor and one that can be avoided, but just like time, paying for a smaller amount now can save from having to pay more in the future.
No Noticeable Reason to Go: It makes sense that if there’s nothing wrong, why treat it? That may work for lots of things, but when it comes to visiting the dentist, it’s completely false. Going to the dentist for regular cleanings is a preventive measure. It makes sure that in the future, hopefully, there won’t be a real noticeable problem that needs taken care of. Most dental problems do not cause any pain or discomfort until their later stages of the disease.
Given the numerous reasons why someone would choose to avoid the dentist, the truth is that the benefits of regular visits heavily outweigh any excuse. No matter how much fear or stress or time or money, things can only get worse in the future if left unchecked.
Natural Wear and Tear: There is a natural process of breaking down when it comes to the human body, and dental health is not spared. There is always natural wear and tear that may not affect your day-to-day life, but left untreated or cared for can lead to serious issues later on down the road.
Overall Health: Going to the dentist can provide a lot of information not just on your dental hygiene, but also on a person’s overall health. Many signs and symptoms of chronic conditions can be noticed by observing the mouth. There are also lots of chronic medical conditions related to poor oral hygiene that proper dental care and maintenance can help prevent or reduce.
Improve Confidence: When you look better, you feel better. Having a nice, healthy smile can improve someone’s confidence immensely. Not having to be self-conscious every time you smile can allow you to be more open and willing to interact with others.
Overall, only good can come from routine dentist visits. It may be fearful or seem irrelevant, but no one is free from the potential of poor dental health. Going to the dentist pays off.
About the Author
Marie Szlanic is the daughter of a dentist and currently works at United Concordia Dental. She has done extensive research about dental hygiene and maintenance. She graduated with a Master's in Healthcare Administration, and often writes about current dental and healthcare issues. She is a mother of two adorable children.
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- As a dental professional, I've heard all sorts of reasons from family, friends and patients as to why they've been putting off their dental checkups.
- The psychological fear of sitting in a big chair and having a stranger poke around your mouth with sharp metal tools can be a horrifying experience.
- Many people lead busy lives and unfortunately, while brushing their teeth may be a priority, checking on the health of their teeth is not.
- No pain, teeth look and feel great, why go?
- Going to the dentist can provide a lot of information not just on your dental hygiene, but also on a person’s overall health.