Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Dental phobia affects many people. You might even be one of them! But the chances are good that you have a close friend or family member that despises going to the dentist and avoids it at all costs. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist isn’t a good idea. Dental visits are a way to keep your oral health on track, prevent or reduce your risks of dental diseases, and restore problems when they first arise. You probably already know this, but convincing your loved one of these facts is a different story, which is why you’re reading our blog today. Getting someone else to understand these critical factors may be a challenge, especially if they fear the dentist. Today on the blog, our Greeneville family dentists share ways to encourage your loved ones to see the dentist.
Be sensitive to their feelings
Pointing out someone’s need to go to the dentist is a sensitive topic. Keep the other person’s feelings in mind as you approach the conversation. Avoid saying something that will make them feel embarrassed or guilty for not going to the dentist. For instance, if your loved one has bad breath, don’t just come right out and say, “Your breath is really bad because you never go to the dentist.” Instead, you could bring up the conversation without even mentioning the other person. You might share some facts about dental health, like that not going to the dentist increases the risk of gum disease and cavities, which are active infections in the mouth that cause bad breath. Pay close attention to their response, and be gentle with the words you use to respond.
Be gentle with your words
Allow your loved one to share their thoughts and feelings about going to the dentist. It would be helpful to ask them open-ended questions, which are questions that elicit an in-depth response instead of a short yes or no. This gets them to share their thoughts and feelings in a way that you can better understand. You may be able to relate to them by sharing stories about your own positive experiences at the dentist or how going helped you feel confident about your smile.
Help them prepare for their appointment
Once you’re able to encourage your loved one to make an appointment, help prepare them for that venture. If they are scared to go, you might offer to drive them to their appointment. While you may have to wait in your car due to COVID precautions, you could walk them to the door and be there as soon as they walk out. Moral support can go a long way in encouraging a loved one to see the dentist. You might also help them prepare by bringing some earbuds so that they can listen to music during their appointment. Or stop by the store to pick up a new book or some of their favorite magazines that they can read during any downtime. The purpose of these is to keep them distracted instead of worrying about what is happening during their appointment.
Family Dentists in Greeneville, Erwin, and Jonesborough
Who’s that person you’ve got on your mind while reading today’s blog? Let them know that you love and care about them, which is why you are encouraging them to go to the dentist. Reinforce the fact that you are here to support them. Offer them the name and number of a dentist that you trust, like Tusculum Dental Care. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (423) 639-7575.