Fear of Embarrassment & Dental Phobia


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Embarrassment is not an emotion that people enjoy, and is generally something that any one of us would wish to avoid at all costs. Poor dental and oral hygiene can cause massive embarrassment when it comes to opening your mouth and having your dentist take a look, and this can be a big part of dental phobia, and can keep you from regular dental check-ups and the treatment you need.

Embarrassment and dental phobia

Feeling that your teeth are not ones you would willingly present to anyone else can worsen your oral health if it keeps you from regular check-ups, and hence from treatments you need. Ironically enough seeing a dentist is the best way to cure that embarrassment, as they will be able to provide you with any advice or treatment you need to get your oral hygiene back on track.

A practical element of dentistry has contributed to fuelling embarrassment as a socially common reason for dental phobia. In the past dentists would often lecture you about the state of your teeth, and the nature of that admonishment has naturally fuelled people’s embarrassment and contributed to a fear of going to the dentist’s. After all, who wants to be told off for not brushing their teeth properly?

There is also an immense social pressure on maintaining a paradigm of physical perfection, one perpetuated by the media and countless models with even white teeth parading across our television screens. Naturally this fuels feelings of inadequacy when it comes to our teeth, most of us won’t have perfect teeth because to achieve that winning smile most models need a course of dental treatments.

Dealing with embarrassment and dental phobia

Dealing with embarrassment is in principal simple, but in practice far from easy. Firstly, modern dental practitioners are more service orientated than in the past, focussing on delivering care rather than lecturing you on what you are doing wrong with negative statements. That being said, any comments that do come from your dentist that may seem negative are always delivered with the best of intentions, to improve your oral hygiene and keep you from any unnecessary dental treatments. If you do, however, feel that your dentist is embarrassing you, then talking to them or their supervisor is a good way of making sure that you feel confident enough to go to your appointments.

Also remember that a dentist is very likely to have seen all manner of teeth in many different states of disrepair! As that is the case, they are unlikely to be surprised by your teeth, and more importantly will not judge them. Oral hygiene can slip from time to time, and part of a dentist’s job is to put you back on the right track when that happens. Lastly, even though it may feel like your teeth are embarrassing; chances are they aren’t as bad as you think. A phobia can often make you feel like your teeth are considerably worse than they actually are, and the only way to really tell is to go to a dentist and have them give you the truth.


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