Hey! I'm Frankie, and welcome to my dental advice blog. I'm a foodie and I love sweet treats, but I also love my teeth! It can be hard to keep your dental health in top condition when you've got a sweet tooth, but it's not impossible. Over the years, I've learned tons of great advice from friends, family members and dentists, and I'd love to share it with you. My blog is here to give you all the tips and tricks you need to stay free of decay and other tooth problems without giving up all your favourite foods and snacks.
It's been shown that dental anxiety is much lower in the elderly than in the rest of the population. Unfortunately, that doesn't make things any easier when you're trying to help an elderly relative who does have a fear of the dentist.
You might feel like there's a lack of support, as well as a shortage of information on what you can do to help. You might worry that untreated dental issues could cause your relative serious discomfort. If that's the case, you're in the right place.
Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to help your elderly relative with their dental phobia to ensure they can access the treatment they need.
Ascertain where the fear comes from
Dental procedures weren't always as comfortable as they are nowadays. There's a good chance that your relative's fear stems from painful memories of past visits to the dentist — maybe they suffered a painful tooth extraction as a child. Other issues to do with aging could be present — your relative may worry that they'll struggle to hear what the dentist is saying or feel uncomfortable lying in a dental chair.
Reassure them if you can
Getting to the bottom of the issue, as described in the previous step, allows you to offer reassurance and practical advice. If it's a painful past procedure your relative is worried about, you could remind them that they won't be forced to undergo any treatment they don't want. You could also offer your own stories of dental procedures that went successfully and talk to them about anesthetic and pain relief options. Take care to be understanding, no matter how silly their concerns might sound to you.
Speak to the dentist before visiting
Dentists are used to dealing with anxious patients, and calling your relative's local dentist before they visit will allow them to make any necessary special arrangements. The dentist will talk your relative through everything they're doing and make sure they feel comfortable at all times. You could even take along music for your relative to listen to during their appointment as a distraction from what's going on. You can also make arrangements to accompany your relative during their appointment to offer your support.
Dental phobias can be a real worry in the elderly, particularly if their teeth aren't in good condition. Help your elderly relative to overcome their fears by following the steps above.Share
22 June 2017