It’s relatively common for people to get nervous about going to the dentist. For some people, this can turn into a crippling anxiety that prevents them from getting the dental care that they need. If you’re worried about going to the dentist, try some of these methods to help reduce your dental anxiety.
Talk To Your Dentist
The first step is to be upfront with your dentist regarding your dental anxiety. Let the staff know that you are nervous, and they can help you control your fear. Some dental offices have resources like headphones, televisions, or sedation techniques that can keep you distracted and calm you down while your dental procedure is underway.
Inform Yourself About Your Procedure
A study from the University of Hong Kong showed that patients who received thorough pre-operative information about their dental procedure exhibited significantly lower levels of dental anxiety than patients who received no information. If you’re well-informed about what is going to happen during your time at the dentist, you will have less reason to worry. You can educate yourself via online resources, but some of them can be misleading. Your best resource is going to be your dentist. They have the education and experience to help them explain the procedure thoroughly and accurately. Before you have a procedure done, ask your dentist about what to expect during and after the procedure.
Go To The Dentist Frequently
Another academic study showed that patients who visited their dentist frequently exhibited lower levels of dental anxiety than patients with irregular dental appointments did. Frequent dental appointments have two distinct advantages. First, they familiarize you with the dental office experience and let you know what to expect when you visit. Secondly, frequent dental exams and treatment mean that minor problems can be caught and resolved before they escalate into serious ones. We recommend scheduling a regular dental exam every six months.
Use Meditation And Relaxation Techniques
Meditation and relaxation breathing are great for relieving all kinds of anxiety, including dental anxiety. Before you leave home for the dentist, do a quick meditation session to calm yourself down. While you’re in the waiting room, you can try some relaxation breathing exercises to maintain your calmness.
Listen To Soothing Music
Bring a music player to your appointment, or load some soothing tunes into your smartphone. Use your headphones to listen to the soothing music while you’re in the waiting room. Your dentist may even let you listen to your headphones during the procedure, or might have some you could borrow.
Occupy Your Hands
Distracting yourself during the procedure might help take your mind off of your anxiety. Bring a stress ball, fidget spinner, or a similar object to hold in your hands while the dentist does their work.
Don’t Arrive Too Early
You should always arrive early to your dental appointments, but don’t arrive too early. The longer you sit in the waiting room, the longer your anxiety will have to fester. Arrive promptly, but don’t give your mind half an hour or more to wander and get anxious.
We hope you found these tips helpful, and we can’t wait to see you stress-free at your next dental appointment!