Do you feel anxiety when you think about going to the dentist? If so, you’re not alone. Somewhere between 5 and 8 percent of adults experience dental anxiety. Most people experience this due to a bad experience at the dentist during their childhood and some end up avoiding the dentist entirely in adulthood. Here, we’ll explain a number of ways that you can deal with dental anxiety so that you can go to the dentist without fear.
Talk to Your Dentist
One of the most straightforward ways of dealing with dental anxiety is talking to your dentist. By sharing your concerns and feelings, it’ll help your dentist and the entire dental team to work with your anxiety and make your experience better. Start by mentioning your dental anxiety when you book the appointment and remind the staff when you arrive. It’s important to share the reason for your anxiety, such as a bad experience in the past, and ask questions about what’s going to happen during the appointment so that you feel more prepared and in control. Finally, agree on a signal with your hygienist and dentist, such as raising your hand, so that you can ask to take a break during the appointment if you get too anxious.
Go to the Dentist With Someone You Trust
Another way that might help keep you calm is by bringing someone you trust to the dentist with you. When you have a close relative or friend with you, you may feel more comfortable that you have someone who can advocate for you. Just having them there with you should put your dental anxiety at ease.
While you’re in the dentist’s chair, keep your mind busy by distracting yourself from your anxiety. Some great ways include wearing headphones and listening to your favorite music or podcast, watching television, keeping your hands busy by playing with a fidget spinner or squeezing a stress ball, or even imagining yourself in your favorite place like a relaxing beach. By keeping your mind occupied, you won’t be able to spend time worry about your dental anxieties.
Meditation & Mindfulness Techniques
Relaxation techniques are a great way to calm yourself if you’re experiencing dental anxiety. Meditate or practice mindfulness techniques like counting your breaths or doing a body scan by tensing your body and then relaxing your muscles one body part at a time.
Finally, if you think you need some additional help with overcoming your anxiety, talk to your dentist about sedatives. There are some instances where sedatives may be appropriate and can assist by making you calm enough to relax during a dental procedure.
If you have any other questions about how to deal with your dental anxiety, contact us today!Contact Us