Most people don’t like the dentist; there’s nothing less fun than missing work to sit in a chair with another person touching your teeth. Talk about an inconvenience.
However, for some patients with dental anxiety, the dentist is a fate worse than death. The blinding fluorescent lights, smell of tooth dust, and deafening sounds of drills are enough to leave some people running in the opposite direction.
If you get anxious when thinking about upcoming dental procedures, there are things you can do to help ease the stress. Keep reading for some of the best tips to help you survive your next visit.
Speak With Your Dentist
If you’re petrified about your upcoming procedure, the first thing you should do is speak with your dentist. This is one of the best ways to ease anxiety, as they’ll work with you to ensure you’re comfortable and safe.
They can even offer alternatives, like sedation dentistry. This process involves inhaling nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, which helps loosen you up to ease anxiety.
You can also opt to create a signal with your dentist, should you experience pain or need a break during your exam or procedure. Setting this up before you get in the chair can help give you a sense of comfort and control.
Before your appointment, you may be tempted to look up information about your procedure. Though you may want to know what’s involved, this can only heighten anxiety about dental treatments.
Instead, you’ll want to practice mindfulness techniques leading up to and during your appointment with your local dentist.
If you’re having trouble sleeping the night before the appointment, practicing meditation can help lull you to sleep. While you’re in the chair, you can count your breaths. This helps you focus on your breathing to ensure that you’re staying calm and collected.
Finally, you can use distraction methods to help deter your focus during the appointment. This is a great way to reduce anxiety, as it helps take your mind elsewhere.
Wearing headphones is a great way to reduce the noise of drills. Many people are put off by this sound, but listening to an audiobook or music can help mask the noise.
Your dentist’s office might have televisions in the room. This allows patients to choose TV shows or movies to watch during the procedure. This isn’t always common in the dental industry, so you’ll want to have backup choices.
Don’t Let Dental Anxiety Affect Your Oral Health
Your oral health shouldn’t suffer due to dental anxiety. Going for regular checkups or procedures to remedy problems will help keep you out of the chair in the long run.
Remember, the best dentist will be open and willing to work with you if you have hesitations or fear about procedures.
If you found this guide to navigating your anxiety helpful, you’ll want to check out the rest of our website. There, you’ll find more great health and wellness tips and tricks.