Many people don’t visit their dentist until there is a dental problem because they have dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is a much more common fear than we realize. According to Harvard, 24% of people around the world suffer from dental anxiety.
To help any patients struggling with dental anxiety we decided to make a list of tips to help patients get over dental fear.
6 Tips to Help With Your Dental Anxiety
- Voice your fears. If you’re nervous, tell your dentist! If you are afraid of pain or needles your dentist will be able to assess the situation and help you in the best way possible. Some dentists have access to nitrous oxide to help patients relax. Talking to your dentist is a great first step to take when dealing with dental anxiety.
- Address your past bad experiences. Some patients’ dental anxieties stem from a negative dental experience. This can be the fault of the dental staff at an old office, or dental pain they have previously experienced. If you suffer from this, try and determine what experience upset you. Once you know, you can talk with your dentist so they can understand what and why you have dental anxiety. They can help work around any of your triggers.
- Come up with a communication system. Not being able to talk or being confined to a chair is a trigger for some. If this is something you can relate to, tell your dentist. You and your dentist can agree that when you raise your hand it means you’re ready for a little break. This will help you feel more in control.
- Overcome any embarrassment you may feel about the state your dental state. You may have gone years without a dental cleaning or put off treatment. However, despite the state of your mouth – dental professionals have seen it all. Your mouth won’t affect them or phase them, so remember this anxiety is usually a result of overthinking.
- Try and distract yourself. Taking your mind off of your exam might feel impossible but there are ways to cope. Try and wear headphones. This will help drown out the sound of the drill and you can listen to your favorite music or audiobook! You can try occupying your hands with a stress ball or a fidget spinner.
- Return to the basics. Try taking a few deep breaths while counting them. Count for how long you inhale and exhale for the same amount of time. Try and relax all your muscles one at a time. Start with your head and work your way down to your toes.
Find The Right Dentist
Appletree Dental offers a new, innovative, and comfortable office that helps soothe dental anxiety. Our staff here can help with any dental anxiety you might be experiencing, be sure to schedule your appointment online!