7 Ways to Combat Anxiety at the Dentist Jul 14, 2021
Dental phobia and anxiety are real conditions faced by many people. Whether you had a bad experience as a child, have daily anxiety, or just don’t like going to the dentist, it can be hard to keep up with your dental exams. But it’s important to receive regular check-ups to keep your mouth healthy and prevent other health issues.
Here are some tips to help yourself relax and overcome your fear of the dentist:
Choose the best appointment time. Scheduling your appointment for a time when you aren’t rushed can help reduce your stress. Many people may schedule a morning appointment, but then feel rushed to get to work. Make an appointment when you can take an afternoon off or while the kids are in school. It can be helpful if you know what to expect at your dental appointment as well.
Bring a friend. You may feel more anxious if you feel alone. See if a friend or family member that you trust can tag along. You can tell them how you feel and they can sit with you while you’re in the dentist’s chair.
Try breathing techniques. Breathing may sound silly, but because you’re likely low on oxygen when you are nervous (causing you to become more panicked), breathing exercises can really help. Try these three exercises recommended for anxiety.
Use hand signals. Maybe your anxiety stems from the idea that you may feel “trapped” while in the chair. Prior to your exam, discuss some simple hand signals with your hygienist. If you give the sign, he or she can give you a brief break.
Count to 10. Try counting slowly from one to ten. If that doesn’t work, try doing it backward. This gives your brain something to focus on and allows you to calm down.
Sedation.The use of sedation is typically only used in cases where there is crippling anxiety and calming methods don’t work. Sedation might be medication or could be in another form like “laughing gas.” Talk with your dentist about what options may be right for you.
Do your best.Don’t expect perfection; it’s okay to feel a little nervous. Trust in the care of your dentist and his/her team and, no matter what methods you use, be proud that you did your best!
What tips have you tried to reduce your anxiety? Contact us today to schedule your appointment with our experienced team of dental professionals!