14 Jul Tips to Reduce Your Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a real issue for many Americans. People often refer to this condition as “white-coat” anxiety. Dental anxiety is fairly common, some 40 million Americans admit to feeling anxiety about a visit to the dentist. Therefore, as many as 40 million mouths aren’t getting the attention that they need. This article will give you some simple yet effective ways to reduce the anxiety you feel.
Find the Right Dentist
Finding the right dentist may be more difficult than it sounds. Reading online reviews is a great place to start. Ask friends or family members for their recommendations. Finding the right dentist can greatly reduce your dental anxiety. Also, it isn’t just the dentist, the rest of the staff can make you feel comfortable as well. You may think that the front desk staff has little to no effect on your visit. However, these people can help keep you in the right frame of mind before you get into the chair.
If you don’t think you have the right dentist, find a new one! You aren’t in a marriage with your dentist.
Share Your Fears
Telling your dentist that you are anxious can help. You can’t expect someone to be able to read your mind. So, sharing your dental anxiety with your dentist can help them change their approach. They may be able to use a different treatment for your condition that is less invasive or stressful. They could also put your favorite show on the tv to help keep your mind at ease. Speaking with your dentist beforehand could be a great resource for you moving forward.
Focus on Your Breathing
Keeping calm all starts with your breathing. Long, slow, deep breaths can help keep your heart rate down and you calm. When people are nervous, they often hold their breath. Holding your breath reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood which increases the amount of panic you feel. Taking a meditation class could help teach you some useful breathing techniques.
Listen to Music
A lot of people get nervous when the dentist turns on the drill. If you don’t want to hear what’s going on, music can help. Peaceful, tranquil music can also help keep you calm. However, your favorite music blasting in your ears may keep your mind off the situation at hand. Try it all and see what works best for you.
Avoid Certain Foods
Caffeine and sugar can increase your heart rate. A meal high in protein can help keep you calm while you are in the dentist’s chair. Eat a big meal before your appointment and sit down with a full stomach. You could also try eating your favorite meal.
The time of your appointment can add stress to the situation. Finding a time when you aren’t in a rush is best. The anxiety of being late to an engagement or work can make your situation even worse. If you dentist office offers weekend appointments they may be best. However, if you have to go on a weekday, early morning or late afternoon appointments are probably best. It may also help to take a few hours off of work if possible, to make sure that you have time for the appointment.
It may seem silly but setting up hand signals before your appointment with your dentist could really help. It is very likely that you will not be able to speak. If you feel uncomfortable or need a break simply use the hand signal to let your dentist know. Hand signals also make you feel empowered in a compromising situation. You can reduce the amount of helpless you feel with hand signals.
Ask your dentist if they have any exam rooms with televisions. If they do, request that room. Distractions could help you keep your mind off the procedure. Ask your dentist if they have any other distractions that could help you.
It may seem counter-intuitive to see the dentist more often if you suffer from dental anxiety. However, maintaining your teeth will result if fewer high-stress situations. Regular checkups can prevent the need for procedures like a root canal. A regular cleaning is a much more enjoyable experience that having a dentist’s drill in your mouth. Also, you should make sure to do everything you can at home including brushing and flossing daily.
At the end of the day, no matter how you feel, taking care of your teeth is important. The entire team at Tower Dental Group is ready to help you. Our team can help make a scary trip to the dentist seem like a regular day, even to someone that suffers from dental anxiety.