You’re not alone if you’re afraid of dentists, but you are missing out on a lot if you’re too nervous to go to the dentist’s office.
Regular dental checkups are an essential part of good dental health.
The dentist can help you stop cavities and gum disease before they become major problems. You should also take advantage of the many other great services dentists offer, like teeth cleanings and whitening.
Dental anxiety is a very common problem, but as with most health conditions, the more you know about it, the easier it is to find a solution. When you understand the causes of your dental anxiety, you can begin to take steps to eliminate it.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is a feeling of extreme fear, dread, and nervousness that a person experiences when faced with a visit to the dentist. It can also be described as a feeling of apprehension and increased heartbeat during the time spent in the dentist’s chair.
11 Tips To Help Curb Dental Anxiety
1. Tell the dentist about your fears.
If you’re anxious about treatment, tell your dentist why. Your dentist can help you develop a treatment plan that will make you more comfortable.
2. Bring a friend.
Take someone you trust along with you to the dental visit. It’s often more difficult to get anxious if you have someone by your side.
3. Take a deep breath.
When you’re feeling anxious, take a few deep breaths. When you’re relaxed, you’ll find a dental visit much easier to tolerate.
4. Stay positive.
Try to think about the dental visit in a positive way. If you expect the best, you’ll probably have a better experience.
5. Avoid sedatives.
If you’re taking sedatives, tell your dentist and the dental staff. Sedatives can trigger complications or worsen existing health problems.
6. Stay hydrated.
In between treatments, try to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
7. Take a break.
If you feel anxious about the treatment process, ask your dentist for a break. You can use the time to relax and take deep breaths.
8. Stay focused.
If you focus on something other than the dental care, you’ll be less likely to be anxious.
9. Listen to music.
Many people use music to relax during a dental visit. If you listen to music, make sure the volume is low so you can hear instructions.
10. Ask for nitrous oxide.
If you’re nervous about the treatment, ask your dentist about nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. It can help you relax.
11. Stay connected.
If you’re nervous about a dental visit, bring along your cell phone. You can use it to stay connected to family and friends while you’re at the dentist. If you’re feeling anxious, you can also use it to call your dentist or the dental care center if you need help.
Looking For More Ideas To Relieve Dental Anxiety?
Here are 24 more ideas on ways that may help you ease your dental anxiety, before and during your dental appointment.
We’ve covered some of these in a little more detail, but we’ve included others here. Look at this as more of an idea generator than a detailed description of each of these ideas.
Reading through this list will help spark your own creativity and ways to help you overcome your fear of the dentist.
24 Tips to Overcome Dental Anxiety:
1. Take a deep breath and relax.
2. Be honest with your dentist. Explain that you are nervous.
3. Be prepared for your appointment.
4. Talk to your dentist about your fears and concerns.
5. Develop a relationship with the staff.
6. Ask questions.
7. Give positive feedback to the staff.
8. Develop a dental treatment plan with your dentist.
9. Find out about the dental practice’s policies.
10. Ask about your dental treatment options.
11. Stay calm and relaxed during your appointment.
12. Take your time when the dentist is working on you.
13. Use a distraction technique.
14. Watch out for pain and anxiety triggers.
15. Practice relaxation techniques.
16. Concentrate on something else.
17. Have someone with you.
18. Ask the dentist if he/she is using tools to numb your mouth.
19. Ask for nitrous oxide.
20. Ask for a sedative.
21. Keep your mouth as steady as possible.
22. Find an alternative dental practice.
23. Get rid of all anxiety (medications, hypnosis, etc.).
24. Ignore your fear and go to the dentist.
If you suffer from dental phobia, you’re not alone. Millions of people experience dental anxiety to some degree. However, it’s important to know that you can take control of your fear, and you certainly don’t have to suffer through it. There are many different ways to treat your fear, including both medication and therapy. The key is to find the treatment option that works for you.
Overcoming dental anxiety is possible. If you’re struggling with anxiety, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many resources available to you. Good luck!