Plenty of people don’t visit the dentist until there is a dental problem because they suffer from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is much more common than we may realize. According to Harvard, 24% of people suffer from dental anxiety.
To help the patients struggling with dental anxiety we made a list full of tips to help patients cope with their fear.
6 Tips to Help With Your Dental Health
- Communicate with your dentist and voice your fears. Tell your dentist if you’re afraid of pain or needles: they will be able to assess the situation and help you in the best way possible. Some dentists have access to nitrous oxide in order to help patients relax.
- When communicating with your dentist, try and think of a communication system. Not being able to talk or feeling confined to a chair is a trigger for some. If this is something you can relate to, talk with your dentist! You and your dentist can agree that when you raise your hand it means it’s time for a small break. This can help you feel more in control.
- Address any past bad experiences. Some dental anxiety stems from a negative dental experience. This can be the fault of the dental staff at an old office, or dental pain you 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 need dental anxiety. They can help work around any of your triggers.
- Embarrassment is one of the main triggers of dental anxiety. 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 usually stems from overthinking.
- Taking your mind off of the exam probably will feel impossible but there are ways to cope. Try and distract yourself. Headphones will help drown out the sound of the drill while you listen to your favorite music or podcast. You can use a stress ball or a fidget spinner to occupy your hands.
- Return to the basics. Take 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 relax all the way down to your toes.
Find The Right Dentist
Lone Tree Modern Dental & Orthodontics will work with you to ensure your anxiety stays at a minimum. We are currently accepting new patients, schedule your appointment today.