There are many people who suffer from dental anxiety, and it often leads to many canceled dentist appointments, which ends up leading to poor oral health. Your oral health is directly related to your overall health, so neglecting it because you are nervous about going to the dentist will eventually lead to serious health issues.
If you find yourself constantly dreading visits to the dentist, here are seven things that you can do to help you relax before and during your next dental appointment.
Tips for easing dental anxiety
1. Make sure your dentist is aware of your anxiety
Dentists are used to working with anxious patients, so feel free to tell him/her about your anxiety. That way, your dentist will make an extra effort to keep you informed and relaxed during your treatment. Your dentist might even give you a signal to use whenever you feel overwhelmed and need a break.
2. Figure out what causes your fears
Different people have different reasons why the dentist's office makes them nervous. Some people are worried about what the dentist might think about the condition of their teeth, while others are terrified at the thought of getting injections.
Once you figure out what scares you, talk to your dentist about your fears.
3. Use music to relax
Music can be very therapeutic, so take advantage of soothing and relaxing tones if you're feeling anxious at the dentist office. This type of therapy is particularly effective if the sounds associated with a dental office trigger your anxiety. Just make sure your music is low enough so you can still hear any instructions you are given.
4. Bring an item that helps you relax
This is equally effective for kids and adults alike. Children tend to feel more comfortable at dental offices when they have their favorite toys with them, while items like worry stones and stress balls can help adults during appointments.
5. Meditate to ease your mind
Meditation is a great way to deal with many forms of anxiety. There are many apps you can use to learn how to meditate or you can simply read up on it. Mediating prior to a dental appointment will put you in a more relaxed state of mind.
6. Focus on the things you want to achieve
Instead of focusing your mind on the things that make give you dental anxiety during your appointment, focus your mind on happy thoughts and the things you plan to accomplish with your treatment. Picture yourself with the perfect smile you want or no longer having to deal with persistent toothaches.
7. Talk to your dentist about sedation
If your dental anxiety is severe, your dentist might prescribe some sedatives to help you relax before and during your appointment. With sedation, the last thing that will be on your mind during your treatment is your anxiety.
Dealing with dental anxiety? Contact us at (718) 690-9597 to learn more tips on combating it and explore your options.
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