Tips to Overcome Dental Anxiety
Dental fears are common among both children and adults. Yet dental anxiety should never interfere with your ability to seek proper oral health care.
While you may feel embarrassed or even frustrated about your fear of the dentist, the truth is that most people feel nervous about sitting in the treatment chair.
The good news is that you can use these tips to overcome anxiety and become comfortable with going to the dentist.
Let Your Dentist Know of Your Dental Anxiety
Whether you dread the whirring sound of the dentist’s drill or fret about the possibility of pain, dental anxiety stems from a variety of different causes. All are easily addressed with some patience and understanding.
It may be helpful to know that your dentist is aware of how people feel about coming to their office. Their first goal in taking care of your oral health is to help you feel comfortable physically and mentally. They learn strategies during their education that can be used to put you more at ease.
A step-by-step overview of what they are doing can be provided. And tools can be hidden out of sight until needed. So, feel free to be open and honest about your anxiety. Your dentist will help you identify the best strategies for easing your nervousness during your appointment.
Get Comfortable in the Chair
Dental chairs have become more comfortable over the years. However, you may still get nervous about being in one position for a long period of time. Talk to your dentist about ways that you can be more comfortable during your appointment.
For example, you may prefer to bring a blanket to give you a sense of security, or a neck pillow could be used to alleviate strain on your muscles. Sunglasses are great for toning down the glare of the lights hanging overhead, and you might even find yourself taking a catnap.
If you find that breathing through your nose is uncomfortable, try using nasal strips to open your nasal passages so that it is easier. You can also ask your dentist to give you brief breaks during long treatments. Moving around a bit may help ease any lingering feelings of anxiety.
Wear Headphones During Treatments
Music can instantly give you a sense of relaxation. And a set of headphones is the perfect way to drown out any noises that make you anxious.
Before your appointment, set up a playlist that you know inspires a happy mindset. Then, bring your phone or music player to the appointment and watch the time fly by as your dentist helps to improve your oral health.
Discuss Your Pain Relief and Sedation Options
The fear of pain is a common underlying reason for dental anxiety. While dentists use gentle techniques to minimize discomfort, there is often no way to avoid the fact that certain oral health conditions, such as an infected root, generate pain. During your consultation, you can talk to the dentist about your options for pain and anxiety relief.
For example, dentists often use topical pain relievers on your gums before administering anesthesia through other techniques. You may also be a candidate for sedation dentistry that uses medications to ensure that you are completely relaxed throughout the procedure.
When your upcoming dental appointment makes you anxious, you can rest assured that there are tons of ways to feel better. From just talking about your anxiety to arriving prepared with some comfort supplies, you can look forward to being proud of your progress toward improving your oral health