Did you know dental anxiety or fear affects over 75% of adults?
Dental anxiety is very common, but it’s not something that people often talk about. The fear, stress, and pain people associate with visiting the dentist often lead to skipped checkups and neglected oral hygiene.
So what is causing the increased anxiety? Experts believe that social media is adding to anxiety. Digital platforms show people having dental procedures with music in their ears and not feeling a thing–and this isn’t always realistic.
Other reasons for anxiety are unfounded fears, previous bad experiences, or an overly sensitive gag reflex. Whatever the reason, we’re here to help. Keep reading to find out how to overcome dental anxiety.
Talk to Your Dentist About Your Dental Anxiety
The key to overcoming dental anxiety is to talk to your dentist about your fears. Be honest and open about what makes you anxious and why. Many dentists are experienced in working with patients who have anxiety and can help you overcome your fear.
Your dentist can then work with you to come up with a plan to help ease your anxiety. This may include something as simple as providing more information about what the procedure will entail and what you can expect.
They can also provide sedation or use numbing agents. If you’re interested in learning more about sedation dentistry, be sure to ask your dentist about it. If you’re afraid of needles, let your dentist know so they can take extra care when administering local anesthesia.
It’s important to keep in mind that your dentist is there to help you and wants to make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible. It is also important to choose a dentist who you feel comfortable with and who you can trust.
Remember, there is no shame in feeling nervous about dental appointments. Just be sure to talk to your dentist about your concerns so they can help you through the process.
Distract Yourself During the Appointment
For anxious patients at the dentist, there are a few things you can do to help ease your anxiety. One of the best things you can do is to try and distract yourself during the appointment.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as bringing a book or magazine to read, listening to music on your headphones, or even chatting with the dentist. Texting, playing games, or watching videos on your phone can help take your mind off of the appointment.
Letting yourself get lost in another activity can help the time pass more quickly and make the appointment feel less daunting. By keeping your mind occupied, you’ll be less likely to focus on your anxiety, and the dental appointment will be over before you know it.
Breath Deeply and Slowly (Dental Anxiety)
Dental anxiety is a common fear that can prevent people from getting the dental care they need. For some people, the thought of going to the dentist is enough to send them into a panic. There are many ways to overcome dental anxiety, but one of the most effective is to simply breathe deeply and slowly.
When you are feeling anxious, your breathing becomes shallow and fast. This only makes the anxiety worse. But if you can control your breathing, you can control your anxiety.
So take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Taking slow, deep breaths helps to relax the body and mind and can make the dental experience more bearable. It will also help to clear your head so that you can focus on what’s important.
Use Visualization Techniques
Visualization is a form of guided imagery that allows you to focus on positive images and calming sensations to help you feel more relaxed. When you visualize, you can control the content of your thoughts and imagination. This can be especially helpful if you have intrusive, negative thoughts about dental procedures.
When you are feeling anxious about a dental appointment, close your eyes and visualize yourself calmly sitting in the dental chair. Visualize the dentist and dental staff working quickly and efficiently on your teeth.
See yourself leaving the dental office with a healthy, sparkling smile. If you can calmly picture yourself going through the dental appointment, you will be much less likely to feel anxious about it.
Bring a Friend or Family Member With You
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from dental anxiety, you’re not alone. A trip to the dentist can be a daunting experience, but there are ways to ease your fears. One way to do this is to bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment.
Having someone you trust by your side can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable. They can also provide moral support and help you stay calm during your appointment. Plus, it’s always good to have someone else there to help you remember everything the dentist says!
Ways to Overcome Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a common but treatable condition. There are many things that you can do to help overcome your anxiety and get the dental care that you need.
Talk to your dentist about your anxiety and ask about ways to help you feel more comfortable during your appointment. It is also important to find a dentist who is understanding and willing to work with you to help make the experience as positive as possible.
Consider using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier smile.
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