Do you have anxiety about going to the dentist? You’re not alone. About 5 to 8 percent of people experience dental anxiety. Usually this anxiety is a result of a bad experience at the dentist’s office as a child. Those with really bad dental anxiety can end up avoiding the dentist completely, which is very dangerous for your oral health. Here, we’ll explain how to deal with dental anxiety.
Share with Your Dentist
If you have dental anxiety, one of the best ways to deal with it is by simply talking to your dentist. Dental anxiety often comes with a fear of what’s going to happen when you get in the chair or being out of control. By sharing with your dentist that you experience dental anxiety, this will help the dentist and the entire staff to help ease your anxiety in any way they can. Mention your dental anxiety when you book an appointment and then remind the hygienist and dentist when you’re sitting in the chair. Talk to your dentist about what exactly makes you anxious about being at the dentist so they can help you cope. Additionally, it may be a good idea to establish a signal with your hygienist and dentist, like waving your hand, in case you are getting too anxious during the appointment and need to take a break. Your dental team wants to help you have the best experience possible so be sure to talk to them about how you’re feeling.
Distract Yourself When You’re in the Chair
Sometimes the best way to deal with dental anxiety is by distracting yourself. Ask your dentist if you can wear headphones so that you can listen to your favorite playlist or the most recent episode of a podcast you love. You can also keep your hands busy with something like a stress ball or even a fidget spinner. Many exam rooms also have televisions that you can watch to keep your mind off the appointment itself. When your mind is occupied, you won’t have time to worry about your dental anxiety.
Bring a Friend or Family Member
It can also ease your dental anxiety to bring a friend or family member that you trust. Having someone there that you feel comfortable with can make you feel calmer. That person can also advocate for you if need be. Simply having someone you know and love in the room with you can distract you from your dental anxiety.
Practice Meditation & Mindfulness Techniques at the Dentist
Another great way of dealing with dental anxiety is by practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques. These can calm you down and distract you from your anxiety at the same time. Meditating or practicing mindfulness techniques like tensing your body and then relaxing your muscles one by one is an effective way to deal with dental anxiety.
Questions? We Have Answers
If you have any questions about how to deal with your dental anxiety, contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.