Spiders, heights, enclosed spaces—these things all cause people a scare, but for some of us, there’s nothing scarier than a visit to the dentist!
Dental treatments are gentler than ever before. But, it’s still normal to feel some stress over the drills, the idea of pain, or the idea of a stranger poking around your mouth.
Dental anxiety doesn’t need to stop you from going to the dentist though. Regular visits are essential for keeping your mouth, gums, and teeth in great shape, so don’t skip your next appointment.
Instead, keep reading to find a few of the best ways to overcome your dental anxiety.
Find a Local Dentist Who Specializes in Patients With Anxiety
The first step is to find the best dentist to see—that is, someone who’s caring and empathetic to those with anxiety. Ask friends and family for recommendations or give a few clinics a call, asking specifically what they do to help anxious patients.
Not all dentists have a great bedside manner, so it makes a huge difference if you can find someone patient and understanding. Even better, once you find the right dentist, you can create a relationship so you feel like you’re visiting a trusted friend, rather than a stranger.
Talk to Your Dentist
One great way to feel better before your dental appointment is communication. Don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist about what’s bothering you, ask them questions, or talk to them about how each of your dental treatments will feel.
This helps you know what to expect, which can reduce your stress. If you’re worried about a specific procedure, like a root canal, tell your dentist so they know to go slowly.
That way, they can talk you through each step—you can also read this article to learn more.
Bring Along a Distraction
Sometimes, a distraction is a great way to reduce your anxiety and help you focus on happier things. Think about bringing along something you enjoy, such as a book, headphones, or even an iPad, so you can watch a video while the dentist is working.
You might even consider bringing along a friend or relative for moral support. Even if they’re just out in the waiting room, it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone while you go through something scary, like a dental visit.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Mindfulness and relaxation are fantastic things to practice when you’re feeling stressed. Before your appointment, read up on a few anxiety exercises that you can use, like deep breathing, visualization, and distraction techniques like counting.
Ease Your Dental Anxiety With These Tips
It’s normal to feel some dental anxiety before an appointment, but it doesn’t need to disrupt your life. Instead, use the suggestions above to help yourself feel more relaxed and comfortable before walking into the dental clinic.
Over time, you’ll feel better and better about going to the dentist–hopefully, your anxiety will go away completely!
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