Numerous people will not visit the dentist until there is a dental problem or emergency because they suffer from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is more common than you probably realize. According to a Harvard study, 24% of people suffer from dental anxiety.
To help the patients that struggle with dental anxiety we made a list of tips to help patients cope.
6 Tips to Help With Your Dental Health
- Try communicating with your dentist and voice your fears to them. Tell your dentist if you’re afraid of pain or needles: they will be able to assess the situation and help you in the best way possible. Some dentists have access to nitrous oxide to help patients relax.
- While communicating with your dentist, try and think of a communication system. When you’re at the dentist, more often than not you can’t talk and you’re confined to a chair. This can make people feel anxious. If you can relate to this, tell your dentist! Come up with a system that when you raise your hand it means it’s time for a small break. This will help you feel more in control of the situation.
- Address any past negative experiences. Some dental anxiety stems from a negative dental experience. This can be a result of an old dental staff or dental pain you have previously experienced. If you suffer from this, try and determine what experience upset you. Once you know, you can talk with your dentist so they can understand what and why you need dental anxiety. They can help work around any of your triggers.
- Some people feel embarrassed when going to the dentist. You may have gone years without a dental cleaning, or put off treatment for a while. However, despite the state of your mouth – dental professionals have seen it all. Your mouth won’t phase them, so remember this anxiety usually comes from overthinking.
- Try distracting yourself from the exam, this can be hard to do but will also help with your anxiety. Headphones can be used to drown out the sound of the drill while you listen to your favorite music or podcast. Try using a stress ball or a fidget spinner to occupy your hands.
- If all else fails, return to the basics. Take a few deep breaths while counting them. Count for how long you inhale and match it with how long you exhale. Try and relax all your muscles one at a time. Start with your head and relax all the way down to your toes.
Find The Right Dentist For You
All Smiles Dental Group will work with you to feel comfortable and to ensure your anxiety stays at a minimum. We are currently accepting new patients, schedule your appointment online today.