It’s not uncommon to experience some anxiety or stress about visiting the dentist, but if you find that these feelings are preventing you from getting the dental work you need to keep your smile healthy, then you need to address this issue before it seriously affects your dental health. Here are some tips on how to overcome a fear of visiting the dentist.
Talk to Your Dentist
Your dentist and his or her staff will have seen many people who share similar fears of dental work, and will be able to talk with you about any concerns you might have. Remember that you’re not alone; by speaking to your dentist, you can start to understand why dental work and hygiene maintenance needs to be carried out.
Use Relaxation Techniques
If you have only a mild fear of visiting the dentist, you might find that relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, can help reduce your anxiety before and during your visit. Take deep breaths through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth, focusing entirely on your breathing. Repeat this until you feel calm.
Try to Distract Yourself
Taking your mind off of dental work while you’re in the chair can help reduce your anxiety and stress. Ask if you can play music in the room, put on a favorite television show, or have a friend with you who can talk to you. Many people report that distraction helps immensely with their dental fears.
Ask about Sedation
People with strong fears or phobias of visiting the dentist may benefit from using sedation dentistry so that they don’t remember any of the procedure. Speak to your dentist about the options available; they may be able to use medication that doesn’t “knock you out”, but which removes your memories of the event, reducing the risk of traumatic associations afterwards. Just remember that if you choose sedation dentistry, you’ll need someone to take you home after the procedure, as you won’t be able to drive.
Speak to a Mental Health Professional
There’s no shame in visiting a mental health professional, such as a therapist, to help you better understand why you’re afraid of visiting the dentist. They will be able to work with you to address your fears so that you can walk into the dentist’s office ready to look after your smile.
Don’t delay vital dental work because you’re afraid; speak to our team today about your fears so you can keep your smile looking great for years to come.