You know how important dental health is and seeing your dentist on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean, however, that you’re willing to schedule your regular appointments. If you suffer from dentist anxiety, then a normal visit to the dentist could cause an anxiety attack and prevent you from feeling comfortable enough to attend your appointment.
As impossible as it might seem to get over your dental anxiety, there are a few ways to help reduce your anxiety and fears of seeing the dentist. It’s time to take control of your oral health by silencing your dental fears!
In the guide below, you’ll find several ways to do just that. Continue reading to learn more.
Understand the Reason for It
The first step to facing your fears of the dentist is knowing what’s causing them. Why are you nervous to visit the dentist? Did you have a bad experience in the past?
Have you not visited the dentist in a long time and don’t know what to expect? Take the time to dig deep and understand your anxiety. Once you know what’s causing it, you can then begin to tackle it.
For example, if you’re worried about the strange equipment used by the dentist, then ask your dentist to explain what each tool is and how it helps them and your dental hygiene. A good dentist will have no problem taking the time to explain what each piece of equipment is.
If you had a bad past experience with a different dentist, then communicate this with your new dentist so they can ensure you won’t have that same experience again.
Speak Up About Your Anxiety
When struggling with dental anxiety, don’t hesitate to speak up about it. Let your dentist know what’s worrying you. There’s a good chance you’re not the only patient with the same type of fear or anxiety.
Your dentist may already know how to help ease these worries. Your dentist should be able to answer all of your questions and make accommodations for you if needed. Building a relationship with your dentist will also help you manage your dental anxiety.
Try to schedule a meet and greet or office tour before your first appointment with a new dentist. You want a good family dentist who you feel comfortable around. This will improve your overall experience.
Take the time and shop around until you find a dentist you like and trust.
Keep Yourself Distracted
Keeping yourself distracted during your appointments can be a big help. Try to bring a tablet with you to watch or listen to during your entire appointment. Be sure to bring headphones to help drown out the noise of the different dentist tools.
You can then place your headphones on or in your ears and listen to soothing music or watch your favorite show! It’s also a good idea to keep your mind busy while waiting to be called back as well. Try to watch something on the tablet or read a book while waiting.
This will help prevent your mind from thinking about the appointment and building anxiety about it.
Make a Morning Appointment
It’s also a good idea to make your appointment first thing in the morning. This will prevent you from spending your entire day thinking about the upcoming appointment. In the mornings, after eating breakfast, your belly will be full and you’ll be prepared to take on any challenges the day throws at you (your dentist appointment).
During the later hours of the day, you might become hungry, tired, or even more anxious, so try to avoid afternoon appointments. Dentist’s offices are generally less busy during the morning hours as well, which can help create a more relaxing environment for you.
Reward Yourself Afterwards
Rather than looking at your day of the appointment as something negative, do your best to make it an enjoyable day. Try to turn the entire day of the appointment into an outing. After your appointment, reward yourself by stopping by your favorite lunch spot and visiting a few of your favorite stores.
Take the rest of the day to do things you actually enjoy such as visiting a nature park or going bowling. The choice is yours, but planing an entire day around your appointment will give you something to look forward to.
Find a Dentist You Like
Finding a dentist who’s trustworthy, reputable, and likable is essential. Take your time to find a great dentist near you. Speak with friends, coworkers, and family members about the dentist they see.
When you find a great dentist, it helps ease some of your anxiety because you know you’re in good hands.
Bring Someone With You
If you’re feeling uncomfortable about your upcoming appointment, even after trying a few of these tips out, then don’t panic. There’s still one more option left. Consider bringing someone with you who you know will help ease your anxiety.
This person can be your best friend or a family member that makes you feel safe. Ask your dentist if this person can come along with you into the room and sit by your side during the entire appointment. They should be able to.
If you have someone in mind who you want to bring, then be sure to ask them to give you a good time and day for when they’d be able to accompany you.
It’s Time to Ease Your Dentist Anxiety
Don’t let your dentist anxiety take over your mind anymore! It’s time to ease your dental anxiety and take control of your dental hygiene. Use all of the helpful tips listed in this guide above to start feeling less anxious about your next dentist appointment.
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