Several people are uncomfortable and anxious about visiting a dental clinic, but they always want to conquer this fear. Are you one of them? When the waiting game is over, do you feel extremely queasy about going to your semi-annual or annual dental checkup? Don’t worry, we have a list of solutions for you.
This article gives you 7 effective tips to cope with your dental anxiety. But before we get into the main focus of the discussion, let us first define what dental anxiety or phobia is.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
When anticipating dental treatments, such as teeth cleaning and extraction, choosing implant over dentures in London, Ontario from Smiles Denture Care Centre or going far, you might feel dread, anxious, and distressed. This is the condition called dental anxiety.
Around 22% of Canadians deliberately avoid their dentists due to dental fear. Dentists, in turn, describe their anxious patients as difficult and disruptive. They tend to cause problems like showing up late for appointments, angering their fellow patients, and causing occupational stress for the dental health expert.
For extreme cases of nervousness and panic at the idea of coming face-to-face with a dentist, symptoms may manifest. Some of these are:
- Excessive sweating
- Upset stomach
- Hot flashes
If you want slow yet natural ways to overcome your dental anxiety, here are effective tips you should apply:
7 Tips to Overcome Dental Anxiety
1. Boost your confidence by establishing proper oral hygiene habits.
The first step to help you reduce your dental anxiety starts at home. You may have neglected oral health issues because you don’t apply proper oral health care anymore. This lack of supervision will eventually lead to major oral health problems.
Increasing at-home dental hygiene will help you ease your worries when it’s time for your dental visit. Some simple things you can do are:
- Brushing twice daily (flossing once a day); remember to use fluoride-based toothpaste
- Limiting sugary food and drink intake
- Establishing a healthy diet with tooth-building food
- Avoiding smoking
- Replacing your toothbrush after every 2 or 3 months
- Drinking plenty of water daily
2. Get to the root cause of the problem and accept your condition.
Recognize that you have a problem, and you need to face it. You can achieve this by determining the cause, applying the proper measures, and overcoming it. There are various reasons why sitting in the dental chair gives you chills. You might have had a traumatic experience with a dentist.
The most common cause of dental anxiety is the thought that the dentist will cause you pain. Other reasons may be the fear of needles and shots, the panic associated with hearing drill sounds, the uncomfortable thought of having someone investigate your mouth, and the embarrassment you feel upon having someone else discover your oral health problems, especially bad breath and tooth decay.
3. Start finding a trustworthy dentist after getting referrals.
Contrary to what your mind comes up with when you need a dental visit, dentists exist to create proper dental treatments to better care for your oral health. They will provide you with various treatment choices to assist you when you are uneasy. To start your journey in facing your greatest fear, find a reliable oral health expert by asking around or conducting research.
Ask questions during the phone call. You can also determine what type of procedure will put your mind at ease. Often, a soothing voice may be just what you need to help you get through dental practice. Another excellent way to find a trustworthy doctor is to check online reviews. Ideally, select a dentist who will allow you to bring anxiety-relieving gadgets and stuff to help reduce your anxiety.
4. Visit the dentist with a trusted friend or family member.
Bring a trusted companion when it’s time for your visit to Family Dentist Tree, dental surgeon in Oakville. This will allow you to relax and let your fears out. Before doing this, ask your chosen dentist first if you can bring that person with you. Explain that this trusted friend or family member knows about your condition and that you need them for moral support.
5. While at the dental clinic, do something that will distract you.
Doing anything distracting yet harmless will keep your anxiety at bay while the dental work continues. For example, you could listen to music or read while you wait. Other dental clinics will also allow you to watch videos while getting treated by your dentist.
The sound of drills and other tools may distract and disconcert you. Therefore, take advantage of any distractions you can find, but make sure they won’t compromise the dental work process.
6. Don’t hesitate to share your rules with your dentist.
Sometimes, being in control while the dentist works on your teeth will put your worries at bay. So, establish boundaries if you want. Your dentist will understand. Ask the dentist about the methods they use to handle anxious patients. You can also develop a nonverbal signal when the dentist’s procedure becomes too overwhelming.
You can tell your dentist to stop by using a hand signal or other nonverbal forms of communication. This way, they can stop and give you ample time to recompose yourself.
7. Practice meditation to constantly keep yourself in check.
Dental anxiety will not disappear overnight. Now and then, practice self-relaxation and meditation. They can bring wonders to your body and mind outside of the dental clinic, helping you cope with your anxiety issues. One of these practices may be breathing exercises and a half-hour reflection. Do them whenever the situation requires you to.
You can even visualize yourself somewhere else besides the dental office. These can be in a meadow, on a beach, or on a front-porch swing. Regardless of the method you choose, ensure that it will make you feel relaxed and not repressed.
Overcoming your dental anxiety is difficult, but there are ways you can slowly cope with it. The first step is to understand that your dentist’s job description doesn’t include putting you in extreme pain and adding to your dental health issues. They are called healthcare professionals for a reason. You might not realize that your dentist can have occupational stress if they continue to treat anxious patients.
To help both parties, establish an oral health routine at home, conduct research, ask for a friend or family member to visit Lambton Family Dental, a Srnia dentist, find some diversion while the dental work is ongoing, and relay to the health professional your boundaries. There’s nothing quite like a balanced mindset and confidence when going to the dentist. Also, ask questions when you want and take a break when needed. A sensitive dental team will respect your feelings. The most critical thing is to trust your dental care provider to help ease your anxiety and improve your oral health.