Curbing Dental Anxiety
Anxiety is something we all deal with to a varying degree. For some, visiting the dentist is a simple, noninvasive experience and for others…it’s phobic. As dentists and hygienists, it’s our job to make sure that anyone, wherever you land on the anxiety spectrum, gets the care they need with the comfort they deserve.
As most know, it’s recommended to have at least 2 cleanings and checkups each year; and it’s not just about dental health. The health of your mouth is connected to the entire body. Part of curbing dental anxiety starts with realizing the value dentistry can bring to your life. A healthy mouth promotes a healthy body!
Brushing your teeth is effective, but a professional cleaning removes plaque, stains and bacterial buildups from the gum pockets. During this time, you undergo X-rays to help the dentist look for cavities, wisdom teeth and other problems. If there’s a specific problem, you may be referred to a specialist, such as an orthodontist or oral surgeon.
Bring a Partner
Schedule an appointment with a friend, spouse or family member. When you have support by your side, you’ll feel bolder and less anxious about sitting in the dentist’s chair. At some point, you’ll need to start visiting the dentist on your own, but in the beginning, a partner is no big deal.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Before your visit, try performing a series of relaxation techniques to reduce bouts of anxiety. Some people perform deep breathing exercises to feel calmer. Others like to get massages or swim to calm their nerves. Find an activity that is the most relaxing for you and do it at least 30 minutes before the appointment.
Understand Your Feelings
Understand why you are anxious about seeing the dentist in the first place. It could stem from a traumatic experience that you had years ago. It could stem from misconceptions that you have heard about going to the dentist. You may believe that most dental procedures are painful and uncomfortable when the opposite is true.
Bottom line, going to the dentist is a difficult for some. Whether you’ve had a bad experience in the past or simply just hate the idea of going, the reality is that going to the dentist is a necessity. Most dental procedures are simple, pain free and over in as little as 30 minutes. With the dentist’s help, build up and maintain years of optimal health.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.