If you are afraid of going to the dentist, you are not alone. In fact, dental anxiety is very common with an estimated 1 in 5 people being afraid of visiting their dentist. However, dental care is extremely important for your health. Overcoming dental anxiety is not easy, but the following tips may be helpful in making going to the dentist a priority while also prioritizing your mental health.
Coping With Dental Anxiety
Fear of the dentist is a normal feeling, but learning to cope with the fear or potentially eliminate the fear entirely is important. Following are several tips that are aimed to help you feel more comfortable at the dentist and the time leading up to your appointment.
Be Open With Your Dentist
One of the best ways to overcome dental anxiety has to do with the dentist you see. It is important to find a dentist that understands and empathizes with your feelings. Communication is important in any situation and if your dentist knows about your fears, then they can take measures to make the process easier. Because dental anxiety is so common, your dentist will likely be able to give you more tips on how to manage it.
Another tip to help you overcome dental anxiety is to practice mediation. Meditation is a great tool for many different types of anxiety and can be useful while you are waiting for your dentist appointment and during the check-up. Allow yourself to focus on something in the room that brings you comfort or close your eyes and let your body relax. Focus on different parts of your body, slowly relaxing each body part. Use meditation breathing techniques to help keep calm and in control.
Distracting yourself is another great way to cope with dental anxiety. There are many options that they offer in a dental office that can help you distract yourself including magazines or television. Bringing your own book or stress relieving toy may be helpful. You may also consider downloading something to read or watch on your phone. Call a loved one while you wait for your appointment to start and talk about something to get your mind off of the situation.
Bring A Friend
Bringing a close friend or family member is another way to distract yourself and create an added layer of comfort. Talking with a loved one in person can relieve stress and fear and make it easier to stay calm. Ask your dentist if your friend can accompany you when you are getting your procedure or checkup done. Whether or not you are able to see them while completing the appointment, their presence will surely help you feel safer and more relaxed.
While it is not always an option, some dentists can prescribe short-term medications to help calm the nerves of an extremely anxious patient. This will increase the amount of time spent at the dentist, as it needs to be taken an hour before the appointment, but it can be very effective. Speak with your dentist about this option.
Do You Need A New Dentist?
If you are looking for a new dentist, we at Mills River Family Dentist would love to be your choice. We offer many different services and are understanding of each person’s individual dental needs. If you would like to set up an appointment or would like to learn more about how we can help you, feel free to reach out to us today.