Dental anxiety affects 24% of the population, according to a Harvard study. Dental anxiety can affect individuals to the point where they avoid going to the dentist altogether.
To help those struggling with dental anxiety, we created a list of tips and tricks for patients to utilize when they start feeling dental anxiety.
6 Tips To Help With Your Dental Health
- Communicate with your dentist and voice your fears: your dentist wants to help you! Tell your dentist if you’re afraid of pain or needles. They can work with you to make you feel more comfortable and assess the situation in any way possible. Some dentists have access to nitrous oxide to help their patients relax.
- When communicating with your dentist, try and think of a communication system that works for you. Feeling confined to a chair and not being able to talk because you have dental equipment in your mouth can be a trigger for some. This often makes patients feel out of control, and if this is something you resonate with, talk with your dentist! You and your dentist can agree that when you raise your hand it means it’s time for a small break. This can help you feel more in control during your exam and treatment.
- Address any past experiences. Oftentimes, dental anxiety stems from past negative dental experiences. This can be at the hands of a careless dental staff or pain you felt during treatment. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, try and pinpoint what experience upset you and how to work through that. Once you know, you can talk with your dentist so they can understand how to best help you and how to care for your dental anxiety.
- You may be feeling embarrassed about the state of your dental health. But it’s important to keep in mind your dentist has seen it all. If you’re feeling embarrassed, try reminding yourself this is normally due to overthinking.
- Try distracting yourself from the anxiety the exam is making you feel. Bring a book or magazine for the waiting room, try bringing headphones to drown out the sound of the drill and listen to your favorite podcast or album, or use a stress ball or fidget spinner to occupy your hands.
- If all else fails, return to the basics. Take a few deep breaths while counting them. Count for how long you inhale and exhale for the same amount of time. Try and relax all your muscles one at a time. Start with your head and relax all the way down to your toes.
Find The Right Dentist For You
College Ave Modern Dental wants to help you feel comfortable and overcome your dental anxiety. Our staff and doctors are here for you and are more than happy to help you feel comfortable in our office. We are currently accepting new patients, schedule your appointment today.