Numerous people every year will avoid the dentist until they feel dental pain or experience a dental emergency. This is due to dental anxiety: according to a Harvard student, 24% of people suffer from dental anxiety.
To help the patients that are struggling with dental anxiety, we created a list of tips and tricks to help patients cope.
6 Tips to Help With Your Dental Health
- Communicate with your dentist. Voice your fears and explain your feelings to your dentist. If you’re afraid of pain or needles they may be able to assess the situation and help you in the best way possible. Some dentists have access to nitrous oxide to help patients relax.
- Think of a communication system with your dentist. When you’re not able to talk and you’re confined to a chair, this can trigger some anxiety without even realizing it. If you feel like you relate to this, tell your dentist! Come up with a system that when you raise your hand it means it’s time for a small break. That will help you feel more in control of the situation.
- Relax (as best you can). Some people often feel embarrassed when going to the dentist. You may have gone years without a dental cleaning, or put off treatment for some time now. However, despite the current state of your mouth – dental professionals have seen all of it. Your mouth won’t phase them or upset them, they’ve seen it all. This anxiety usually stems from overthinking.
- You should address any past negative experiences. Some dental anxieties stem from a previous negative experience. This can be a result of a careless dental staff or dental pain that you’ve experienced during a past treatment. If you suffer from this, try and determine what exact experience upset you. Once you know, you can talk with your dentist that they understand what and why you have dental anxiety. You and your dentist can work around any of your triggers.
- Bring a few extra belongings to distract yourself from the exam. Whether you bring a book to read in the waiting room, use headphones to drown out the sound of the drill while you listen to your favorite music or podcast, or try using a stress ball or a fidget spinner to occupy your hands it’s good to take your mind off of the thing giving you anxiety.
- If you are still experiencing anxiety after this, return to the basics. Take a few deep breaths while counting them. Count for how long you inhale and match it with how long you exhale. Try and relax all your muscles one at a time. Start with your head and work your way down to your toes.
Find The Right Dentist For You
Woodmen Dental Group is more than happy to work with you to feel comfortable and to ensure your anxiety stays at a minimum. We have a new and innovative office to ensure the best service possible while being comfortable. We are currently accepting new patients, schedule your appointment online today.