If the thought of going to the dentist stresses you out more than other things, you may be suffering from a form of anxiety. Yes, dental anxiety is real—and it might be preventing you from maintaining a good oral health routine. You don’t have to suffer from your fear of dentists forever. Here are five simple ways to help you calm those nerves the next time you sit in a dentist’s chair:
1. Choose the right dentist
You must choose the right dental practitioner for your personality. He or she should be someone you’re comfortable with, someone who encourages a good rapport with you. Be open with your dentist and express your anxieties. Not being able to communicate well with your dentist would only add stress to your overall experience.
2. Play soothing music
For most people, much of their anxiety comes from hearing those grinding and drilling sounds at their dental clinic. Listening to relaxing music helps by tuning out these noises. On your next appointment, don’t forget to bring your headphones and ready your favorite playlist. Then you can sit back, relax, and let your dentist do his thing.
3. Try essential oils
Aside from music, essential oils work well in reducing one’s anxieties. A few examples of relaxing oils include Lavender, Bergamot, and Ylang-ylang. Try harnessing nature’s powers to help you deal with stress. Rub a few drops on pressure points, such as your wrists and around your temples, or inhale the oils whenever you’re feeling uneasy.
Remember to tell your dentist about your oils before you lie back. Essential oils are generally safe, but some herbs may interfere with modern medicine depending on what procedure you’re having.
4. Bring a buddy
Having someone who supports you can boost your confidence. Ask someone to tag along—your partner, colleague, a family member—choose someone who understands, but doesn’t share your fears. Some clinics don’t allow companions during the procedure. If this is the case, explain to your dentist why you need someone with you during your appointment.
5. Ask to be involved
For some people, their anxieties stem from the fear of the unknown. If this is you, you can help alleviate your jitters by asking to be involved in the process. Ask your practitioner to guide you through the entire procedure carefully. A good dentist should be able to explain the whole process in a calm and informative manner.
If all else fails and your anxiety is severe, you may opt for sedation dentistry (or sleep dentistry). Consult with your dentist about this option and whether or not you are the right candidate for it.
Dental clinics shouldn’t be a place that triggers your worst fears and panic attacks. Instead, they should bring calmness and comfort, knowing that you are taking the step to care for your oral health. Rest in the assurance that over time, regular visits will reduce your dental anxiety. As you continue to develop a good relationship with your practitioner, you will find that your emotions will be better.
If you’re looking for a local dentist to help you with your dental anxiety, get in touch with us today for a free consultation!