Dental anxiety is a common phobia that may be experienced by kids and adults alike. The fear could stem from a history of bad experiences, fear of pain caused by dental procedures, or anxiety triggered by not knowing what to expect from the appointment. The reasons for dental anxiety may be many, but delaying dentist appointments will only increase the risk of developing serious dental conditions - leading to more painful procedures. Thus, visiting the dentist and maintaining good oral hygiene throughout will help sail through the dental anxiety with time.
Dental professionals can help deal with dental anxiety and build a beautiful smile. Here are a few tips that could help you overcome the fear you face when it is time to visit the dentist:
Let your dentist and the dental staff know that you suffer from dental anxiety. You could inform the receptionist when you make an appointment - this would keep the dentist informed and take the weight off your chest. If you have any specific concerns, you can discuss the same so that the dentist may suggest coping strategies.
During the dental visit, inform the dentist if you feel overly anxious or wish to take a break during the oral exam. Communication will make the procedure a lot more comfortable.
Pick a day with fewer people so that you feel less anxious. A weekday in the morning hours should help you get through the appointment smoothly as there are less noise and a shorter waiting period.
Take your mind off the oral exam by distracting yourself. You could wear a pair of headphones and listen to your favorite music or watch your favorite show, or try to keep calm by squeezing a stress ball.
Try relaxing your mind by using mindfulness techniques such as meditation. Count your breaths while slowly inhaling and exhaling about 5-10 times or more while waiting for your turn at the dental office or waiting for the dentist to prep for a procedure.
Exposure therapy is a method where you do not actually see the dentist but take appointments to build a level of confidence by spending a considerable amount of time in the dental office or getting simple exams such as X-rays and cleanings until you become comfortable enough to sit through a dental procedure.
Try these methods or speak to your dentist so that you may conquer your fear of dental appointments and comfortably sit through dental procedures.