A little bit of anxiety is very common before many things including going to the dentist. Fortunately, there are ways to control and help reduce or eliminate dental anxiety and these tips may help you have a better dental experience. You can also use these tips with your children and family members, to help them have a better experience.
First, never be afraid to tell the dentist and his staff what you are feeling. Dental staffs now all receive special training on the anxious dental patient, and will be able to help meet your needs. They will be able to answer further questions and discuss with you what is going on. Sometimes, just knowing that someone cares and is talking to you makes all the difference in the world!
Anxiety is worse when you feel rushed or tense. Schedule your appointments on days that are not hectic or busy at work, or take the entire day off. Leave home in plenty of time so you don’t feel rushed on your way to the dentist, and get plenty of sleep the night before. Pamper yourself a bit if you are having a procedure, or schedule a ‘fun’ event for after the dental appointment.
Ask your dentist if they mind if you listen to music on your MP3 player, or watch a movie on your laptop or tablet. Wearing headphones will distract you from the noise of the machinery, and help you relax. You may even laugh at a funny song or line in the movie! If you cannot do that, try closing your eyes and thinking about something fun you did or your favorite vacation destination. Visualization has been shown to dramatically decrease anxiety.
Never avoid going to the dentist because you are anxious. Routine dental care is a cornerstone of good health. If your anxiety is severe, talk to your dentist about gentle dentistry options to help you manage routine and other treatments.
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