To keep our teeth in tip-top condition, regular visits to the dentist are vital. However, some of us have had a bad experience in the past, and this can make us avoid the dentist getting in the way of keeping up our oral health! The good news is some tactics can significantly reduce dental anxiety. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Take a buddy to your appointment
Doing things that make us anxious can be doubly hard when we have to brave them alone. With that in mind, why not ask a friend or loved one to come along to your dental appointment with you?
The benefits of having someone there is that they will help you to feel much better both as you will have someone to distract you while waiting for your appointment to begin, and somebody there to meet you after it’s done and dusted.
Also if you do need a more serious procedure or require sedation you will have someone that can make sure you get home safely after.
Use relaxation methods to stay calm
There are plenty of relaxation methods you can use to stay calm while in the dentist’s chair. One of these is listening to a meditation while you are having work done, as this can help both calm and distract you. Some people even use music, audiobooks and podcasts listened to through earphones as a way of staying calm.
Another option is to use a technique where you focus your consciousness in a part of the body that isn’t your mouth, such as your toe. This can help give you some psychological distance between you and your treatment. You can learn to develop this consciousness directing skill by practicing Yoga Nidra and body scans.
Inquire about sedation options
Lots of dentists are very aware that some of their patients struggle with anxiety, and this is why they offer sedation for some procedures. Usually, sedation will be in the form of nitrous oxide or laughing gas, although some practices offer it via pill form too.
Of course, it’s always best to discuss the option of sedation with your dentist before you have any procedures done. Then they will be able to advise you on the best options for your specific needs. The great thing about sedation is that you don’t have to experience the anxiety of going through a dental procedure at all. This in turn can help make your next dentist appointment much easier.
Book your next appointment as you leave
While we are on the topic of your next dental appointment it’s always best to book before you leave the office at your current appointment. This is because once made it will be much harder to cancel and miss it, than just ‘forgetting’ to rebook.
Of course, by booking their appointment in person nervous patients can ensure that the receptionist makes a note of their specific needs. Something that once again can make the next appointment go smoother and be an easier experience.