Health Fitness

7 Tips to Overcome Dental Nerves and Anxiety

You’re enjoying your day, minding your own business when a letter comes through the door. It’s a reminder to book your dental check-up. Uh oh. The whir of the drill, the sterile smells, and the fear of the unknown can all contribute to a sense of unease that people might find hard to shake. However, this nervousness should not stand in the way of receiving necessary dental care. There are actually ways to overcome your fears or at least make the process less horrific.

Communication and Building Trust

Look inside yourself and you may find that the dentist themselves contribute to your nerves about the process. Just open up and tell your pro what you’re thinking and feeling. They will have seen it all before and often have ways to make the process easier for you. Remember, dentists are professionals who have seen it all and whose priority is your comfort and well-being.

Deep Breathing and Relaxation Techniques

People often skip by this tip because they worry it’s nonsense. Reality suggests that deep breathing can be a great tool in loads of situations. Waiting for your appointment, waiting for a job interview, and more. As you sit in the waiting room, inhale deeply through your nose, hold it for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This method of relaxation can be practised even a few minutes before your appointment for effective results.

Distraction and Visualization

You might know your time in the seat is coming but this doesn’t mean you need to sit and listen to every appointment before yours. Listening to music, podcasts, or even spoken word can divert your attention, making the time pass more quickly. Additionally, visualising a calm, pleasant atmosphere or the successful completion of the procedure can reduce anxiety.

Seeking Support

You would do the same for your loved ones so ask someone to come along. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or significant other, their support can provide immense comfort. You can also talk to like-minded people online to see what has worked for them. You might find an insane trick that allows you to overcome your worries.

Sedation Options

Would listening to your favourite tunes not be enough? Some dentists know that appointments can cause anxiety so offer sedation, where you are awake but relaxed, or even general anaesthesia. Discuss with your dentist which option is most appropriate for you – safe and professional sedation dentistry could come to the rescue.

Preparing and Educating Yourself

Fear often comes from the unknown. This is why understanding the dental procedures that you will undergo and what to expect can make a significant difference. Doing a little research, asking your dentist questions, and understanding the tools and methods used can demystify the process.

Positive Reinforcement and Reward System

Finally, acknowledge your courage in facing your fears. After each dental visit, positively reinforce your experience with a treat or activity that you enjoy. This encourages a cycle of associating dental visits with positive experiences. Also, focus on the good; every visit is another step towards maintaining a healthy smile.

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