Many people get anxious before their dentist appointment. You are definitely not alone if you’ve brushed your teeth eight times before an appointment and are still nervous. It’s estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid dentist appointments out of fear alone. Dentist’s visits can be scary if you haven't been to one in a while or aren't used to being evaluated under harsh lights. Follow these tips so you can relax and be prepared for your next stop at the dentist’s office.
Start By Scheduling Your Next Appointment
Your dentist should do the most to make you feel comfortable when you are getting your regular cleaning. However, some dentists are not the most warm and fuzzy individuals, which can lead to anxiety about your dental health. The first thing you need to do to combat dental anxiety is to schedule a regular appointment. Some people who do not like the dentist may simply put off an appointment for the foreseeable future. This is not advisable because the longer you go without a dental check-up, the more you will actually have to worry about when you do visit. Even though dental visits may be uncomfortable, it will be much more uncomfortable if you do not go at all. Use these strategies at your next appointment to help ease your anxiety and strengthen your smile.
If you know that you experience intense anxiety when you’re in the dentist’s chair, you should let your dentist know in advance. Though the conversation may seem strange, your dentist wants to provide you with excellent dental care and needs to know about you as a client. Just as you would list a toothache or any other concerns on your paperwork at the beginning of an appointment, mention that the dentist’s office can provoke your anxiety. Again, your dentist wants to maintain your oral health above all things, so they will gladly adjust to accommodate any fears. It is also effective to communicate with all of the staff at your dentist’s office. You will feel the weight slip off of your shoulders as you talk about what makes you nervous about the dentist. This is a very common problem, so your dental professionals will know how to help.
When you go in for a cleaning or a procedure, know what you are getting into. Do some research ahead of time to figure out all of the processes related to your visit. The more you know, the more you will be able to relax. Don’t forget to brush and floss thoroughly as well! Bring a Brushee along if you need to make sure those pearly whites are shining! Once you arrive at the dentist’s office, be sure to ask what is going to happen during the visit and any other details you should know before your dentist begins. They will be happy to talk about what will be done, as your concerns are of the utmost importance. No dentist wants an uninformed or unhappy patient!
Though at times dental cleanings or procedures will feel uncomfortable, they should not be extremely painful. For a cleaning or other non invasive procedures, a poke or a prod is the worst that will happen. However, if you are getting a more invasive oral procedure that requires an anesthetic, you should be alert for pain. Do not be embarrassed if you need to stop a procedure or require more local anesthetic. If you are uncomfortable, you may want to clench your jaw or flinch, and that is never good for an oral procedure. Establish a signal with your dentist so you can communicate if you are experiencing severe pain. This will free you from the anxiety of experiencing pain during your next dental procedure.
A huge part of diminishing your anxiety is distraction throughout your visit. If the whole visit to the dentist’s office makes you uncomfortable, try to isolate yourself from the parts you dislike the most. Headphones can be really effective for blocking out noise and very often they are able to play TV or movies on an adjacent screen. You can also request sunglasses to limit the amount of bright light you receive while you’re in the chair. Once you are ready to go, try to relax as much as possible. Meditation techniques are very helpful for distraction during a dental procedure. Focus on your breathing and other parts of your body. By using these techniques, your visit to the dentist will be over in no time!
Anxiety at the dentist’s office is not something to stress out about. Many people experience some kind of anxiety when going to the dentist. So when you schedule your next appointment, remember these tips! Brushee is here to help with all your dental needs!