How to Conquer Dental Anxiety and Fear of the Dentist

Dental anxiety is common, so if it’s an issue for you or your loved ones, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic notes that 12% of people in the U.S. have an extreme fear of dental work. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to reduce anxiety while visiting dentist offices.

Ask Your Dentist to Put on Music or a Movie

Music can help you relax and provide a needed distraction. You might opt for listening to a news podcast or whatever else that piques your interest as well. A movie can also keep your mind occupied and may be especially effective for kids.

Take Some Deep Breaths

Deep breathing can help calm your nerves and regulate your heartbeat, among other things. Simply take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, then let it go and repeat. Try taking deep breaths outside or in your car before going into the dental office. Then continue once you’re inside.

Consider Medications

Some medications prescribed by your doctor may help control anxiety, including at dental offices. If your case is severe, it’s wise to consider medical assistance. Not only could it help with your dental checkups, but the right medications can relieve stress elsewhere as well.

Create a Stop Signal

Clear communication goes a long way in dentist offices. If you’re experiencing pain or the anxiety is ramping up, you should communicate with your dentist or hygienist. You can work with him or her to make a clear signal, like raising your hand.

Boost Your Oral Health

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly, and using mouthwashes, among other things, can make your trip to the dentist easier. This, in turn, may help reduce anxiety. It’s smart to talk with your dentist about how you can maximize your oral health and reduce the risk of having to undergo procedures, like getting cavities filled.

Find the Right Dental Hygienists

If your current dentist is causing excessive pain or scaring your child, you may want to consider finding a new provider. Some dentists specialize in working with children and may do a better job with your kids. Also, some dentists simply have a softer touch.

Looking for dentist offices and practitioners that are great with kids and have a soft touch? Contact us right away at Bright Side Dental. We’ll be happy to help make you and your family as comfortable as possible.

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