Going to the dentist is an unavoidable part of life if you want to keep up with your oral health. Most people can benefit from going every six months, but you may put off a trip to the dental chair if you have anxiety surrounding the dentist and what comes next. Dental phobia is a real thing that can keep you from getting the treatments you need.
How can you overcome your fear of the dentist altogether? These top tips will kick your dental fears to the curb!
Dental anxiety often surfaces when you have to focus on what is going on within your mouth during the appointment. You see all of those tools, and you simply panic. Instead of trying to keep your mind occupied with what a dental visit could mean, distract yourself instead.
You could visit a dentist with televisions in the patient rooms to take your mind off things or watch Netflix from your phone. Ask your dental hygienist if they mind if you wear earbuds and listen to calming music. Most won't mind if it keeps you calm and helps you manage your dental treatment with less anxiety.
You might even consider bringing a weighted blanket or comfort item with you to hold onto while your dentist works.
Bring a Support Person
Do you have a great friend or partner that always makes you laugh? It might be time to bring them along with you to your next dental appointment. They can talk you through the process and make jokes that will lighten the mood. If you don't have someone you can take with you, you can ask the hygienist to keep up a running commentary.
Many people will be grateful for a chance to help you with your dental health and will feel honoured that you trust them while in a vulnerable state.
Practise Meditation and Relaxation Techniques
If you have a general anxiety disorder, you likely already know some tips and tricks for managing your fear. Meditation is a great way to make dental visits more tolerable. Simply experience the feeling within your body and let that discomfort or panic float away like a bubble in the breeze.
You can also participate in relaxation exercises like progressive relaxation. Starting at your feet, you slowly relax one body part at a time until you reach the crown of your head. This is something you can do on your own inside of your mind or via a guided meditation on your phone.
Getting Comfortable at the Dental Office
Of course, one of the best ways to conquer dental fear is simply to put yourself in the chair for your recommended visits. At East Kildonan Dental Group, we want to do what we can to minimize severe dental anxiety. Let us know how our dentists in Winnipeg can help you with your dental care and minimize your anxiety in our dental clinic.