Dental anxiety: millions of Americans have it, but it becomes a real problem when it keeps patients from getting the dental care they need. Unlike other medical issues that can get better with time, oral health problems will only grow worse. That’s why you should do everything you can to maintain regular dental visits even if you’re afraid. Thankfully, there are 5 easy ways you can overcome your dental anxiety. Read on to learn how to enjoy your dental visits.
#1. Talk About How You’re Feeling
You may be reluctant to share how you feel—who wants to let others know they’re vulnerable and scared? However, if you let the dental staff know what’s going on, it’s much more likely that they will make additional accommodations to ensure you feel comfortable and cared for. Nobody can read your mind so it’s up to you to express your feelings.
#2. Listen to Relaxing Music
One of the main causes of dental anxiety is the different sounds that can be heard throughout appointments. Whether it’s dental instruments, or just a phone ringing, playing some of your favorite music can drown out the scary noises. Better yet, the right music can help you relax and enjoy your dental visit.
#3. Use Hand Signals
For anxious patients, communication is key during appointments. However, it can be difficult to speak while your dentist is working on your mouth. That’s why it’s a good idea to develop hand signals to tell your dentist when to stop or start. Most importantly, this gives fearful patients a sense of control during their visits.
#4. Pay Attention to Your Breathing
It may come as a surprise, but when you’re nervous, you probably tend to hold your breath without even knowing it. This actually ends up decreasing your oxygen levels, which increases your anxiety in the process! Before your dental appointment, practice relaxed and steady breathing. These exercises will help you feel more calm and ready for your treatment. If you concentrate on breathing, you can reduce the amount of stress that you’re feeling.
#5. Reward Yourself
Last but certainly not least, give yourself something to look forward to. Whether it’s eating your favorite meal, watching a movie, or buying yourself a new pair of sneakers, a successful dental visit deserves a reward! However, the most important part of this tip is that you only allow yourself to access the prize if you actually followed through on your dental appointment.
Are you ready to beat your dental anxiety and smile while doing it? Remember these easy yet effective tips to start enjoying dentistry.
About the Practice
At Westgate Dental Care, we have a team of 5 highly trained dentists who believe in stress-free dentistry. They offer various forms of sedation based on your needs and make sure that each of your visits are positive. If you have any questions, they can be reached through their website or by phone at (847) 577-7171.