Does the thought of going to the dentist make you sweat? Are you putting off dental treatments due to fear? Dental anxiety affects millions of people. One study found that over 60% of individuals struggle with dental fear. However, nerves should never have to stand in the way of a patient receiving critical dental care.
Routine dentistry is key to maintaining a healthy smile. Cavities don’t form overnight; they slowly develop over time. Most patients only need to go to the dentist twice a year for preventive care. However, there is a dangerous misconception that people only need to visit the dentist if they are in pain.
Many dental conditions don’t show obvious symptoms when they are first developing. Therefore, when a patient starts experiencing pain, the condition may have already caused irreversible damage and require a complex procedure to fix it. Staying up to date on preventive visits helps your dental team catch harmful oral conditions early while they are simple and affordable to treat.
If it has been over a year since your last dental exam, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. We will do everything in our power to keep you comfortable and relaxed during your visit. In the meantime, try out these simple tips to ease your nerves at your next appointment:
Talk to Your Dentist
Tell your dentist or hygienist if you are nervous about your appointment or a specific treatment. Awareness of your particular needs will allow your dental team to provide better care to you. You won’t be the first patient who has voiced concern, and your dentist may have even gathered some priceless, insider advice during their career.
It helps some patients to ask questions about their procedure. Learning about the treatment process in greater detail can alleviate fear surrounding the unknown. Additionally, ask your dentist if you can have a signal indicating that you would like to take a break during treatment, such as raising your hand.
Bring A Distraction
It might seem impossible to distract yourself while in a dental chair. However, simply wearing headphones with relaxing music, your favorite podcast, or even white noise to drain out the sounds of the dental tools can help keep you relaxed. If you prefer to hear what is going on, hold on to a stress ball to squeeze if you start feeling overwhelmed.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
The mind is powerful, and shutting off racing thoughts can feel hopeless at times. Numerous research studies indicate that deep breathing exercises are an effective tool to calm an anxious mind. There are various breathing exercises available either online or through professional guidance.
Try out this simple breathing exercise outlined below; it only takes one minute to start promoting relaxation:
- Breathe in for 4 counts
- Hold your breath for 7 counts
- Exhale for 8 counts
Dental care is essential at every stage of life. Fear should never be a barrier between you and vital dental treatments. Dentists and hygienists are here to ensure your visit is as painless and stress-free as possible. Voice any concerns you may have with us before your appointment, so we can tailor your treatments to fit your specific needs.