Going to the dentist isn’t usually thought of as a fun experience. Neither is tooth pain, but the fear of dentist appointments keeps many people from regular dental care. Studies show that 85% of Americans believe that oral health is very important to their overall health but 42% don’t see a dentist as often as they would like.
Among many factors that can affect someone’s access to dental care, fear of sitting for a dental procedure is a very common barrier preventing people from treatment. Thankfully, dentists are trained to know how to treat fearful patients and children. Our ultimate goal is to have you walk out with a smile.
Here are 5 ways you can fight dental anxiety today:
Voice Your Concerns
Whatever you are worried about when going into your appointment, talk to your dentist about it. We will gladly listen to your concerns and answer any questions you may have. Ultimately, we can ease your fears surrounding a cleaning or procedure.
Bringing someone you trust and who comforts you to a dentist appointment can help calm your nerves by offering feelings of familiarity and safety. Holding or squeezing their hand or having them talk to you while you’re in the chair is a great grounding tool for fearful patients, especially children.
Utilize Mindfulness Techniques
Before going into your appointment, practice deep breathing. Count the seconds as you inhale slowly and then exhale for the same number. Do a mental body scan and focus on relaxing your muscles. Start with your toes and feet, releasing tension one muscle and body part at a time until you reach your forehead. These techniques can be done before and during your visit.
Bring headphones and listen to music, podcasts, or an audiobook while you’re in the chair. Canceling out the noises of the dentist’s office can ease anxiety. Bring a stress ball or fidget spinner to hold onto. The more you think about other things, the faster the visit will go by.
Talk to your dentist about any worries you may have about experiencing discomfort or pain during your procedure. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can be careful of that during the cleaning or procedure. If you are worried about the dental injections before a procedure, ask your dentist about using a topical anesthetic to numb the area before they inject.
At Abra Health, our friendly staff is specially trained to help with fearful patients and children so that you can have the best dental experience possible. Your health and comfort are our priority. Whether it’s your first visit or a regular oral exam, we will make your appointment easy, convenient, and as painless as possible. Schedule an appointment online today.