Top Tips to Tackle Your Dental Anxiety to Keep Your Smile Healthy!

By Date posted: Last updated: October 6, 2022
how to get rid of dental anxiety

Mortified of being in the dental chair? You are not alone. Research shows that as many as 36 percent of people worry before a dental appointment & There are many who go to the length of avoiding regular checkups, giving in to their fear of the dental chair.

Reason Behind Your Dental Anxiety

Come to think of it, there are several reasons why you might fear visiting the dentist. Some of these could include:

  • A past hurtful experience that has left a mark on your psyche. Odds are it could be attributed to your childhood
  • Fear of pain
  • Fear of dental tools, machines and sounds
  • Loss of control. Many feel trapped while they are on the chair & have the dentist working inside their mouth.
  • Embarrassment, especially if you think your oral hygiene isn’t up to the mark.

Effects of Avoiding Dental Appointments

No matter where your fear stems from, the fact is that if it comes in the way of dental appointments, it can have an adverse effect not just on your oral health but also your overall health. Some of the ill effects of avoiding dental appointments can include:

  • Cavities
  • Plaque & Tartar
  • Gum disease
  • Infection
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of teeth

In addition, if oral issues aren’t addressed early, there is a possibility that the infection in the gums can spread through the bloodstream to other organs. In fact, gum disease is known to affect the heart, cause infection in the lungs, lead to osteoporosis, arthritis & more.

Let all of this, however, not add to your dental anxiety. In fact, here are enough & more tips to fight that anxiety & ensure that your teeth get the attention that they deserve.

Tips to Fight Dental Anxiety

#1. Find the Right Dentist

First things first, look for a dentist who is empathetic & works well with patients suffering from dental anxiety. Schedule a visit to get a feel for the place. Also, meet the dentist in person to see how you feel & if he helps allay your fears. In fact, be vocal about your apprehensions & see if the dentist comes up with a plan suited to your needs. Do not hesitate in asking any questions that may come to your mind. You will also benefit from meeting the staff & see for yourself how receptive they are to your needs. Overall, once you find the atmosphere of the dental office to not be intimidating or judgmental that will give you the much-needed confidence.

#2. Use Distraction to Your Advantage

It will help to listen to some soothing music on your earphones as you wait for your appointment. Alternately watching your favorite show or carrying your favorite read can also do the trick.

#3. Go with a Friend or Relative

It will work well to go for your first dental appointment with a trusted friend or relative. It will be comforting to know that someone is waiting for you as you step out of the procedure. Ensure that the person you take with you, does not suffer from dental anxiety himself to be able to offer you support.

#4. Ensure That You Have Time to Acclimatize

It will work well to arrive with some time at hand to acclimatize yourself with the place. However, do not arrive too soon as that could lead to your imagination running wild as you see other patients enter the dentist’s chamber. Pro tip- As far as possible keep your appointment for the morning hours. That way you will not spend the entire day dwelling on your appointment. Remember what gets your focus, grows. Ensure, therefore, that your focus isn’t on your fears.

#5. Use Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques such as meditation or controlled breathing can go a long way in handling stresses & strains of life effectively & dental appointments are no exception. The relaxation techniques that you practice can go a long way in calming you during the dental procedure. Visualization techniques can also come in quite handy. Imagining a calm & peaceful place will help you get through the procedure without any hitches.

#6 Ask Your Dentist for Appropriate Sedation Options

It will help to discuss possible sedation options with your dentist in advance. This will give you the confidence to go through the procedure. Your dentist will be in the best position to advice which sedation option- local anesthetic, nitrous oxide or oral or IV sedation will work for you. Armed with the information that you will be sedated you can put your fears to rest.

#7. Reward Yourself

Having gone through the first appointment successfully, remember to celebrate your win & to reward yourself. Not only do you deserve the reward, it will also go a long way in associating dental visits with positive happenings as opposed to any hurtful associations that you may have built in the past.

To Sum Up

These seemingly small tips can go a long way in allaying your fears & get you that much-needed oral treatment & keep you in good overall health. To add to these reasons to work on your fears, it will also help to know that research has shown that children with parents who have dental anxiety are twice as prone to it themselves. Working on your own fears is therefore likely to have far-reaching benefits.

At Dental oasis, family dentistry, we take care of you during dental treatment so you don’t feel anxious. If you want to know about anxiety-free dental procedures just schedule a dental appointment now.

Here’s to conquering your fears & to good health!