Overcoming Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety is a common type of anxiety, affecting an estimated 9-15% of the population. It can manifest as a fear of dental procedures, the dentist themselves, or the equipment used. For some people, it may be a combination of all three.
Dental anxiety can have a significant impact on your oral health. If you’re avoiding the dentist out of fear, you’re more likely to develop dental problems that could have been easily prevented with regular check-ups and cleanings. Additionally, your anxiety may make it difficult to sit through dental procedures, which can lengthen appointments.
There are a number of ways to overcome dental anxiety before your next visit to the dentist. It’s important to understand that you’re not alone. Many people experience dental anxiety, and there are ways to manage it.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from dental anxiety, you’re not alone. But don’t let your fear of the dentist keep you from getting the care you need. Here are some tips to help you overcome your dental anxiety before your next visit:
- Talk to your dentist about your anxiety. They can help you understand what to expect and how to best cope with your fear. If you cannot talk with your current dentist, find a dentist you feel comfortable with. This may be someone who takes the time to explain procedures, has a gentle touch, or offers sedation options.
If you’re not able to find a new dentist, there are still things you can do to make your visits more comfortable. For example, you can bring headphones to listen to music during your appointment or let the dentist know if you’re feeling particularly anxious about a certain procedure.
- Bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment. Having someone you trust by your side can help ease your anxiety.
- Distract yourself during the appointment. Bring a book or magazine to read or listen to music on your headphones.
- Focus on your breathing. Taking slow, deep breaths can help you relax during your appointment.
- Use relaxation techniques. Visualize yourself in a calm, happy place or try progressive muscle relaxation. Some people find that relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, can help to reduce dental anxiety. If you’re interested in trying this, several resources are available online or through your local library.
With these tips, you can face your next dental appointment with confidence. Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from getting the care you need.