Do you remember being a child and hopping into the car with the promise of a trip to an exciting, new place, only to end up at the dentist? If you were a casualty of these strange parenting tactics, you might now have a fear of the dentist.
However, you can rest assured that you're not alone. Over 35 percent of people struggle with dental anxiety, and another 12 percent experience extreme fear. Dental visits are crucial for your health, and, fortunately, there are ways to manage your fear.
If you want to know how to deal with anxiety at the dentist, we've got some ways that you can overcome your fear.
Keep reading to learn how to manage anxiety at the dentist and where to find the best dentist near you.
1. Talk to Your Dentist
Having dental anxiety can get in the way of your oral care. If you're not making regular trips to the dentist because you're afraid, chances are you aren't getting the dental care that you need.
Talk to your dentist about how you're feeling. Your dentist has more than likely experienced all types of patients and has performed every procedure numerous times. Getting to know your dentist will also allow you to develop a certain level of trust for them.
The best sedation dentist in North Little Rock can put you at ease and talk you through your anxiety.
2. Prepare Before the Appointment
If you know you have anxiety at the dentist, plan ahead. Book your appointment so that you have time to mentally prepare yourself.
Scheduling an appointment in between meetings or a busy workday might create more stress and anxiety around the appointment. Be sure to have a relaxing morning, calmly move through your morning routine, and have plans afterward to treat yourself. You can plan for an afternoon of lounging at home or even treating yourself to your favorite soup to soothe your mouth.
However, watch your food and drink intake before the appointment. Avoid caffeinated drinks that can add to your anxiety. Instead, opt for a soothing herbal tea.
3. Practice Mindfulness and Breathing Techniques
Mindfulness techniques are a great way to help you stay relaxed through just about anything.
There are many different meditation methods that can help you calm your heart rate, lower your stress level, and manage your anxiety. Positive self-talk is an effective method, as well as breathing.
When you are feeling stressed, your breathing is restricted, your chest tightens, and your mind begins to race. With breathing exercises, you can help release tension, lower your blood pressure, and stay grounded in the present moment.
Try a few of these techniques to see what works for you. You can practice these before your visit to calm your nerves and prepare you for the visit. You can also use these techniques at any point during your appointment.
4. Listen to Calming Music
Listening to calming music is a great way to alleviate anxiety at the dentist.
You can search for a playlist or a soothing melody that works for you. This can be waterfalls, nature sounds, or animals. It can even be your favorite podcast. This will be personal to you and what makes you feel the most at ease.
Talk to your dentist beforehand and let them know that you will be using earphones for this purpose. The dentist might still need to communicate the procedure with you. You want to ensure that you know what to expect while it happens, but still have the soothing music in your ears.
5. Make Regular Visits
If you're scared of the dentist, you're likely not jumping at the chance to schedule an appointment. You prolong, delay, and cancel appointments for just about any reason.
However, with regular visits, you will become desensitized to the process. You will get to know the staff, the office, and what to expect from a procedure. Each time you visit, you will have less and less anxiety surrounding the appointment.
A well-trained dentist for patients with anxiety will help reduce fear and encourage them to make more frequent visits.
This will not only help with your dental fear but will also ensure that you stay on top of your dental health.
6. Ask Your Dentist to Communicate With You
One way that you can relieve some of your anxiety around the dentist is by having the dentist talk you through the process. With this technique, the doctor will explain each step of the procedure as they are doing it. That way, there are no surprises, and you know what to expect.
A special dentist for nervous patients can tell you where they will touch, what you might feel, and when you might feel some pain. Dentists say that this has a calming effect on most patients, even if they aren't afraid.
The right dentist can put you at ease through the process and help you feel more confident during the procedure.
7. Consider Sedation
If you're undergoing a complicated procedure, you might ask the dentist for sedation. This is an option for patients who have extreme anxiety and have extensive dental work that needs to be done.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is commonly used to help calm anxious patients. Depending on the type of procedure, your dentist might choose a stronger sedative.
Approaching the dentist with fear can prevent you from getting the dental care that you need. Ask about sedation dentistry in North Little Rock to help you through your next visit to the dentist.
Tips on How To Deal With Anxiety at the Dentist
Being afraid of the dentist is a common fear; however, appointments with the dentist are necessary to maintain your oral health. If you want to know how to deal with anxiety at the dentist, these methods can help you. Remember to talk to your dentist, prepare yourself before the appointment, practice breathing and meditation, listen to calming music, make regular appointments, and ask about getting sedated for your procedure.
Visit our website to request an appointment at the Dean Dental Solutions office with the best dentist in North Little Rock, Arkansas for anxiety.