Do you get nervous whenever you have to visit the dentist? If so, you’re not alone. We have many patients just like you who get anxious right before their appointment. Some people even become frightened enough to skip out on their appointment altogether. But delaying a visit will only put you at further risk of developing dental related issues like gum disease. If you’re a nervous patient, here are five coping strategies that can help ease your anxiety and make your next visit a whole lot easier.
Distract Yourself While Waiting
Does sitting in the waiting room increase your anxiety? If so, it’s important to do something that will take your mind off your appointment while you’re waiting. We recommend distracting your mind with a book or by listening to soothing music on your smartphone. Our dental office plays movies or TV shows in the patient lounge that can help put you more at ease. We also have a snack and beverage station that our patients are welcome to use for free.
Try Deep Breathing Exercises
As soon as you sit down in the dental chair try some deep breathing exercises to help you relax even further. Taking slow controlled breaths will slow down your heart rate and signal to your brain that it’s time to calm down. As you exhale, focus on relaxing all of the muscles in your body. Start with releasing the tension in your forehead and work all the way down to your toes until your entire body is in a relaxed and comfortable state.
Dental anxieties are often caused by a fear of the unknown as well as feelings of vulnerability when in the chair. If you start to feel nervous, simply ask your dentist to explain what will happen during the procedure. The more you know about all the steps involved, the more in control you will feel and the more likely your uneasiness will dissipate.
Let Your Dentist Know
If you have any fears or sensitivities, let the dental team know about it. Your dentist will help find a coping technique that will make your experience more enjoyable. There are also many tools and methods today to help assist patients, including sedation dentistry or anxiety-relieving medication.
Try Visualization Techniques
During the procedure, try visualizing positive experiences like a recent vacation you enjoyed or plan to take. Picturing yourself on the beach or with loved ones can help ease your mind and prevent anxiety from creeping in.
If fear is preventing you from visiting the dentist, contact us at Yazdani Family Dentistry. Our team will set up an appointment to discuss your concerns and help you find a coping strategy that will work for you!