Dental hygiene is highly important. What about dental fear or anxiety? Well, that is something that needs to be tackled head-on. Let’s get right into the ways you can beat dental anxiety.
Begin by admitting it’s a problem
Most often when people have to go to the dentist, they make excuses to others and themselves about why they don’t want to go. Particularly common excuses are no time, no money, no holidays, not fond of their dentist, etc. But just like anything else, the solution can only be found when you admit that there is a problem. Try to pinpoint where your fear originated from – needles, injections, worry that you won’t be able to breathe, etc. You can get over the fear once you know what is causing it.
Find a good dentist that you want to visit
Find a good dentist that you are comfortable with and also get recommendations from friends.
Communicate your fears and anxiety
A good foundation for any kind of relationship is communication. Even in the initial stages, just as you are making an appointment, be vocal about your fear, apprehension or anxiety. The dentist then has an idea and can formulate an action plan best suited to cater to your needs. Things like hand signals for instance, for when you feel uncomfortable or when you want to take a break can be employed.
Familiarise yourself with the tools
A tray filled with unfamiliar looking tools that are sharp, pointed and oddly shaped can give you jitters. Arrange to have a meet and greet with the tools, find out what each one does and maybe even hold them. This will help ease how intimidated you are.
In order to ease you into the process, you need to request your dentist to give you ample breaks in-between. When you feel you need to compose yourself, ask for a break.
Take a companion along
Taking someone you trust one who isn’t afraid of the dentist, to sit with you at the time of the examination/procedure will make you feel more at ease. Plus, that person can help you get through the situation by speaking for you and making sure you are in control always.
Different situations cause discomfort to different people. Some might find that sitting in a reclined position makes them uncomfortable, at such a time you can ask to be seated upright or in a position which makes you feel comfortable. Similarly, people afraid of needles might want a topical anaesthetic before the procedure – feel free to ask for it. Be open and frank and find a solution to your discomfort by conversing with the dentist.
The sound of the drill or suction tubes can scare you and leave you unnerved. Reduce or eliminate the noise by wearing headphones or earplugs, you can even listen to music. Sometimes there even might be a TV in the dental room, make full use of it! These small distractions can turn your attention away from what’s actually making you feel unsettled.
Try relaxation techniques
Meditation, controlled breathing, visualizations, prayer and such techniques can actually make a huge difference and aid in relaxation. Take a deep breath, hold it in for a few seconds and then let it out slowly – this is a way to slow your heartbeat and keep you relaxed.
Take care of your teeth
Keep this in mind if you want to overcome dental anxiety! Most often, you’d think that people who are scared of the dentist work doubly hard on their oral hygiene so that they can avoid the dentist, but this isn’t the case. If you eat well, brush regularly, floss often then your next dental visit will not be nearly as scary as you think.
Keep in mind
As compared to a few years ago, dental treatments these days are far more advanced. As a matter of fact, there are methods to perform a procedure with as nominal pain as possible – right from administering anaesthesia all the way till surgery. Moreover, most dentists are more aware of the anxiety, fear and apprehensions that people have so they strive to provide a reassuring and comfortable environment for patents.
A visit to the dentist is not as dreadful as you imagine. You need to keep your oral health in check. Keep these tips in mind if you are one who is trying to overcome your fear, apprehension or anxiety.