More than 75% of adults experience dental anxiety. Many children experience fear of the dentist as well. What causes these fears?
It could be fear of the unknown. You’re not sure what to expect from your appointment. You could be anticipating high amounts of pain, which helps stem fear as well.
Although visiting the dentist might be a scary thought for some, it’s important to note that seeing a dentist on a regular basis is essential for proper oral hygiene. To ensure the cleanliness and good health of your teeth and gums, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your dentist at least twice a year. How can you make sure you visit your local dentist without suffering from dental fear?
There are several ways to rid yourself of dental anxiety and visit your dentist with ease! Continue reading the guide below to learn more about reducing your and your entire family’s anxiety about the dentist.
Communicate With the Dentist
You know you suffer from dental anxiety, but take a few minutes to sit down and uncover the root of your anxiety. What’s causing you to fear the dentist so much? What are some things that concern you?
Take a few notes and then communicate with your dentist about your anxiety. Explain your concerns to them and allow them to come up with a treatment plan that’s best for you. Once your dentist knows you’re having anxiety, they can then help you with some coping strategies.
A good dentist, like those at https://www.boisedentist.com/, might also come up with a hand signal for you to use that tells them you need a break. You and your dentist can work together to ensure your visit is as relaxing as possible.
Schedule Morning Appointments
When the time comes to schedule a dentist appointment, try to schedule it during the morning hours. Go into work late or take the children to school a bit late to get the dentist appointment done and over with. If you or your children suffer from extreme dental anxiety, then waiting until the afternoon could make it worse.
If you schedule during the morning, then you can get it over with early in the day instead of spending the entire day worrying about your appointment in the afternoon. Once the appointment is done, you won’t have anything else to worry about for the rest of the day.
Ask to Bring Someone With You
Having someone there with you at the appointment can make you feel more comfortable and more at ease. Adults shouldn’t feel hesitant to bring someone along with them. This is a common way to help reduce fear of the dentist.
Bring someone with you who you trust and who can reassure you along the way. Most dental rooms will have chairs along one wall for guests to sit in.
Allow Children to Bring a Comfort Item
When scheduling a dentist appointment for your child, allow them to bring a comfort item of their own. You’ll already be there as their comfort person, but a child might also feel more at ease if they can bring a favorite blanket or stuffed toy as well. Most dentists will have no problem allowing your child to keep this comfort item with them during the entire length of their visit.
Thankfully, most children’s dentists will also have rooms with televisions in them to help distract the little ones during the appointment. You can also contact the dentist in advance and ask about different coping strategies for children also.
Bring Headphones and a Device
Whether you’re planning a dentist appointment for yourself or your child, if anxiety is involved, then it’s best to bring a distraction along with you. One great way to mentally escape from the dentist’s office is to put your headphones on and plug in your device. You can listen to music on your cell phone or even watch a movie.
If you have a portable DVD player or a tablet with movies on it, then be sure to let your child bring it with them. Don’t forget the headphones as these can help drown out the noises coming from the different dental tools.
Stay Mindful During the Visit
Practicing mindfulness during your appointment can help you relax your mind and ease your anxiety. To do this, you’ll want to try a few deep breathing techniques. Take a deep breath in, hold, and then release.
As you do this, you can count your breaths. You should also pay close attention to how the air feels as it passes through your nose and fills your lungs. Notice how it feels as it leaves your lungs and passes back out through your nostrils as well.
Then, focus your attention on your body. Conduct a full-body scan by noticing how each part of your body feels. Start at the neck and work your way down, gradually relaxing each muscle you pass over.
This will help get your mind off of what’s going on.
Stop Letting Dental Anxiety Control You
You know you have a fear of the dentist, but now it’s time to stop letting dental anxiety take control of you. You can visit your dentist for regular visits without needing to fill your mind with worry when you follow these helpful tips listed above. Use these tips to reduce dental anxiety in both you and your children.
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