Ever get nervous just thinking about going to the dentist? You’re not alone – millions of people experience dental anxiety. Some are scared the visit might hurt. Others are nervous that it’s been a while since their last visit and feel uncertain about what the dentist may find. No matter the reason, it’s important not to let dental anxiety jeopardize your oral health. The more you put off going, the higher the risk of developing dental problems. Indeed, regular dentist visits makes the entire process easier.
Use these strategies to help ease your anxiety and boost your smile:
Deep breathing can do wonders to relax our minds. The next time you’re feeling anxious in the dentist’s chair, try breathing in for four counts, hold for seven, then breathe out for eight seconds. As you meditate, focus on being in the present. If fearful thoughts about your dentist visit crop up, gently redirect your attention to your breath. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way home.
Dental anxiety is incredibly common. Your dentist and the entire dental team understand this issue and are better able to treat you in they know your needs. Sharing your feelings can make a world of difference. If you’re tense, consider sharing your feelings. Explain any bad experiences you may have had in the past, and ask for suggestions on coping strategies.
It may seem impossible to take your mind off your dental exam entirely, but distractions can help. If you’re prone to dental anxiety, consider bringing a pair of headphones to your appointment. You can also bring a fidget toy to occupy your hands during stressful moments. A body scan may be useful – spend some time thinking about relaxing each muscle from your forehead to your toes.
Relaxation starts in the mind. So long as you have a few strategies in place before your appointment, you’ll cruise through your exam and be on your way. If it’s been a while since your last visit, don’t be afraid to schedule a check-up. Whatever worst case scenario you might be imagining, the reality is far less scary!