Relieve Your Dental Anxiety!
Without a doubt, you or someone you know has, at the least, been nervous at the dentist. Is it possible to relieve your dental anxiety? Yes! The following 3 steps have proven to be very helpful for those with dental anxiety.
Talk it out
Don’t we all feel better after we have talked out our problems? The same technique can be used at the dental office!
- When you book your appointment, let the receptionist know you are nervous. When you arrive, remind the dental staff, including the dentist, of your anxiety. You may even find it helpful to explain why you are nervous, such as negative past experiences at the dentist’s.
- Ask questions so you know what to expect.
- Most dentists ask you to give them a signal to stop, for example, raising your left hand. Feeling like you have a measure of control in the matter is a stress reliever.
- Do not be afraid to speak up if you have pain! Some feel bad for interrupting the dentist or for their low pain tolerance. However, the dentist knows everyone is different and wants to make you as comfortable as possible.
It may seem pretty difficult to take your mind off of how nervous you are. Despite this, try one of the following to relieve your dental anxiety.
- Wear headphones and play your favorite songs or podcast. This is especially helpful for those who are especially upset by the sound of the dentist’s drill.
- Occupy your hands with a stress ball of something similar.
- Go to your happy place and imagine yourself there.
Mindfulness techniques are great because they relax your mind.
- Breathe deeply and hold it for 5 seconds. Do this multiple times in the waiting room or during breaks in your appointment.
- Focus your mind on relaxing each part of your body. For example start by releasing the tension in your eyebrows, neck, shoulders, and so on.
Use one or more of these techniques to relieve your dental anxiety. As with all techniques, while one may work for one person, the same may not work for another. Be open to experimenting with each of these!