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Dental anxiety is a common condition that affects many. Unfortunately, while widespread, this often causes men and women to delay dental care. However, neglecting one’s oral health can lead to serious problems, so overcoming this fear and attending regular dental checkups is crucial.
If you experience fear when visiting the dentist, try one or more of the following five tips to help reduce anxiety and keep your smile healthy and attractive.
1. Practice Breathing Exercises or Meditation
Relaxation techniques can be extremely beneficial in reducing anxiety during dental check-ups and procedures. Deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are all techniques that can help calm your nerves.
You can also try visualization techniques, such as imagining yourself in a relaxing environment. Practice these techniques at home before your appointment to help prepare yourself and, during your appointment, focus on them to stay as relaxed as possible.
2. Bring a Distraction
Distraction techniques can help reduce dental anxiety. Bring headphones and listen to calming music or an audiobook during your appointment. You can also use a stress ball or fidget spinner to keep your hands occupied during the procedure.
If you have a supportive friend or family member that has a calming effect on you, consider bringing them along to help keep you stay calm or distract you with conversation.
3. Undergo Hypnosis
If you have a difficult time staying calm, consider hypnosis as a way to increase your ability to relax. You don’t have to travel to Las Vegas to find a hypnotist, as many therapists employ helpful hypnosis techniques as a way to change unwanted behaviors and reduce anxiety.
These professionals can provide mental tools for you to use during times of stress that allow you to manage your anxiety and take control of your oral health.
4. Find the Right Dentist and Communicate Your Fears
Finding the right dentist is one of the most important factors in overcoming dental anxiety. Look for a dentist who is experienced in treating patients with dental anxiety and has a gentle chairside manner to help alleviate your fears.
Reading reviews or asking for recommendations from friends or family members may be beneficial. Finding a dentist who takes the time to listen to your concerns and explain procedures in detail can help build trust and reduce your anxiety.
However, communication is key, and it’s essential to express your feelings. Talk to your dentist about your fears and concerns before your appointment so they can take the necessary steps to ensure a calm, relaxing atmosphere and a supportive demeanor that will help you feel more comfortable during your visit.
5. Consider Sedation Dentistry Options
If you have severe dental anxiety, oral sedation may be the best way to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy. Dr. Fedin can discuss the use of sedation dentistry to determine if it meets your needs.
Sedation can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable during procedures, making it easier to receive dental care.
Don’t Let a Fear of the Dentist Ruin Your Smile
Dental anxiety can be triggered by a fear of pain, a feeling of helplessness, the appearance or sound of dental tools, and many other variables, but there are steps you can take to overcome it.
Practicing relaxation techniques, distracting yourself, finding the right dentist, communicating your fears, and considering sedation options can all help reduce anxiety and make dental visits more comfortable.
Regular dental checkups are vital to maintaining your oral health, so don’t let anxiety prevent you from seeking the care you need.
Gentle Dentistry in Chicago for Patients With Dental Anxiety
Chicago Dental Arts offers dental sedation, and Dr. Fedin is experienced with patients who have many different levels of dental anxiety.