4 Tips to Deal with Dental Anxiety

dental anxiety Coral Gables, FL

People who feel dental anxiety, discomfort, or fear about even the idea of visiting the dentist may have a difficult time managing oral health. Fortunately, there are things that people can do to lead to a more pleasant experience at the next appointment. 

Anxiety-reducing strategies

Skipping a dental appointment because of anxiety can impact someone's oral health. These tips can help patients deal with dental anxiety so that they can do what is needed to take care of their teeth. 

1. Take charge

Patients who feel in control of ongoing dental procedures are less likely to feel anxious about the unknown. When scheduling a visit with the dentist, patients should ask for a clear explanation of what will be taking place and what to expect. Patients can let the dental staff know about any anxiety about the visit and how it is important that they have complete say over when a break is required or if the procedure needs to be stopped altogether. Requesting specific dentists, hygienists, or assistants is another way that a patient may feel in charge of the dental care plan. 

2. Bring along someone trusted

If the thought of trying to understand what dental procedures would be beneficial or how the procedures will be carried out is too overwhelming for a patient, it can help to bring a trusted person along to the appointment. A family member or friend can help the patient feel less anxious and overwhelmed just knowing that someone else is watching out and helping with making big decisions. 

3. Seek distraction

A great way to keep a patient's mind off of things that may cause anxiety at the dentist's office is by having a distraction. These can include things such as a show to watch, a podcast or music to listen to, or even a hand or foot massage. Most dentist offices are equipped with a variety of things that can distract patients and keep their minds off of typical dental care procedures.

4. Try relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques are an effective way of slowing down a patient's heart rate and relaxing the muscles for a more comfortable experience in the dentist's chair. Slow and controlled breathing involves taking in a deep breath, holding it in, and then slowly releasing it like air that is escaping from a tire. Another technique involves tightening and then relaxing various muscle groups from the feet to the head. It may also be helpful for a patient to envision being in a different location other than a dentist's chair, such as laying out in the sun on a sandy beach or floating on a cloud. These techniques can help release tension and reduce dental anxiety.

Conclusion

Going to the dentist does not have to be a scary and unbearable experience. Anxiety-reducing techniques can help patients feel calm, relaxed, and in control of what a dental professional is doing inside of their mouth. 

Request an appointment here: https://www.gablesexceptionaldentistry.com or call Gables Exceptional Dentistry at (305) 203-4132 for an appointment in our Coral Gables office.

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