16 Jun 8 Natural Remedies to Help Ease Dental Anxiety
When you have dental anxiety, your nervousness might cause you to delay or avoid professional dental care. Since this can lead to a higher risk of serious dental problems, it’s important to find ways to ease your fears. There are several natural ways to manage your anxiety, so you can get the dental care you need.
Try any of these natural remedies before your next dental appointment.
Practicing deep breathing can be an effective way to manage dental anxiety in the waiting room and in the dentist’s chair. When you breathe deeply, your breath should come from your diaphragm rather than your chest. Using this breathing technique helps lower your blood pressure. You may also reduce the symptoms of stress that lead to dental anxiety. To practice deep breathing at the dentist’s office, take a slow, deep breath through your nose, then slowly let that breath out through your mouth. Repeat slowly as needed until you feel calm.
Meditation is another relaxation activity you can do before your appointment or during your dental procedure. Meditating helps activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system. This helps you feel more relaxed and less stressed. You can do a simple meditation by closing your eyes and focusing on a certain mantra or concentrating on your breathing. If you prefer, you can keep your eyes open during meditation and focus on a single object. Keep in mind that practicing meditation on a regular basis will make it easier to do at the dentist’s office.
Mindfulness can effectively help reduce dental anxiety right before your appointment begins or during your visit. When you practice mindfulness, you focus on the present instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on past events. You also sit with your thoughts and feelings without labeling them bad or good. Mindfulness can distract you from feeling anxious about your dental visit. It also provides you with a more objective way of thinking about your appointment. Combine mindfulness with meditation or deep breathing to stay calm and relaxed during a procedure or exam.
Visualization can provide you with a feeling of control over dental anxiety, so that you’re not overwhelmed by fear. You can do this by imagining your upcoming dental appointment as a positive experience. If you begin feeling anxious while visualizing, you should pause and take a deep breath or two before continuing. Practicing visualization can help ease feelings of nervousness and fear about your dental visit. When you visualize your visit as a good experience, you build an association between your dental visit and your positive feelings and thoughts.
Music and Nature Sounds
Listening to calming music or soothing nature sounds, such as rain or ocean waves, can help you feel more relaxed before and during dental appointments. Talk to your dentist about listening to music through ear buds while using your mobile device during your appointment to help ease dental anxiety. You may use this in conjunction with other natural remedies or dental sedation as a way to stay calm.
Acupuncture involves having thin needles inserted into certain parts of your body in order to relieve symptoms of dental anxiety. This type of technique generally works more effectively for easing physical symptoms you might experience with anxiety, such as lightheadedness or nausea. Acupuncture is generally considered safe as long as an experienced and skilled practitioner does it.
Certain kinds of herbal supplements might help you feel more relaxed and improve your mental focus before dental appointments. However, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any kind of herbal supplement. Your doctor can help you find safe supplements that will not interact negatively with any other medications you may take.
Some scents, such as lavender and citrus, are associated with feelings of calmness, which can help relieve dental anxiety. Using scent and aroma to help reduce anxiety is a common practice. Many people use essential oils in a variety of different techniques. The FDA does not regulate essential oils, so do your research before purchasing or using essential oils for aromatherapy.
If you struggle with dental anxiety, contact us before your next appointment. We will walk you through the procedure so you know what to expect and do our best to help you feel comfortable. Our dentists in Phoenix offer dental sedation to help minimize your anxiety during dental visits, including dental procedures and routine dental cleanings and exams.