22 Jul How to Handle Your Fear of the Dentist
If you’re afraid of going to the dentist, you’re not alone. It’s a common fear many people have, especially if they need work done for a dental problem. However, it’s important to find ways to manage this fear, so that you get the routine care you need to keep your teeth and mouth clean and healthy. Keep these tips in mind for coping with your fear of going to the dentist.
The Importance of Managing Fear
When you’re afraid of visiting your local dentist in Mesa, you could be putting your oral health at risk. Delaying professional dental care or avoiding it means you might not get treatment you need for dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum inflammation. Without treatment, especially during the early stages, these can lead to more severe problems that require extensive dental work later.
Routine care is also important for keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. This involves having regular cleanings done to remove plaque. When you put off these visits, you’re making it possible for plaque to build up on your teeth, increasing the risk of decay.
Ways to Manage Dental Anxiety
What should you do if your fear of the dentist keeps you from getting routine cleanings or other dental care? There are different approaches you can take toward managing how you feel. Keep in mind that you might need to use more than one approach, especially if you have severe dental anxiety.
Talk About Your Fear
Keeping your fear to yourself can make you more nervous about going to the dentist. Discuss your anxiety with someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or your doctor. These individuals can listen to your concerns and provide you with advice on how to handle it. Talk to the dentist about your anxiety as well. They can put you at ease about what to expect from your appointment, reassure you, and answer your questions.
Bring Someone with You
Whether you’re nervous about a cleaning or a dental procedure, ask a family member or friend to go with you to your appointment. They might not be able to go into the exam room with you, but they can sit with you in the waiting room and help you stay calm. Avoid talking to them about your visit before you see the dentist if this makes you feel even more anxious about it.
Taking your mind off of your dental visit instead of dwelling on it can help you feel calmer before your visit and even during it. When you’re focused on your visit, you fear can grow and become worse, making it harder for you to relax. Bring a book to read in the waiting room, or ask if you can wear earbuds and listen to music during your exam or procedure. If you’re bringing a nervous child to the dentist, bring activity books as a form of distraction.
Practice Calming Techniques
There are several ways to manage anxiety about dental visits with relaxation techniques. You can practice these techniques at home before your visit and while you’re at the dentist’s office. Some options that are easy to do include:
- Deep breathing, which involves breathing in slowly over and over again in order to calm your nerves.
- Guided imagery, which involves visualizing a place or situation that makes you feel calm and safe.
- Mindfulness meditation, which involves staying focused on breathing and keeping your mind focused on the present.
When you have severe anxiety about the dentist or when other coping methods aren’t doing enough, dental sedation can help you feel more at ease. Sedation can be done in different ways, including taking medication that reduces anxiety. When you take this medication, you can expect to feel more comfortable during your appointment. Your dentist can discuss different sedation methods and help you find the right one to use for your visit.
If you’re feeling anxious about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. At Dental Brothers, we work hard to put patients at ease, help them overcome their fears, and make sure they have a calm, relaxing experience. We offer sedation dentistry in Mesa to help you feel more at ease about taking care of your dental health.