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When it comes to visiting the dentist, the majority of us go once or twice a year without question. Even when we forget, you need to breathe easy, schedule your appointment, and let your dentist lead the way. However, for those of us who become too nervous even to pick up the phone to make the appointment, the anxiety surrounding dental visits can be debilitating. This fear keeps you from maintaining your oral hygiene and can harm your overall whole-body health. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can keep in mind to help fight your nerves about the dentist and take control of your dental health.
After you’ve managed to schedule your dental examination, you have already made the first step forward. However, when you get to the dental office, you can choose to distract yourself as a way of treating the anxiety you feel toward the dentist. Take your mind off the dental exam by wearing headphones if the sounds are bothering you, such as the drilling. Choose calming music or an audiobook – anything that will take your mind away from this stressful situation. If your dentist’s office has a television, you can focus on a film or TV if you are unable to use headphones. Some people simply close their eyes and find themselves in their happy place. The most crucial aspect of distracting yourself is doing it your way.
In the dental chair, practice your mindfulness techniques. If you are good at relaxing yourself in any other situation, you can bring this into the dental office. Although it can be challenging to do with dental instruments or hands in your mouth, you may choose to try deep breathing exercises to release tension. Anxiety from dental visits lends itself to building up in your muscles, and breathing exercises will help your body relax during the visit. If you are not sure about how to breathe slowly at the moment, count your breaths in your mind. Inhale slowly and exhale for the same amount of breaths. Do this before your appointment as well because it will help you prepare.
Share your anxiety with your dentist
When you have severe anxiety regarding dental visits, you should remain communicative about these fears with your dentist. If they dismiss your stress, they are not the dental team for you. When breathing exercises and audiobooks are not doing you much good, a trustworthy and reliable dentist, such as the experienced and compassionate team at Soundview Dental in Edmonds, will help you plan your visits with care. With each appointment, remind your dentist about your anxiety. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the procedures for which you are booked, and if you need a break, do not hesitate to let the dentist and their team know. Stay honest and open, and don’t settle or make yourself uncomfortable.
Visiting the dentist can be an uncomfortable experience for many people, but for some, it causes so much severe anxiety that you no longer want to take care of yourself. However, you must visit the dentist at least once a year, getting over your anxiety means taking back your oral health. Speak honestly with your dentist about your fears so that you can finally feel comfortable at the dentist.