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Nervous About Going to the Dentist?

Published on June 29th, 2017

If you have ever gotten a little anxious about going to the dentist, you are not the only one. Many people get nervous before going into a dental appointment, whether they are scared it is going to hurt, nervous about what the dentist will find because they haven’t had a tooth check up in a while, or maybe they’ve had a negative experience in the past. No matter the reason, your dental team will take care of both your emotional and dental needs. The longer you avoid the dentist, the more likely you are to acquire dental problems and make your future appointments more difficult. To help cope with your dental anxiety, here are a few strategies that the American Dental Association has come up with that you may consider:

Explain How You’re Feeling

The best way to relieve some of your anxiety is to speak up and tell your dentist how you are feeling and what you are nervous about. It may be helpful to share any bad dental experiences you have had in the past or ask your dentist any questions you may be curious about with regards to your teeth and oral exam. If you have a low pain tolerance or experience any pain during the exam, don’t be afraid to let your dentist know. Feel free to ask your dentist about any coping strategies they suggest as well.

Create Distractions

To take your mind off of being at the dentist, bring something to distract yourself during the oral exam. If the sounds of the dental tools freak you out, bring headphones to listen to some music or a podcast to drown out the noise. You could also bring a stress ball, fidget spinner, or something similar to play with while the dental hygienist or dentist are working on your teeth. If you forget to bring something from home, make up a distraction of your own by figuring out how many ceiling tiles are above you or counting the number of times the ceiling fan rotates while they are checking out your mouth.

Relax

To relieve anxiety, sometimes the most effective strategy is just to relax. Concentrate on relaxing your muscles and counting your breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly while you’re in the waiting room and do the same whenever you have a break from the dental hygienist. Focus on releasing the tension in your body that is making you stiff and causing you to feel anxious.

 

Courtesy of  Mouth Healthy 

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