How To Soothe Dental Anxiety

Do you ever feel nervous about going to see the dentist? You aren’t alone. Up to 22% of patients can feel extreme dental anxiety, according to The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association. What is dental anxiety? Dental anxiety is when you experience a lot of fear, discomfort, or panic, just thinking about going to see the dentist. You may feel concerned the dentist will find a cavity, or maybe you are afraid your cleaning may hurt. Either way, it’s important to attend regular cleanings and check-ups, to ensure dental problems are caught and resolved early. Below are some tips that could help ease your dental anxiety.

Take Proper Care Of Your Teeth At Home

Calming dental anxiety often begins at home. Maintaining proper oral hygiene can help to make you feel more confident when attending a dentist appointment, and fear oral health issues less. To boost your confidence, you should brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, replace your toothbrush every few months, and limit sugary foods and beverages.

Communicate

Discussing dental anxiety might initially seem intimidating but communicating your issue with your dentist is a smart plan of action. If your dental hygienist or dentist is aware of your dental anxiety, they can determine how best to treat you. Start by informing the receptionist you feel nervous about dental visits when you first book your appointment. When you arrive for your dental appointment, ask questions! The fear of the unknown does not have to be a factor in your dental visit. Finally, have a pre-arranged signal with your dentist that indicates you need a break during your check-up and make sure you inform your dentist if you are experiencing any pain.

Follow and Discuss COVID-19 Guidelines

In some cases, the pandemic has caused the dental anxiety some patients experience to worsen, or created a new issue with dental anxiety that did not exist previously. Many dental clinics are following strict guidelines and procedures to ensure the safety of their patients and staff. Take it upon yourself to ask questions if you are feeling unsure, and communicate any concerns with the dental team. Having an open dialogue with your dentist during this uncertain time can ease your worries and make you feel more comfortable attending your appointment.

Distract Yourself

Finding a way to distract yourself might seem like a difficult task when you are experiencing dental anxiety, but there are several ways to help distract you from anxious thoughts. Bring headphones and listen to music or an audiobook. Purchase a stress ball or something you can squeeze during tense moments. If your child is anxious, ask them if they would like to bring along their favourite stuffed animal to help them feel comfortable during their appointment.

Practice Meditation & Mindfulness

Meditation and Mindfulness are useful tools to deal with general stress and anxiety. Start by counting your breaths. Inhale and exhale very slowly. Doing this five times can immediately offer some relief. Another tactic to attempt is a body scan. Concentrate on relaxing all of your muscles, one at a time. Start at the top with your head and end with your toes. The goal of this exercise is to release tension. A final tactic is to visualize a peaceful place and imagine yourself being there. Merely visualizing something pleasant can assist with calming your anxiety.

Cranberry Hill Dentistry – Dentist in Waterdown

At Cranberry Hill Dentistry, we understand that dental anxiety is incredibly unpleasant, and we would like to help our patients feel more comfortable attending dental appointments. If the pandemic is a source of anxiety for you, please read about the safety measures we have implemented since reopening. Call us at 905-689-9551 if you have any questions, concerns, or to book an appointment. Our dental team looks forward to taking care of your smile during a positive dental experience!

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