Fear of the dentist is one of the most common fears in the world. Few of us relish the chance of seeing the dentist or having to face a filling with all the associated injections and drilling.
However, there are a number of ways you can make going to the dentist a lot less worrisome and a lot more of a positive experience.
With that in mind, we take a quick look at 5 of the best ways to overcome dental anxiety.
1. Keep Your Oral Health High
The better care you take of your teeth the less you will have to worry about actually visiting the dentist. Make sure that you brush at least twice a day. Make sure you floss regularly and use mouthwash. At the same time also make sure to limit your intake of sugar and cavity-causing foods. The more care you take of your teeth the less chance there is of you encountering problems when you go for a check-up. It can be hard building up the routines but it is well worth investing in your oral health – particularly with dental phobias.
2. Choose the correct dentist
All dentists are trained to provide adequate health care for your teeth and to make sure that you are treated well. However, some dentists have a much more relaxed approach and some dentists are much better equipped to deal with people who are nervous about the dentist. You can use online websites like this to find dental practices that will accommodate your phobias. It is a very good idea to speak with the dentist before your first session and make sure that he or she understands your fears. Most dentists will help try to alleviate them as much as possible. Some dentists even offer sedation for treatments.
3. Practice Breathing Techniques
Breathing techniques allow you to keep your mind clear and focus on other things during your treatment. Practice deep slow breathing in and out through your nose. This will help you to concentrate and will make you more relaxed. This technique will help stop you from hyperventilating as well and means that you can relax more fully during your treatment.
4. Distract yourself
As well as breathing you can also distract yourself during your appointment. Thanks to the advent of portable media it is easy to take music or something into your appointment with you. This way you can keep yourself distracted to make sure that your fears remain sedated. It is recommended that you listen to soothing music like jazz or classical if you want to put your mind and body at ease.
5. Seek Professional Help
If the techniques above don’t help you alleviate your dental fears then you may need to seek professional help and counseling to overcome your phobia. Avoiding the dentist can result in serious health problems and counseling and support are essential to get you back in the dentist’s chair. In the UK the NHS will offer counseling services for extreme cases of dental phobia. Professional support can help work through your fears in a safe and comfortable environment –but should only be used in extreme cases.