Tips to Ease Your Fear of the Dentist

Posted by Thao-Trang Nguyen on Jan 8 2023, 09:22 PM

There are a variety of factors that contribute to dental anxiety, including past negative experiences at the dentist’s office and fear of pain. However, there are ways to overcome dental fear or anxiety before your next appointment. Here are a few tips for overcoming dental anxiety so that you can get the care you need.

  • If you are feeling anxious about an upcoming dental appointment, it is important to acknowledge those feelings so you can address the problem. Before you go to the dentist, take the time to identify what specifically is causing your anxiety. Is it the needles? The sounds of the drill? A bad past experience? Once you know the source of your feelings, you can work to overcome them.
  • One way is to schedule a dentist appointment during a time when you are feeling less stressed or anxious. If you are feeling especially panicked on the way to the office, take a moment to relax in your vehicle for a few minutes before your appointment. You might also take some deep breaths to calm yourself down. Schedule your appointment for earlier in the day, if possible, so you aren’t rushing to get to the office on time. By practicing relaxation techniques on the way, you can help reduce your tension in the office as well.
  • Another way to ease your fear of the dentist is to choose a dentist who communicates clearly about treatment procedures and options with you. A skilled and compassionate doctor can help alleviate your fears by thoroughly explaining any treatments you may need and giving you plenty of time to ask questions and express any concerns you may have. This is why it’s so important to find a dentist with the right experience and training — one who has completed continuing education courses on treating patients with dental anxiety and fears.
  • Other ways to reduce the stress of a trip to the dentist include bringing someone you trust along to your checkups and choosing sedation dentistry methods if you have severe anxiety.
  • Having an honest conversation with your dentist about your fears can help you overcome them. When you are open and honest with your dentist about your fears and concerns, he or she can tailor your appointment to your needs. For example, if you have trouble sitting still in the chair for a long period of time, your dentist may be able to give you breaks throughout your appointment. If you experience severe anxiety during procedures, you may be able to receive sedation to help you relax. Once your dentist understands your fears, they can work with you to minimize those fears during your appointments.
  • Bringing a distraction like your favorite book or music player can help take your mind off of your upcoming dental appointment and reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Taking deep breaths before and during your dental visit can calm your mood and decrease the amount of stress you feel. 

If you wish to learn more about good oral care habits, visit our clinic at Winning Smiles Family Dentistry, 7801 Old Branch Ave #206, Clinton, MD 20735. For appointments, call us at (301) 868-2004. We will be happy to guide you further.

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