It has become common knowledge, especially in recent times, that brushing your mouth twice daily is not the end of oral and dental hygiene.
More people realize that regular visits to the dentist’s office are essential to prevent any significant oral health concerns and maintain proper oral hygiene. However, the medical condition known as dental anxiety can cause a person to make several excuses to avoid seeing the dentist.
According to dentist Dr. Ghatala, Dental anxiety is a severe condition that should be acknowledged and addressed. A recent study has also shown that people with dental anxiety tend to have more serious dental complications and do nothing about it.
Thankfully, people living with dental anxiety can eventually get better and become more comfortable at the dentist's place when they learn and apply specific coping methods. Well, this article will teach you some of these methods to help ease your dental anxiety.
1. Research dental clinics near you
If you don’t have a dental office you regularly visit, you can search for dental clinics near you on the internet. Next, find out if they offer good customer service to people with dental anxiety in the review section of their website. If you know anyone with this condition, don’t hesitate to ask them for advice and recommendations.
2. Take a friend with you
The presence of a trusted friend around you when you’re at the dentist’s office may make you feel more relaxed and ease your anxiety.
Ask someone you know you can trust to accompany you to the dentist’s office. If it’s allowed, you can old their hand as it could help you feel present at the moment and not in your head.
3. Distract yourself
The loud, weird noises from the dentist’s equipment may be uncomfortable and sometimes trigger your anxiety. One of the best ways to prevent this discomfort is to distract yourself. Is there a tv nearby? Focus your attention on it. You can also distract yourself from the sounds by listening to music with headphones or using the noise-canceling feature on headphones or AirPods. You could hum a song if you don’t have anything distracting nearby.
3. Think happy thoughts
Whenever you get overwhelmed by feelings of nervousness, think happy thoughts. This may be when you gave a speech in front of a crowd and got wild applause. Or a time when you were particularly proud of yourself. If you have a spouse or partner, you can think about them.
4. Practice mindfulness using meditation and breathing techniques.
For some people, these feelings of nervousness come as soon as they sit in the dentist’s chair. There are different exercises you can do to relax your muscles. Some of the most common ones include breathing and meditation. Taking a few minutes of your time to meditate and breathe deeply will help you practice mindfulness and communicate to your brain that you’re not in danger.
To meditate, lay relaxed, and clear your head of all distractions, you could focus on the present moment and try to feel every part of your body and breathing.
5. Consider the use of sedatives
If you’ve tried all you can and nothing seems to be working, you could talk to the dentist about it. Sedatives are an option to help you stay relaxed throughout the dental appointment or procedure. A popular sedative given to patients with dental anxiety is nitrous oxide. It is gaseous and can be easily administered using a gas mask. The procedure is also not painful and takes a few minutes to get results.
6. General anesthesia
Dental anesthesia is viable if you don’t want to be awake during the procedure. Most dental offices with expert training should be able to carry out this procedure. Also, make sure If you have dental insurance, your plan covers the cost of anesthesia.
7. Take anti-anxiety medication
As the name implies, anti-anxiety medicine reduces dental anxiety and can help you feel relaxed, comfortable, and overthink less.
Symptoms of dental anxiety
If you’re experiencing the following symptoms, you have dental anxiety.
You’re not alone
You should know that over 20% of people living in the united states experience symptoms of dental anxiety. This condition shouldn’t stop you from going to the dentist, though. This is because you must maintain proper oral hygiene and dental care if you wish to enjoy a more healthy and fulfilling life. It would also be best to speak to the dentist about your condition before any dental appointment.
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