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Fear No Longer: 5 Helpful Tips for Relieving Dental Anxiety

February 18, 2018

In one survey, 36% of people said that they avoided going to the dentist out of fear or anxiety.

Woman with dental anxiety covering mouth

You don't have to feel ashamed of being scared or nervous about going to the dentist, but you do need to go at least twice a year to keep your teeth clean.

Do you or a loved one suffer from dental anxiety -- but it's time for your check-up? Fear no longer! These 5 tips will help you manage your fear of the dentist!

1. Tell Your Dentist

If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, let them know!

You're not the only one who will have told them that you were avoiding appointments or treatment because you were nervous or afraid.

They will be able to educate you and let you know what's going on and possibly even calm your anxiety or get rid of your fears. If they know you are scared of the drill, they can try and make sure that you don't see or hear it. If there is a part of the procedure you really don't like, they may even be able to skip it or find an alternative.

If they are aware, they will also be able to be more gentle or understand where you are coming from. Sometimes having them know will make you feel more at ease both physically and mentally.

2. Wear Headphones

Some people don't like the noises of the dentist office because they had a bad experience at some point.

If you tell your dentist about your phobia or anxiety, they may let you wear headphones to drown out all the noise.

Not only will it drown out those sounds, but music has been proven to help reduce and calm anxiety. Make a playlist of songs that make you feel calm and happy, and turn it on when it's time to go to the dentist.

3. Have Someone Go With You

Sometimes having someone go with you can be helpful. They can try and distract you and also be there if you need anything.

Bring someone who has a calming presence or that makes you feel happy.

Tell them about why you need them to go, and they should be understanding about it.

4. Try Meditation and Breathing Techniques

Meditation and different breathing techniques are helpful when dealing with anxiety.

When we feel anxious, we tend to stop breathing or take shallow breaths, rather than deep calming ones.

Listening to meditation or focusing on your breathing before and during your dental appointment can really help with reducing dental anxiety.

5. Go to Therapy

If your phobia is extreme and nothing else works, going to a therapist may help you overcome your fear.

In therapy, your therapist will use exposure therapy to help you be able to go to the dentist without any anxiety.

This therapy may seem scary at first, but you are going to be working in a safe environment, and you're in no harm. First, you will take small steps, like being comfortable talking about or thinking about going to the dentist.

After however many sessions you need, your therapist will then go with you to the dentist and coach you on how to erase your dental anxiety so that you can go to the dentist again.

Overcome Your Dental Anxiety Today

These are just a few ways that you can help your dental anxiety.

At some point, you will have to overcome or deal with this fear, and your teeth will thank you for it.

If you feel like you are ready to try out some of these techniques, you can make an appointment today

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