You are not the only one to get nervous and think twice before visiting the dentist. It might be the reason for you being scared of the agonizing pain you have to undergo. Or it might be what precisely the dentist will find out, once you are sitting on the chair!
There might be many reasons, but an appropriate dental team will always make sure that you are in the ‘pink of your health’ – both from a psychological and dental point of view.
The more you delay in visiting the dentist, the risk of developing various dental issues rates higher. It is always good to visit your dentist once every two months. As much as 25% of the world population avoid visiting dental centers due to fear and anxiety. If this goes unaddressed, dental anxiety may lead to serious oral health issues. The whole thing will then aggravate and be agonizing for an individual. The strategies discussed below will aid you further to cope with anxiety before visiting any dentist.
Be vocal and share your issues
It would be best if you tried sharing your feelings when anxious. It makes quite a positive difference. Do yourself a favor by sharing your concerns with your trusted ones. Your dental team and the surgeon will be more than eager to help you in coming out of the dental dilemma. Voice your opinions and problems, so that they are aware of them while treating you. Check the net for no fear dentistry clinics and I am sure that they will treat you like a family, and not like any other patient.
- Inform your dentist about your anxiety issues. While you book your dental check-up appointment, inform the receptionist about your bouts of nervousness. Share your past bad experience, if you had any. You can always ask for any anxiety coping strategies.
- Be frank in asking any queries if you have any in mind. Often it alleviates anxiety if you know prior to the dental procedures.
- Be relaxed and agree on giving a signal. It will alert your dental surgeon about your uneasiness.
- Be frank in notifying your dentist about the pain you feel, even after the local anesthesia. You can always request him for another shot of the same, till the time the area gets numb thoroughly.
Diverge your mind
Deviate your mind from the dental examination. It is often tricky, but certain things might assist you in the process.
- Discuss it with your dentist and use your ear-pods. Try listening to any soothing music. The sound of the drill will not bother you much, and your anxiety will be under control. Many dental centers have the provision to watch television.
- Do not be fidgety. Make your hands busy with a stress-ball or else a fidget-spinner. It works wonders!
- Try visualizing any beautiful and picturesque locale. It may be your garden or any sun-kissed beach.
Relax your mind
While being nervous, the human tendency is to hold breath and stiffen the body muscles. As a result, oxygen flow decreases. The panic button activates, making you more anxious during your dental visit. Be calm and try to relax your mind. Opt for deep breathing exercises that will keep your muscles relaxed and tension-free.
- Keep on doing the inhale-exhale exercise till the time the whole process is taking place. You can count your breaths. Regularised breathing assists in the reduction of high-stress levels. It is useful when you are waiting at the reception area for your turn. Or else when you are on the dental chair!
- Go for a full-body scan mentally. Try relaxing your facial muscles slowly. Initiate the whole process from your head and proceed gradually downwards.
Be alert and use hand signals
Discuss with your dental surgeon, and use hand signals, whenever you feel uneasy.
Hand signals are the easiest way of communicating while in pain or on the verge of getting anxious. After your hand signal, the dentist will ease off with the procedure and give you a breather.
Some bonus tips
The following additional tips will aid you in dealing with your anxiety during your dental visit. These additional measures will surely act as a boon in disguise.
- Be careful of what you’re eating and your drinking habits – You should avoid consuming any caffeine-based drinks, especially before your dental appointment. Instead, consuming a protein-rich diet will act positively over your body. It will aid in loosening your body muscles and keep pressure stable.
- Select a comfortable time – Fix an appointment catering to your other activities for the day. Your dental appointment time should be such when you are under less stress. An early morning appointment might act well, as both you and your dentist will be in a relaxed mind.
- Do thorough research work and read reviews – Ask your near ones or your close associates about any good certified dentist. Try discussing your anxiety issues and go over their recommendations. Sometimes, a useful review of a dentist from your close-knit ones helps in reducing your anxiousness.
Nonetheless, there is no reason for avoiding your appointment with a dentist. There are numerous means and ways to cope with these issues also. A handful of people anticipate the agonized pain, while others worry about the dentist being not too cooperative and having a 'hurrying' attitude towards the patient! There are many reasons. Certain add-on ones happen to be unfortunate past experiences or else the sterile smell of the medicine.
Many do become anxious when they have to disturb their daily routine for a dental check-up. The above-discussed strategies will throw a guiding light on how to deal with anxiety before you visit your dentist. Thus, stay calm, think positive, and keep your stress at bay! Have a healthy smile!
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