If you feel a little nervous about visiting the dentist, you’re not alone! It’s actually common for many patients to feel anxious before or during their dental appointments. Sometimes, dental anxiety prevents countless Americans from obtaining proper preventative care, which can result in dental pain, tooth loss, gum disease, and serious infections. Approximately 5 to 8% of Americans avoid the dentist out of fear, and nearly 20% of Americans experience enough uneasiness that they only visit the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary.
Oftentimes, patients’ fear of the dentist doesn’t stem from a painful experience. Rather, the fear comes from the lack of control that a patient might feel regarding the whole experience. If this sounds like you, don’t fear! Here are 4 tips to help you overcome your dental anxiety and make your experience as comfortable as possible:
Bring Along Someone You Trust – During your initial visit to the dentist, it can be comforting to bring a close relative with you, especially one that isn’t afraid of the dentist. You can have him or her give you a pep talk in the waiting room, or you may even be able to bring him or her back with you during your treatment to keep you calm and confident.
Distract Yourself – Worries can seem bigger than what they really are when you fixate on them. Drown out your anxieties by distracting yourself when you’re in the dental chair. Ask the dentist if you can listen to your music on your headphones. Some dentists also have TVs available in their treatment rooms, including Foley Dental Group! Our patients love catching up on their favorite shows on Netflix while we take care of their teeth.
Try Some Relaxation Techniques – Here’s a quick way to help calm you down – try controlled breathing. Just take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, and slowly let it out. Do this about 4 times. You’ll find that your heartbeat will slow down and your muscles will begin to relax!
Talk to Your Dentist About It – Don’t be afraid to tell your dentist about your fears! They can help you have a more comfortable experience by explaining the procedures, what they entail, and what you can expect. Dentists aim to give their patients a positive, stress-free visit, and you can help them when you mention that you’re nervous about being there.
If you’re looking for a dentist who can make your teeth beautiful and healthy while giving you a relaxing, enjoyable experience, look no further than Foley Dental Group! Request an appointment with us by calling (618) 288-9670 or by visiting us online at www.foleydentalgroup.com.