Fear of visiting the dentist is hardly new. Millions of children and adults have been afraid of going in for a checkup for ages, and the dental profession as a whole is often perceived in a bit of a negative light for this reason. The truth is, getting your teeth cleaned doesn’t need to be a scary experience.
Many people tend to associate even the most standard and simple checkups with the uncomfortable experience of having a root canal treatment performed. While some dental procedures are indeed more uncomfortable than the others, all dentists use various sedatives and anesthetics to help their patients relax and be as comfortable as possible.
Since the vast majority of dental anxiety is mental, there are a number of things you can do to induce a sense of calm and relaxation during your next visit. Coping techniques are simple, effective, and a great way to take the edge off. Here are a few tried and true ones that have worked very well for countless patients.
Calming Techniques to help you Cope with your Checkup
Tell your dentist about your concerns - This might not seem like a coping technique, but you would be amazed at how much better you’ll feel by simply voicing your worries. Better yet, the more your dentist knows about your particular fears, the better he or she will be to help improve your experience. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and tell them your concerns and anxieties.
Watch TV or listen to music - Most dentists allow their patients to listen to music on their phones or watch TV in the room while they are being worked on. These are both incredibly effective distraction techniques, and work by shifting the patient’s attention away from the procedures. Redirecting your focus is easy to do and can significantly reduce your anxiety. Some dental offices mount TVs on operatory ceilings for patients to enjoy during treatment.
Concentrate on your breathing - deep breathing is a proven relaxation technique, because not only does it force you to focus on inhaling and exhaling, it floods your bloodstream with oxygen that compels you into a state of deep rest. There is no quicker way to trigger your body’s natural relaxation response.
If you are prone to high levels of anxiety, you can always ask your dentist to provide various sedation techniques to help you minimize your anxiety level and reach the calm you are looking for.