It’s funny but one in six Australians have a fear of visiting the dentist. To others, it can seem irrational yet it is a real issue as those who fear the dentist generally miss appointments. This reduces the amount of oral healthcare they receive and increases the risk of cavities and tooth loss.
The anxiety can be caused by a fear of people touching their mouth, the memory of pain in the past, or a worry that the dentist will find something seriously wrong.
That’s why you need to learn the following 5 ways of managing dental anxiety.
- Choose The Right Dentist
The first step to beating your anxiety is to convince yourself you’re going to a good dentist and that they’ve had plenty of good reviews, such as this dentist Toowong.
Speak to family and friends regarding who they use and what they think of their dentist. Then check online reviews and even see if others with dental anxiety have used the same dentist.
It will help to ease the worries in your mind.
- Share Your Fear
You need to talk about your fear of the dentist. It’s a good idea to talk with a loved one. But, you should also talk to your dentist. Their reaction will show they are a good choice and their awareness of your fear will help them to treat you more effectively.
In many cases simply talking about the issue is enough to make you feel better about visiting, although don’t expect just one chat to cure your anxiety!
- Learn Deep Breathing Exercises
You need to de-stress before you go to the dentist. This means avoiding caffeine and choosing high-protein foods to help you feel calmer. You also need to learn some breathing exercises. You may not be able to use these while in the chair but you can use them before the appointment.
It will even be possible to do breathing exercises in the waiting room. This doesn’t just calm your mind, it gives you something else to focus on and you can do them without people knowing.
- Choose The Right Appointment Time
There is little point in adding to your stress and anxiety by choosing an appointment time that makes you feel rushed. Make sure you have plenty of time for the appointment so that you don’t need to worry about anything else.
For example, if you have children don’t book your appointment 30 minutes before you need to pick them up, you’ll simply feel stressed that you’ve run out of time. Instead, book it for 30 minutes after they’ve gone to school. That means you have all the time in the world to get through your dental appointment.
- Add Music
If it’s the drills and other dental noises that cause you to become anxious then take your headphones with you and put on some music. It will cancel any noise the dentist makes. In fact, if you close your eyes you can almost forget where you are!