Dental phobia is quite widespread. According to Psychology Today, 15% of dental patients are afraid of their dentist. Choosing a friendly dentist is one way of helping yourself overcome your dental fears. However, for some, it’s more deep-seated than just having an unfriendly or unapproachable doctor. For some people, dental phobia is an irrational fear that they just can’t deal with. We’ve spoken at length on our blog about the different procedures that we do to help our clients get a better idea of what going to the dentist entails. But for those who need a bit more help to overcome their fear of the chair, these tips might help you deal with your dental phobia.
Tip 1: Choose a Less Busy Time of the Day
Most people opt to visit the dentist in the morning, so you tend to have fewer visitors in the afternoon. Afternoon visits also have fewer people in the waiting room and fewer weird noises coming from the dentist’s office. If you’re trying to reduce your anxiety, opting for an afternoon spot might be worth it since you have fewer people to deal with and are less likely to get scared off by the sound of the machines.
Tip 2: Get a Relaxing Playlist and use Noise Canceling Headphones
When you’re in the waiting room, your anxiety starts rising the closer you get to entering the office. One of the best ways to avoid that is to use noise-canceling headphones and select a friendly, calming playlist. It’s also vital that you keep checking with the receptionist, in case it’s an office that calls its clients when it’s their turn. Maybe ask the receptionist if they could make an exception for you and mention your dental phobia as a reason. Most receptionists are open to the idea of helping clients out like that.
Tip 3: Use Deep Breathing to Relax Your Mind and Body
As much as deep breathing might sound like snake oil, it has been proven to work. When you feel your anxiety rise to dangerous levels, close your eyes and take a long, continuous and deep breath in through your nose. Slowly release the breath through your mouth and do it again. This sort of breathing can help to calm your nerves and give you something else to focus on. You can even do it alongside your calming playlist and noise-canceling headphones. Multiple methods of managing your anxiety can give you backup ideas if one doesn’t work.
These are only a few of the strategies that can and do work when trying to combat anxiety and fear. And while facing our phobias may not be anything we are interested in doing, in this case it is of the utmost importance, as it could mean the future well-being of our teeth and gums.