Overcoming Your Anxiety at the Dentist

Believe us when we say that we understand how nervous you can get when it’s time to visit the dentist.  There could be many factors that play a part to your anxiety.  Maybe you had a bad experience at the dentist.  Maybe it’s your first time.  Maybe the idea of the instruments and tools we use put you on edge.  Whatever it is, we understand, and we’re here to help you get through it.  Because as much as we understand the anxiety you may be feeling, it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to skip out on your bi-annual visits with us.

Here are a few tips to overcome that dental anxiety and get you through your next visit.

woman nervous at the dentist

Go with someone you know

It’s okay to bring someone with you.  We might suggest calling ahead to make sure there’s enough room during your actual visit.  However, most dental offices accommodate at least one person to be in the room with you.  Taking someone you know and trust is totally acceptable and if it helps you with your anxiety, then most places are pretty understanding.  Hold their hand during the procedure.  Have them talk to you and calm you down.  Whatever it is, make sure they’re there to actually help you and not make things worse!

Distract yourself through music (or television!)

Take a pair of earphones with you and ask your dentist if you can listen to some music.  Might we suggest something calming and relaxing and save the metal or electronica dance for another time.  However, who are we to say!  Whatever will get your mind off you anxiety have at it.  Some dentist offices even have televisions overhead to distract you!  You even get to choose what you want to watch!  Call ahead and ask!  Like we said, dental offices are very sympathetic to your anxiety.

Talk to your dentist

In fact, talk to everyone in the office you are interacting with.  Let the woman the front desk know you have some anxieties.  Let the hygienist know.  Let your dentist know.  They’re all going to give you tips on how to stay calm.  They’re going to talk in detail about the procedure to make sure there’s no surprises.  The more you know about what’s going on, the easier your visit might feel.  And sometimes, if your anxiety is severe, they may have some options to calm your nerves.  The team may also come up with a signal for you so they know when they need to give you a minute to regain your composure.  Again, their main goal is to make sure you are calm so they can do their jobs the best they can.  And get you back in the office to keep up with your dental health!

Relaxation techniques

Breathing is always really great when dealing with anxiety and stress.  Mediation helps as well.  We understand finding your zen might be a little difficult with a dentist in your mouth, but go prepared.  Have a little mantra to tell yourself while your with us and focus on it.  A stress ball might help as well. One of those fidget finger things help as well, as they keep your mind distracted.

Keep up with your oral hygiene

This is not to just lecture you about keeping up with your daily dental care routine, but we’ll take it.  Unfortunately, sometimes the cause of the pain and uncomfortableness at the dentist has to do with your poor oral hygiene habits.  Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will call for an easier dental checkup.  Add some mouthwash once a day, and your gold.  That’s not to say sometimes we may catch something, but for the most part, keeping up with a good dental healthcare routine daily calls for an easier visit.

Consider seeing a therapist

If your anxiety is very severe, you may want to see a therapist.  Skipping out on the dentist is not good for your overall health.  Your dental hygiene is just as important as your overall health, therefore it’s important to overcome these anxieties to get you through those doors and in that chair.

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Dr. Del Greenhalgh
Green Family Dental
10510 Montwood Drive
El Paso, TX 79935
(915) 778-4681