Tips to Cope With Dental Anxiety
Many people get anxious just thinking about a visit to the dentist. There is even a word to classify an intense fear of the dentist: odontophobia. So, if you are a person that starts to feel nervous or fearful about a dental visit, you are not alone. The problem with this kind of fear or anxiety is that it can keep you from maintaining routine dental visits, which can keep you from receiving essential preventative care or even dealing with major issues. Coping with your dental anxiety can help you ensure that your smile is getting important care and that you are avoiding any major dental health issues.
Talk It Out
When you are feeling anxious, it is important to discuss it with your dentist or your dental team. Even if you want to call the office to ask questions or let them know your fears, just talking it out can be helpful for lessening your anxiety. Talking it out also gives your dental team a chance to help you in a non-judgmental way. Your dentist wants you to have a calm, comfortable experience every time you visit.
Distract Your Brain
The old adage, “fake it til you make it,” can sometimes apply to fears and anxiety. If you can convince your mind that you are not afraid, it can often be a way to calm your nerves. Convincing your mind can also mean distracting it with music in headphones, a TV show, thoughts of your happy place or your favorite vacation memories, or even fiddling with a fidget spinner.
Ask About Sedative Options
When the fear is too much for you to overcome, your dentist may recommend sedation to help you get through dental treatment. Sedatives can be prescribed to calm your nerves while keeping you coherent and conscious through the visit. Sedation can also be an option for people living with conditions that make it difficult to sit still through an exam or treatment.