If you struggle with going to the dentist, scheduling a needed teeth cleaning or procedure is probably not the most important item on your to-do list. Unfortunately, ignoring your dental health can negatively affect your overall well-being. Putting off going to the dentist is never a good idea, so this blog will detail some simple tips to follow to help you to overcome dental fear and anxiety. If you’re searching for a trusted dentist in Ontario, check out The Dental Centre! Our friendly and helpful staff will do their best to make you feel comfortable and relaxed during your dental cleaning or procedure. Contact us now for an appointment today!
Communicate Your Fears
To receive the best care, talk with the dentist and dental staff first and express your concerns and fears. If your fear stems out of a particular previous experience you had in another dental office, talk about what happened so the dentist and dental hygienist understand how to move forward. Being open about your fears and trepidations will help you to relax in the knowledge that the staff understands and wants to help you.
Close Your Eyes and Breathe
Learning to close your eyes and relax will do wonders for your nerves. Relaxation breathing techniques will help you to calm you down and slow your heart rate. One of the best ways to practice breathing is three seconds of inhalation and three seconds of exhalation. You can focus on a point in the room to keep your mind off of the dental procedure and take several deep breaths until you feel your heart rate and pulse slow. If you find that you’re getting nauseated or lightheaded, close your eyes. You don’t need to watch the procedure happen or notice the dental instruments on the table beside you. Taking a break from the procedure is also a great way to calm down. Talk about a few hand signals with the dentist or hygienist beforehand so you don’t panic as work is being completed on your teeth.
Bring a Friend
Having a friend or loved one close by for moral support may be exactly what you need. Check with the office staff before your appointment to see if it’s okay to have a friend or family member in the room with you. A comforting hand on your shoulder and a smiling, familiar face will help to calm your nerves and relax your muscles. You can even ask if you can hold hands with your loved one as another layer of comfort.
Are you particularly sensitive to sounds and find your body tensing up during a dental cleaning? Ask the dental hygienist if you can bring a pair of noise-cancelling earphones and a music-playing device to your next appointment. You can make a playlist of calming music and/or sounds to focus on, and the noise-cancelling earphones will drown out the sounds of the tools and drills. If music isn’t allowed, you can still purchase a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to use to keep yourself calm as well.
Another great way to keep your mind off of your cleaning or procedure is to watch a favorite TV show or movie. You can ask if a small laptop is okay in the exam room before your procedure. Bring a few options in case you don’t feel like watching a film or TV show. Focusing on your favorite characters or storyline will transport you to another world and you might not even notice the dental hygienist’s work. You’ll also find that you’re more relaxed and less anxious watching a movie or TV show that you love. Try using your noise-cancelling earphones as well for a quieter experience and so you can hear the character’s dialogue more clearly.
Plan a Reward
Something to look forward to following your dental cleaning or filling is a great way to “reward” yourself for scheduling and completing an appointment. This can be a shopping trip, purchasing an item you’ve wanted for a long time, a fun night out with friends or a significant other, or seeing a movie recently released in theaters. Having an incentive for completing a hard task that scares you, like a dental cleaning, will allow you to relax and think about your exciting experience or item you’ve planned for yourself. When you leave your appointment, you can enjoy your reward and be proud of yourself for finally scheduling a needed dental cleaning or procedure.
Many people are afraid of the dentist and struggle to make regular appointments for needed cleanings and treatments. While this is understandable, it’s essential to your teeth, gum, and tongue health to have regular checkups so any issues that you make have are quickly taken care of before they become a huge problem. If you’re searching for a trusted and compassionate dentist in Ontario, contact The Dental Centre. We’re proud to offer an huge selection of dental treatments and procedures, along with a caring and experienced staff. Call us today for an appointment!