Kids aren’t the only ones who experience dental anxiety. Adults deal with the issue as well, whether due to traumatic experiences as children or other reasons that make them postpone visits to the dentist. If you have dental anxiety, use these tips to overcome your fears and enjoy a better dental experience.
5 Ways to Reduce Fear of the Dentist As An Adult
1. Practice Deep Breathing
Instantly calm your body and mind with deep breathing exercises. Shallow breathing exacerbates stress and anxiety, which can cause negative thoughts to snowball. Count to three when breathing in and count to five when breathing out. Repeat this slowly at least three times to alleviate stress.
2. Come Up With a Hand Signal
Be upfront about your dental anxieties with your dentist and go over what your procedure will entail. Create a hand signal that tells the oral health professional to stop for a minute because your stress level is rising. Hand signals give you a break so you can breathe deeply before resuming treatment.
3. Listen to Music
Distract yourself in the dental chair with favorite tunes. Make a playlist that helps you feel calm and serene, or use upbeat songs to take your mind off the dentist and your teeth. Close your eyes if you want to fully immerse yourself in the music.
4. Schedule the Appointment When You Won’t Feel Rushed
Choose an appointment time that won’t cause extra stress, such as after work or on a Saturday. Knowing you have to go to work or otherwise need to complete a to-do list won’t help you feel calm during your appointment.
5. Discuss Sedation Options
Talk to your dentist about sedation possibilities if you still feel nervous or anxious. Dentists typically offer more than one sedation option, such as nitrous oxide or a pill you take before your appointment. Nitrous oxide is especially popular because it makes you feel relaxed, reduces gag reflex issues, and allows you to respond when you want.
Stand up to your dental anxieties and take charge of your oral health with services from Village Smiles Family Dentistry. The dentists at this full-service practice in Pittsford, NY, offer sedation dentistry, among many other services that keep smiles brilliant and healthy. Call (585) 385-2033 to make an appointment or learn more about sedation dentistry online.