Do you get anxious when you know your next dentist appointment is right around the corner? If so, you're not alone. Numerous people suffer from dental anxiety, and it can be a big problem when it comes to keeping your teeth in good condition. However, there are ways to effectively combat this anxiety and feel confident about your dental appointments. Try these four strategies to put an end to your dental anxiety.
1. Understand what provokes your anxiety
It is important to know why you are feeling anxious about your next dental appointment. Understanding what provokes your anxiety can help you identify and work through each issue individually. For example, if you're scared of dentists because you've had a bad experience in the past, you may find it helpful to choose a dental clinic with plenty of positive reviews from past patients. If you're scared of pain, it could be a good idea to talk to your dentist about anaesthesia. Many common causes of dental anxiety are easily fixed.
2. Ask for help
Asking a friend or family member to come along to your dental appointment can be a big help in relieving your anxiety. Having someone there to hold your hand, share comforting words or even take notes on the dentists' advice for you will help you relax and feel more secure during the procedure.
3. Find a way to relax before the appointment begins.
Practising general tips to relax and relieve anxiety can also be a big help. One easy way to relax before your appointment is by trying breathing exercises. Just focus on deep breathing and clearing your mind. Your body will respond in time by feeling less stressed. Music might also help with relaxation, so why not try it out? Use some headphones or earbuds and listen to relaxing music just as you would at home. Even simple sounds from nature can soothe you when nerves set in.
4. Exposure therapy
Also known as systematic desensitization, exposure therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the things that trigger your fear. For example, if you are afraid of the dentist, you can start exposing yourself to the fear by looking at pictures or videos of dental treatment. Once you feel comfortable, you may want to try going to the dental clinic to look around without having any treatment. Next, try small, non-invasive treatments at the dentist such as a check-up. Once your brain can process these interactions without anxiety, you're far more likely to do well with regular dental treatment.
For more tips, contact a local dentist.