People generally tend to have a range of emotions about visiting the dentist. Some may be happy because they are going to get their braces taken off. Others may be nervous, anxious or afraid, because they do not know what to expect. Individuals may feel angry or irritated that they had to take time out of their day to sit in a dentist’s chair, while others find the experience upsetting and uncomfortable because they have a sensitive gag-reflex.
There are so many reasons why a person would not want to go to the dentist, and a host of emotions that surround those reasons. For your dental health, and ensuring that you have the use your natural teeth for the rest of your life, you need the dental care and supervision of a dentist. But those feelings of fear or stress do not disappear overnight. Here are 6 techniques you can use to overcome your dental phobias.
6 Techniques To Overcome Dental Phobias
We all know that one of the first steps to overcoming something is to not be in denial and speak opening about your fears. Being honest with your dentist about your phobia will allow them to understand and work with you to help you feel more relaxed during your appointment.
Once you let your dentist know about your fears, depending on your health and the dental treatment, your dentist could recommend sedation dentistry. Sedatives include local anesthetic, oral or intravenous sedation, or nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which all aim to keep you calm and relaxed during a treatment.
Bring a Distraction
Distractions help take your attention away from the procedure. Some dentists have televisions in the treatment room, but you can always bring your own entertainment such as headphones and a music player so you can listen to music, or you can play with a stress ball or run through mental exercises.
Bring a Friend
A close friend or family member that understands your fears but doesn’t have any of their own can provide extra comfort and support through your appointments. Ask your dentist if they will be able to accompany you into the dentist rooms. Having your appointment first thing in the morning is also a good strategy, because it means you can get it over and done with and not spend the whole day worrying about it and psyche yourself out.
Try Self-Regulation Techniques
Self-regulation techniques can keep you calm when you start to feel anxious or uneasy. Deep breathing is a simple and great technique to keep you level headed. Meditation is another technique that gets your muscles to relax and slows down your heart rate. Try out some of these techniques a few weeks before your appointment to find which one best works for you.
Some people’s phobias are worse than others, and if the above techniques do not work, there is still an option for individuals with intense phobias. Therapeutic support, such as hypnotherapy or counselling sessions with psychologists can help patients overcome their phobias, so that they can get care.