How To Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Do you feel anxious when you know you have to go to the dentist’s office? Would you rather be anywhere but there? Does your pulse race when you think about your appointment? If so, you might have a fear of the dentist. Worry not — almost 15% of Americans also fear the dentist, usually because they had a bad experience in the past with pain. However, avoiding the dentist is not a good way to help your fear, and it’s not good for your teeth either.

Eventually, you’ll have to return to the dentist for a cleaning or other dental service. Rather than panic, there are some strategies you can consider when you go to the office for your appointment.

Breathe In And Out

Relaxation techniques are an effective option to calm down at the dentist. An easy way to do this is concentrate on your breathing. Breathe in for a few seconds, then slowly let your breath out, and count when you’re doing it. This helps distract you from the procedure going on, keeping your mind occupied. Another tip is to ask the dentist if you can listen to music while they do their work. Then, you can just focus on the music instead of what’s happening in your mouth.

Be Open With Your Dentist

A good dentist will understand that you might feel pain during a procedure. Determine a way to signal to your dentist that you are feeling pain, because often you can’t say it aloud. Talk to your dentist beforehand to get a better idea of what the procedure will entail. This will help you be less nervous because you’ll know exactly what’s happening.

Be Optimistic

Remember that dentists are experts in their field and they have to do numerous procedures every day. It’s unlikely that they encounter many mishaps during that time. The likelihood that something severe will happen to you specifically is low. Be optimistic that everything will turn out fine, and consider matching that feeling with relaxation techniques. You should feel better knowing that everything will turn out OK in the end.

Being afraid of the dentist is a fairly common fear — you’re not the only one. But overcoming that fear is important when it comes to maintaining your oral health. Keep up your dental hygiene, and you won’t need to visit the dentist as often as others, but when you do, remember that there’s nothing to fear!

At Bridgeport Family Dental, we’re proud to have a comfortable environment and the knowledge to help patients with dental anxiety. Give us a call today to schedule your next dental checkup!