Data collected by the Columbia University College of Medicine indicates that over 40 million Americans deal with some form of dental anxiety. It is a very common problem that often results in patients neglecting their oral health.
The reasons why people are scared to vary from person to person. Some people avoid going to the dentist’s office because they are worried it might be a painful experience, others have negative memories from the past, while the sterile smell of the clinic gets to some.
At the end of the day, the reasons why you are scared to go to the dental office are irrelevant. What is important is that you find a way to overcome it since regularly missing dental appointments because you are anxious will eventually lead to some serious oral health issues down the road.
Communication with your dentist goes a long way
The first step you should take when you are ready to combat your dental anxiety is to inform your dentist about your condition. You likely will not be the first patient with dental anxiety that your dentist sees. As was mentioned earlier, it is a rather common condition, and your dentist has many tools at his/her disposal that can help you overcome your anxiety.
If your anxiety is bad enough, your dentist might consider dental sedation. Here are a few things you can do to keep calm before and during your next visit to the dentist:
1. Talk about your anxiety
Your dentist is not the only person you can talk to about your anxiety. Talk to your friends and family members about the anxiety or seek therapy. You might end up finding out that someone close to you has the same fears and that person will have some useful tips for you.
Anxiety can quickly leave you feeling out of breath if you forget to breathe. Focus on your breathing before and during dental procedures. It is natural to hold your breath when you are afraid, even though that only lowers your oxygen levels and incites more panic. Try using some meditation techniques and take deep breaths when panic starts setting in.
3. Listen to relaxing music
If the sounds of the dental office bother you, bring a pair of earphones with you and listen to relaxing music while your dentist works on your teeth.
4. Avoid caffeine
Be careful with what you eat before a dental appointment. It is no secret that sugar and caffeine make you jittery so stay away from food items that contain significant amounts of either before your dental appointments. Protein-rich foods have a calming effect so eat lots of those.
5. Come up with a signal
You and your dentist should have a signal that lets him/her know when you are feeling uncomfortable and need a break.
6. Pick low-stress appointment times
Feeling rushed will only make you more anxious during your dental appointment. It is often best to set your appointment for weekends or off days.
7. Find a dentist will great reviews
The more professional your dentist is, the easier it will be for you to feel comfortable while you are at the clinic.
Contact Titan Dental Care to learn more about combating dental anxiety.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Titan Dental Care, request an appointment in our Sterling dental office here: https://www.titandentalcare.com. Or call us at (703) 745-3227.
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