Dental Anxiety: Tips to Stay Calm at the Dentist

dental anxiety

Are you looking for a way to stay calm at the dentist's office? Try the strategies detailed below, and you just might find your next visit to the dentist's office goes much smoother than imagined.

Tips to stay calm at the dentist

Practice makes perfect

Use the mind's eye to practice being in the dental chair. Patients should find a quiet and comfortable space, close their eyes and envision being treated by the dentist. Imagine the drilling, scraping and suction sounds. Continue to envision the upcoming dental experience even as one imagines the dentist using those intimidating instruments that generate uncomfortable sounds. Patients should repeat this practice session the day before their appointment to find that it is much easier to soldier through the session.

Discuss your nervousness

Patients should let the dental staff know about their dental anxiety. Voicing concern over the upcoming dental treatment will allow these professionals to really go the extra mile to ensure comfort. The dentist might go as far as putting on a certain type of music or creating a hand signaling system so the patient can communicate when they are in excessive pain or need a break.

Select the optimal appointment time

Patients should take some time to think about what they find relaxing. Most people plagued by dental anxiety find that early morning appointments are optimal, as the window for thinking about the upcoming procedure is that much smaller. Schedule dental appointments for the most calming time of day, and it will be that much easier to make it through the session.

Mind your breathing

Some people respond to stress by shortening their breaths. Others hold their breath for excessive periods without realizing what they are doing. Deep breathing is essential to health. Continue to breathe during a dental treatment or procedure to maintain the proper oxygen levels. It will also help to inhale for four seconds, hold it in for at least four seconds and exhale for four seconds. Repeat this breathing exercise a couple times prior to a dental procedure.

Be mindful of your food and beverage intake before visiting the dentist

Food and beverages have the potential to worsen dental anxiety. Everything from caffeine to artificial sugar and sodium has the potential to induce stress. Caffeine is especially problematic, as it spikes blood pressure and heart rate. Skip the coffee, tea or energy drink on the morning of a dental appointment. Opt for cool water or a fruit smoothie instead. Furthermore, food scientists agree that foods with protein, such as fish, seeds and nuts, soothe the mind.

Watch dental videos on YouTube

This suggestion might seem a bit odd, yet it works for many patients. Search YouTube for the procedure or treatment scheduled for the next dental appointment. Watching a dentist perform the procedure on YouTube might be enough to settle nerves, as it allows a patient to envision the same exact dental work being performed on their own mouth.

Contact us

Our dental professionals know exactly how to keep you calm during dental treatments, cleanings and procedures. Reach out to us today to schedule a stress-free appointment.

Request an appointment in our Palm Desert dentist office here:

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