Posted on: 15 June 2018
Dental visits can often seem a bit scary; they can include loud noises, involuntary drooling, and multiple people getting all up in your personal space. And some dental treatments can cause physical pain and result in expensive payments. So, in addition to positive thinking, what can you do to keep yourself from developing dentist-associated anxiety issues? Here are a few strategies you can try to avoid developing dental anxiety.
1. Find a dentist you trust
A dentist who's vague or abrupt about why they're recommending certain treatments, or who won't let you see the images of your teeth, can come across as uncommunicative or even untrustworthy. Even if they're a skilled and reliable dentist, this lack of communication isn't going to help your anxiety. Keep looking until you find a dentist who not only has good skills, technique, and judgement, but who also explains treatment options clearly and doesn't try to pressure you into a treatment.
2. Stay up-to-date with your cleanings
Some dental anxiety is unfounded, but if you're not taking good care of your teeth it's easy to start being anxious about their condition for completely logical reasons. Your teeth are at a higher risk of damage and decay if you're not having regular checkups, and avoiding the dentist also means that he or she won't be able to catch and reverse damage early.
3. Find stress-reducing strategies that work for you
Even if nothing objectively bad happens at your dental visit, the visit will still reinforce your anxiety if you're feeling extremely stressed throughout the visit. So, it's important to manage your worries and stress during each dental event. Deep breathing and listening to music with headphones are some commonly recommended strategies.
4. Reward yourself for a successful dental visit
A "successful" visit, for these purposes, is one that you lived to tell about. Reward yourself with something you enjoy that you can look forward to during the appointment, and make sure it's something that you wouldn't normally do. (Try switching it up from visit to visit though so that you don't start to associate that treat with dental visits and enjoy it less.)
These four tips can help you put a positive light on dental visits in your mind so that you're less likely to suffer from crippling dental anxiety or even a dental phobia. If you do suspect you're developing one of these problems, be sure to talk to a therapist about it. For more information, contact a dental office like ComfortCare Dental.Share