5 Tips for Calming Your Dental Anxiety
Dr. Christine Hansen • Palo Alto, California
Missing dental appointments due to phobias not only can prolong your dental discomfort, but it can also add to your anxiety because you may feel guilty for missing dental offices.
Here are some tips and tricks that will help you relax so you can get the care you need.
- Talk With Your Dentist
Having an open dialogue with your dentist can help you. Dentists understand that people have phobias about being at the dentist because they’ve helped other people like you.
- Chill Out with Music
Bring your music and headphones for your appointment. Music is especially useful if one of your specific anxiety triggers is the sound of the dental office. You may need to listen for directions from the dentist or team, so keep the volume at a reasonable level.
- Meditate into Tranquility
There are some great meditation apps where you can learn how to put yourself into a more relaxed state. The great thing about this is that it can help you with more than just your dental anxiety.
- Imagine Your Happy Place
This visualization technique can seem overly simple, but sometimes simplicity is just what you need. Just close your eyes, and imagine the one place in the world that makes you feel the most at ease. Imagine the park, the beach at sunset, or another scene in your mind and pretend you are there.
- Sedation Options
When being open with your dentist, listening to music, visualization, or mediation doesn’t help your dental anxiety; it’s time to consider sedation dentistry. Often with sedation dentistry, you’ll be relaxed enough that the dentist can provide you with the necessary treatments, and they can accomplish more in one appointment to prevent having to prolong how long the full treatment plan will take. It can be easier to know you have one significant appointment rather than several smaller appointments.