Dental phobia has become one of the most common phobias. A large number of patients are even afraid of just stepping into a dentist’s office. Fear of going to the dentist can be based on a variety of reasons, ranging from a negative dental experience as a child, fear of pain, fear of having your teeth drilled on or even fear of just having to keep your mouth open for an extended length of time. Dental fear can be just a slight feeling of anxiousness or can escalate all the way to an overwhelming fear that actually blocks someone from receiving crucial dental care. While few people look forward to going to the dentist, most all agree that it is an important part of personal health care that cannot be overlooked. Here are a few tips to help you relax and turn the time spent at your dentist’s office into a positive experience:
- Communicate with your Dentist
Effective communication is the key to beating dental distress and is the basic foundation of any good doctor-patient relationship. Talking with your dental health care professional before, during, and after the dental procedures can greatly help reduce your fears. Be sure to speak with your dentist about your fears or any other concerns you may have before undergoing the procedure. It is important to ask the dentist to explain the procedures to you before he/she begins. You may also ask the dentist to keep you informed as he/she is performing the procedure. Any professional dental team, such as the team at Cosmetic Dentist in Boca Raton will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
- Write Down the Procedures that Scare You
Fear can cause any individual to lose confidence and avoid a certain situation. Listing the procedures before your appointment will help you identify exactly what frightens you and help you prepare for it. Visualize a game plan for a specific situation and follow through with it. For instance, if you’re easily frightened of having your teeth checked for cavities, remind yourself that this portion of exam only lasts a few seconds – usually less than one minute.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help you breathe better, decrease your muscle tension and help reduce levels of stress hormones. This can help minimize your pain and anxiety. Some of the most common relaxation techniques used to help manage your fear at the dentist office include:
- Guided Imagery
This is the simplest mental technique. Just picture yourself being in a calming place or having an enjoyable experience. The basic idea behind this technique is to create as much mental detail as you possibly can. In most cases, you become involved in mental images that you barely notice what is going on.
- Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is also called diaphragmatic breathing. It involves breathing slowly and deeply. This technique floods the body with increased oxygen and helps relax the central nervous system and reduce anxiety.
- Progression Relaxation
The technique helps you to consciously relax each muscle in your body. Typically you start with your toes and consciously tighten and relax each body part as you move all the way up to the head. This technique minimizes muscular tension, which helps to reduce the fear, anxiety and pain.
- Bring a Family Member or Friend With You to Your Appointment
Consider asking a family member or friend to accompany you to your next dental appointment. He/she can help to calm you and also distract you from the procedure. If you feel very nervous, ask the dentist if your family member or friend can come with you to the procedure room. You may feel more relaxed knowing that another trusted person is in the room.
- Schedule Regular Visits to Your Dentist to Prevent Serious Dental Problems
A large percentage of people fear going to the dentist because of complicated issues which lead to painful procedures such as drilling a cavity, or having a root canal,etc. Getting regular checkups will make you more comfortable visiting your dentist and will prevent serious oral health conditions. Your team of professionals at Cosmetic Dentist in Boca Raton will be gland to create a personalized dental care schedule that will make you feel more comfortable. The more positive checkups, the more quickly you will overcome your fear. Ensure that you take good care of your oral health daily to reduce the risks associated with complicated dental procedures. You can also prevent the problems by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and making sure to floss each and every day.
Don’t let your fears keep you from having a beautiful smile and healthy teeth! Call Cosmetic Dentist in Boca Raton at (561) 232-2070 and make your appointment today!