Dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias in the world with nearly a third of all adults disliking the dentist and 1 in 10 of us having a phobia so strong that we actually avoid making visits to the dentist. Dental fear is a problem that needs to be tackled head on, however, as our oral hygiene is incredibly important for our health, here are some strategies of helping you to tackling coming to see us:
Overcoming Mild Dental Anxiety
Mild dental anxiety is discomfort and nervousness at the dentist (as opposed to terror and panic). It can be treated in a number of ways:
Talking to your dentist is the first step to overcoming your dental fears. Make sure your dentist understands your exact fears and work with them to make your appointment as relaxed as possible by taking breaks and letting them put you at ease.
Practicing breathing techniques
Controlled breathing relaxes your body and shifts your focus to other things in order to preoccupy your mind. This is fantastic when you are at the dentist as you can avoid a lot of discomfort and anxiety. The easiest breathing techniques simply involve inhaling and exhaling through your nose for a slow count of three – so three seconds breathing in, followed by three seconds breathing out. This technique is particularly useful as it also overcomes the breathing issues many of us feel when things are in our mouth.
Using relaxation techniques
There are a number of relaxation techniques that may work for you. You could bring music into your appointment with you, ask to have your favourite radio station on or just have the nurse chatting to you. Different relaxation and distraction techniques work for different people so try and find something that will work well for you.
*information from oral health foundation: https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/blogdetails/173
We are a friendly team at Parkway Dentalcare and completely understand the fears you may have when coming to the dentist, we are here to help and guide you :)