Millions of Canadians have a fear about visiting the dentist. Whether it’s the panic that something might happen in the mouth or the anxiety about getting work done, there are multiple reasons why people avoid visiting the dentist.
But that doesn’t mean that ignoring it completely is the answer. Neglecting your dental hygiene can result in worse problems in the future, meaning more work (which is costly) and more trips to the dentist (more fear then).
So how do you treat yourself when you’re afraid of the dentist? You take a look at these six tips to help you calm down before your visit.
Six Ways To Calm Yourself Before The Dentist
1. Open Up & Develop a Relationship with Your Dentist
Establishing trust and honesty with your dentist can help you with any anxiety or fear issues, as you’ll feel more comfortable communicating about it. That can only happen if you visit the dentist beforehand and be honest with your fears.
This way, the dentist can explain the treatment process you need (if any, alter it to your liking and ensure that you’re comfortable with it. The more you are open with your dentist, the better the result for your dental health.
2. Research the Dentist or Dental Clinic
Some in-depth research into the dentist or dental clinic can prove useful for appointments.
Having an idea of what other patients think can be useful with you in the long term. You can gauge responses, reviews and ratings with Facebook and Google, proving useful in these cases. It can put you at ease if you see a wealth of positive reviews from former and current patients.
Whether it’s a local dentist on the corner or a Downtown dental centre, research can help calm your nerves about what to expect from the professionals.
3. Ask About the Treatment – Research It!
Okay, this tip can push you down the rabbit hole, but it’s an important one that you should do, particularly with the help of friends and family – and even the dentist themselves!
Once you’ve spoken to the dentist about your treatment, they should give you a wealth of information to ease your expectations. Then, do some research on your own.
You just have to be careful about going down the wrong rabbit hole about “mishaps” and “terrible dentist treatments”. Avoid them at all costs. Just read about the procedure from multiple reliable medical websites with the help of friends and family (so they stop you from going down the rabbit hole).
If you have any questions or concerns, note them down and ask your dentist before your treatment. It can help manage your expectations about the treatment, the expected pain you might feel and help you realize that you shouldn’t be afraid of the dentist.
4. Distractions with Music or Television
How do you keep kids distracted? Play some music or sit them in front of the TV. The same can work for those with dental anxiety.
Sure, it isn’t before the treatment itself, but it can prove helpful when under the lights. You can find yourself watching a favourite TV show or listening to calming music. It can help ease your fears and ensure that you are distracted when receiving treatment.
If you wish to know more about how your dental clinic can help, ask them about their distraction methods. If they don’t have any, they might allow you to bring your own form of entertainment.
5. Bring a Loved One with You
Sometimes you need that little bit of support. You can get it by having a loved one by your side during treatment. They might not hold your hand the whole time during the treatment, but their presence can help ease your concerns if anything does happen (which it won’t!).
6. Try Some Relaxation Techniques
People who meditate or practice yoga tend to be calmer when visiting the dentist. Why? Because they’ve mastered the art of relaxation.
You don’t have to reach the same levels, but it can prove useful for you to try some relaxation techniques prior to your trip. Some methods to try include:
- Controlled breathing
- Happy image creation
- Total mindfulness
- Listening to calming music
- Reading an easy/fun book or article
- Do something fun like puzzles
Doing these techniques can help ease your heart rate, calm down your mind and alleviate any pressure you’re feeling. You’ll be able to visit your dentist with little issues when you’re in a state of calm and tranquillity.
Remember: avoiding your dentist will only lead to more problems in the future. These tips can help conquer your fears and ensure you get the treatment when you need it the most.