Everyone knows the most effective way to ensure a healthy mouth is the daily oral regimen of brushing and flossing your teeth, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and keep your scheduled dental cleaning visits. But what if you are one of those people who is so afraid of the dental office that you will do anything to avoid sitting in the chair, and only extreme pain will let you drop your guard long enough to call the office and schedule an appointment?
You may be suffering from an anxiety affliction called dental phobia, and it isn’t pretty (especially if you end up trading emotional safety for unpleasant teeth problems that could have been avoided if you had just come on in to have them fixed). Okay, it really isn’t that simple if you have a true phobia, but there are definitely some aids that can help you get on track with your oral care!
One of the first things you can do to face your fears is to talk to our dental staff and dentists about your concerns. Start by mentioning it when you schedule your visit so we can prepare beforehand. We are happy to help you feel comfortable, relaxed, and pain-free while you are in our expert care.
We can work with you to help you maintain a feeling of support, and one of the things we can do is arrange a signal beforehand that will tell us when you need a break or even just a pause in treatment where possible. Raising your hand can let us know if you need to rinse, take a breath, or calm yourself momentarily.
We will also be happy to explain the steps in the treatment to you as it proceeds so you know what to expect at each step. This alone will help you feel in control of your fears as you remove the unknown from the picture.
You can bring a friend or family member with you to help you stay calm while you wait for your procedure, and just knowing you have someone you trust waiting for you who can drive you home afterwards helps to relieve anxiety.
To help distract you from your anxiety, bring your ear buds and music player you can listen to your favorite tunes while you relax in the chair. Another effective calming technique is slow, deep breathing to relax your heart and muscles.
These are just a few tips to help ease you into your next dental visit with our office and we want to help you look forward to your next visit in any way we can!