08 Oct How to Effectively Manage Dental Anxiety
Does your stomach start doing a circus performance every time you have to go see a dentist? You’re definitely not the only person who’s experienced that. Many people have dental anxiety from either previous experiences or just feel unsettled about someone poking around in their mouth.
Because this kind of anxiety can even prevent people from coming into the dentist until things are too severe, it’s important to find effective solutions to it.
Below we detail several ways to do just that.
Common Causes of Dental Anxiety
Like most issues, it can be especially helpful to know what sort of things can trigger or cause dental anxiety so you can recognize it when it happens.
Some of the most common causes are:
- Bad Past Experiences: This is easily one of the most common issues people have. While it could be a bad experience from a past dentist it could even be from a traumatizing film, or even just an anecdotal experience a friend had that stuck with you.
- Fear of Dental Tools: Because dental tools are small and need to be highly accurate, the whistling sound of the drills can unnerve some people and give them dental anxiety.
- Layered Phobias: It might not necessarily have anything to do with getting work on your teeth, but just the environment itself. Sounds, the setup, and the way the environment feels can also trigger anxiety if you picked up fears from other things that have happened to you that trigger when you go to the dentist.
How to Deal With and Treat Dental Anxiety
Breathe a sigh of relief because there are effective ways to treat dental anxiety.
Start by taking the best care possible of your oral health. Fewer dental problems mean fewer trips to the dentist after all and therefore less dental anxiety.
However, in the moment, it’s good to have a mental toolkit. For one, tell your dentist you have dental anxiety. If they know what you’re going through, they can more readily help you. For example, they could give you mild sedation while they’re working on your mouth to help you stay calm. They could even just talk through the steps they’re taking so you know exactly what they’re doing to help you stay healthy.
Other tools to use in the moment could be headphones to distract yourself with music, an audiobook or podcast, or even TV shows or movies a dental office may have available.
Meditation beforehand/during can also help to calm your mind and put you in a more relaxed state.
Know that dentists understand that dental anxiety is very real and have collected numerous tools to help you ease through your time there. Don’t be afraid to open up to them about it during your next appointment.