Dentist helping child overcome dental anxiety

09 Feb How to Overcome Dental Anxiety: 5 Simple Tricks and Tips

If you’re afraid of going to get a dental checkup, you’re not the only one. In fact, in Canada alone, it’s estimated that at least 48% of people suffer from at least a moderate form of dental anxiety. Although this can be challenging for those suffering from it, there are ways to tackle and manage it. Below, we detail several easy ways on how to overcome dental anxiety.

How to Overcome Dental Anxiety: Tell Your Dentist You Have Dental Anxiety

Dentists and hygienists can’t help if they don’t know what you’re going through. Before you get started let both your hygienist and dentist know that you have dental anxiety. Many dental professionals (including our team) have experience and knowledge of how to help patients through their dentist appointment to ensure their appointment isn’t stressful.

Commonly, dentists and hygienists will talk you through each step of the process so you always know what’s coming next and why they’re doing it so there are no surprises.

Talk With Your Dentist About a Signal to Stop During Dental Checkups

Sometimes anxiety can be too much. That’s okay. However, because you’re not able to communicate easily with your dentist when they’re working on your mouth it’s a good idea to have a signal or action you can take so they know when your anxiety or stress is getting too high.

For example, if you’re feeling high levels of anxiety you could raise one of your hands so the dental professional doing work can stop and help you through what you’re feeling.

Give Yourself a Distraction During Dental Exams

Many dentist offices now have TVs embedded in the ceiling or on an adjustable stand and headphones to wear so that you can watch TV as work is getting done. This can be a great distraction to help you focus on something other than the work that’s being completed in your mouth.

Alternatively, just listening to a podcast or your favourite songs with headphones on can also help put focus more on the words or music instead of the treatment you’re getting.

Dentist helping patient overcome dental anxiety

Bring Someone to Support You

You don’t have to face your fears alone. Bring a close friend or family member if you find more comfort and solace with them around. They can even hold your hand through the most anxiety-inducing portions to help you stay calm.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Finally, you can also practice breathing exercises like box breathing which involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 4 seconds, breathing out for 4 seconds, and holding that for 4 seconds. Meditation and mindfulness practices can also work well to help you stay calm and relaxed.

Overall, while dental anxiety can be challenging, by letting those involved at the dentist what you’re going through, they can help you get through your dental checkups without issue.



Have dental anxiety, but still need to book a dental checkup? Contact us to book an appointment and let our experienced team know what you’re going through so we can help you during your time with us.