Routine dentist appointments should give patients the satisfaction of knowing they’re protecting their teeth. However, for those who have anxiety, these appointments are nothing to smile about. If this fear keeps your oral health on the back burner, you’re not alone—research suggests that nearly 40 million American adults experience the phobia. While this problem might be common, it’s something every patient should work to correct. To help you avoid the risks of missing appointments, consider these tips to calm your nerves during your next dental care visit.
5 Ways to Relax When You Visit the Dentist
1. Schedule Smart
Experiencing stress before your appointment is likely to make the experience even more difficult. As such, you should plan your visit for a time when you’re less likely to be thrown off by tense situations. For example, it’s best to avoid scheduling a time when you might be in the middle of a high-pressure workday or have to drive in heavy traffic.
2. Keep Busy in the Waiting Room
The stillness of a waiting room is often enough to put many patients on edge. If you arrive early, take up a calming activity to keep your mind off the dentist—such as reading a book, knitting, or practicing rhythmic breathing exercises.
3. Close Your Eyes
When you’re lying in the dental chair, the bright light above and inability to see your surroundings can be aggravating. Fortunately, you don’t need to use your eyes for your specialist to get the job done. Instead, you can close your eyes and visualize something more peaceful.
4. Use Your Ears
If the whirring sound of dental tools disturbs you, it can be helpful to bring along some music that helps put you at ease. Many providers will allow patients to use headphones during the appointment; some might even offer their own listening stations for a more comfortable experience.
5. Let Your Provider Know
Although it’s common to be embarrassed about this anxiety, professionals are used to it. Instead of keeping your concerns to yourself, have an open conversation with your dentist about your fears. With this insight, your provider can take extra care and might offer additional solutions to help you relax.
Providing gentle care to patients of all ages, Elm Family Dental Associates is one clinic that offers care in a tranquil, welcoming environment. Whether you need routine teeth cleaning or are struggling with a toothache, you can also count on this team of friendly dentists to use advanced tools that make your treatment as seamless as possible. To learn more about their services and patient-focused approach to care, visit this West Haven, CT, dentist office online. You can also call a trusted representative at (203) 933-2223 to schedule an appointment.