Tips for Dealing with Dental Anxiety

July 26, 2019 8:00 am | Published by
Curly-haired women reclines and relaxes without dental anxiety

Many Americans struggle with dental anxiety, and in some cases their dental fear keeps them even from attending their regular exams and cleanings. If you’re feeling stressed out before a visit to the dentist, you’re not alone—and don’t worry, we don’t take it personally! But we do want to help, so we’ve put together the following tips to help you combat your nerves.

  1. Find Relaxation Methods
  2. Relaxation techniques, while seemingly simple, can go a long way toward preparing you for an upcoming dental visit and helping you stay calm during your appointment. Practicing deep breathing and meditation can be a quick and easy, yet effective, solution for putting you at ease. For example, try a technique called progressive muscle relaxation. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and focus on individual portions of your body, aiming to relax and release tension. Start with your toes and work your way up to the top of your head.

  3. Distraction
  4. Distract yourself by keeping busy leading up to your appointment. If you can, do something relaxing before the appointment like getting a manicure or massage, or watch a funny movie the night before. When you arrive for your appointment, feel free to bring along a loved one, a comforting blanket, a stress ball, and/or earbuds for listening to music, an audiobook, or a podcast.

  5. Talk to Us!
  6. One of the best ways to feel better about your visit is to talk to our team beforehand. Let us know what you’re feeling; it’s good to make us aware so we are prepared to do everything we can to make you comfortable. We can explain what to expect throughout your visit, and establish hand signals or other communication techniques so that you can feel calm and in control during treatment. Additionally, we can determine whether you’d benefit from one of our dental sedation options! Depending on your unique needs, we can offer nitrous oxide, conscious oral sedation, and IV sedation.

Regular professional cleanings and checkups are an essential component in achieving a healthy mouth. Here at Optima Dental Spa, your safety and comfort are our priorities. We will strive to help you feel at ease during your visit with us. So if you’ve been avoiding the dentist out of fear and anxiety, today is the day to change that–contact us!


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