While planning your schedule for the week, you glance at your calendar and realize you have an upcoming appointment with your local dentist in Orange Park. Instantly, a feeling of dread engulfs your body, and you go into panic mode. You can’t shake off the sudden nerves no matter how hard you try.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. According to researchers, between 50%-80% of adults in the United States have some degree of dental anxiety, ranging from mild to severe. Luckily, there are various tips and tricks to help ease your nerves and make your next dental visit a comfortable experience.
Listen to Music, Podcasts, or Audiobooks
Bring a pair of headphones to your appointment and try listening to something as a distraction. Whether it’s relaxing music, a funny audiobook, or an interesting podcast, having something else to focus on may help calm your nerves. Check with your dentist first and make sure it’s okay for you to wear headphones during your visit.
Let the Dental Team Know About Your Anxiety
While it may be difficult to be open about how you’re feeling, it’s best to make your dental team and dentist aware of what’s going on so they can provide accommodations. You are more likely to get help by speaking up, making the experience much more comfortable and relaxing for you!
Establish Hand Signals with Your Dentist
It’s hard to speak up during a procedure while your dentist is working on your mouth – so try using hand signals! Agree on a “stop” signal with your dentist, such as raising your left hand, and practice it beforehand. It’s helpful to have a coping signal as well, such as a thumbs up, so they know you’re alright. They’re a great way to communicate with your dentist during your appointment and be reassured that your voice is being heard.
Practice Your Breathing
Prior to your dental appointment, practice a few calming and breathing exercises. As you’re breathing, make a conscious effort to fully relax your body. Slow and regular breathing is an effective way to alleviate any stress you may be feeling.
Ask Your Dentist for a Step-by-Step
It can be stressful not knowing what’s happening in your mouth or what to expect after each step. Ask your dentist to provide running commentary during the procedure, so you know what they plan on doing and what sensations to expect. Knowing exactly what’s happening may help relax you, as it will keep you from being caught off guard.
Ready for you next visit? Try out these techniques and see for yourself just how smooth sailing your experience will be!
About Kind Care Dentistry
Kind Care Dentistry welcomes patients of all ages, providing customized, high-quality, advanced services for the whole family. Dr. Natasha Patel and her team are all exceptionally trained and will welcome you with open arms as you embark on your journey to strong oral health. If you’re experiencing dental anxiety, don’t sweat it—they’ll surely make the experience as stress-free as possible. Dr. Patel can be reached via her website or by phone at (904) 278-9011.