Do you avoid visiting the dentist due to fear? If so, you are not alone. An estimated 40 million Americans avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety.
When it comes to visiting the dentist, people can feel anxious for a variety of reasons, including worrying about pain, a negative past experience, or even just the sterile smell of the office.
However, avoiding appointments can lead to unnecessary oral health problems, which can result in even more time spent in the dental chair for treatment. If the anxiety isn’t properly addressed, a vicious cycle can easily start.
What can you do to calm your nerves if you have dental anxiety? Our experts here at Wildwood Dental in Washington are chiming in to offer ideas:
Choose your appointment time wisely. Pick a time of day when you’re less likely to be rushed. For many, that means an early morning or evening appointment. (We are proud to offer flexible appointment times.)
Eat before your appointment. Eating high-protein foods can produce a calming effect. With that said, avoid consuming sugar and caffeine, which may make you antsier.
Openly discuss your fears. If you’re tense or anxious leading up to an appointment, tell us! Expressing your concerns will let help us adapt your treatment to fit your level of comfort.
Just breathe. Making sure to breathe at regular intervals during procedures is key. At times, nerves can make you hold your breath, which can decrease oxygen levels and increase that panicky feeling.
Bring music. If the sounds inside the office bother you, bring a portable audio player or use music from your smart phone to listen to music. We have headphones available in our offices for easy listening.
Relax knowing you are in good hands. Each and every one of our staff members want to make you feel welcome and comfortable in our offices. Let us know how we can help!
For especially nervous patients, we can offer nitrous oxide. Additionally, we do offer conscious sedation to allow you to be completely relaxed. All you need is a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment.