Choosing the right dentist is important when addressing dental anxiety. Some dentists are fully prepared to address their patients' anxiety, while others place various levels of importance on how to treat patients who experience anxiety. When the right dentist is chosen, patients are more likely to make it to their regular dental appointments, supporting their…
Relaxation Techniques for Dental Anxiety
Looking for ways to address your dental anxiety? Or maybe a family member or friend you know experiences this all-too-common problem? Communication is key for dental patients who find it difficult to go their dental appointments, as many dentists take the extra steps necessary to help their patients relax when in need of dental work.
What can cause anxiety in dental patients
Understanding what can cause patients to experience dental anxiety is beneficial, as some people do not know the reason behind their nervous feelings. According to WebMD, there are many reasons that some people have dental anxiety, with common ones including a fear of pain, a fear of injections, a fear of anesthetic side effects and feelings of helplessness and embarrassment. It is possible for someone to develop anxiety due to experiencing one or more of these issues.
The list below includes three commonly used techniques that have been proven to be beneficial for dental patients who experience any level of anxiety when thinking about or going to a dental office.
All patients will benefit from taking proper care of their body, as doing so promotes an overall calming effect. Examples of self-care relaxation techniques include eating high-protein foods, avoiding sugary foods or drinks and avoiding caffeine altogether. Making an appointment at a time that one is likely to feel less rushed is also a great idea, as many people tend to experience even more anxiety when they are running late for their dental appointment.
Meditation and mindfulness
There are many meditation techniques that one can use to help themselves relax when living with dental anxiety. Popular ones include focusing on one’s breath, requiring patients to breathe and breath out slowly and methodically in order to reduce their overall stress levels. Mindfulness techniques require patients to focus on relaxing their body. If any part of their body is tense, they can use their mind to focus on relaxing that particular part of their body.
Distractions tend to be a beneficial relaxation technique, as it helps take one’s mind off what is going on once they are in a dental office. The fact that those who experience dental anxiety claim that it is hard for them to get their mind off of anything else but their particular fear makes incorporating one or more distraction techniques a great idea. One great example of distraction includes wearing headphones to listen to music or audiobooks.
In need of help for anxiety?
Those who are in need of dental anxiety assistance need to reach out to let a dental team know about their feelings of anxiety. This allows the entire team to help the patient, as no one wants to experience these types of feelings, especially if their anxiety prevents them from getting the necessary dental care they need for good oral health.
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