Dental fear is common among all ages. About 60% of the population avoids the dentist because of fear. If you are someone with dental anxiety, here are a few tips to ease it.
Speak up about your fears
People tend to keep their fears to themselves to avoid feeling embarrassed or silly. They hope they can overcome their fear on their own by ignoring the issue. It is best to talk about your anxiety with your dentist so they can help you find a solution. They will talk to you about your fears and work with you to develop a treatment plan that you are comfortable with.
Agree on a signal
If you suffer from anxiety or fear when sitting in the dentist’s chair, it’s important to come up with a signal with your dentist to let them know you need a break. For example, you could raise your hand if you need a break.
Take a trusted person with you
Ask a friend or family member to come with you to the dentist’s office. The presence of a familiar face can help make your visit more comforting and ease some of your anxiety. You can also ask this person to be your “signal” if you need to speak up during a procedure or if you are in pain. In addition, you can take someone along with you who can be a distraction while you are in the chair. This could be your significant other or a family member that can help you stay calm and relaxed during your visit to the dental office.
Distraction can work wonders for anxious patients! If you have headphones or a portable device such as an iPad or tablet, you can bring in and listen to your favorite music or watch Netflix during your procedure. You can also bring a friend or family member that you feel comfortable around. Having someone you trust there by your side can be soothing, even if they aren’t in the room. Talk about your fear with your dentist beforehand and work together to come up with a plan that works for you.
Consider sedation dentistry
In addition to distraction, consider sedation to help calm your nerves before your appointment. Sedation can help ease stress and minimize the fear that is preventing you from visiting the dentist.
Call Dr. Ronald F. Jacob, DMD, at (386) 445-6111 if you wish to learn more about ways to maintain good oral health. We are located at 17 Old King's Road N, Palm Coast, FL 32137. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, give our dental office a call. We’re happy to answer them. Happy holidays!