Every American needs to prioritize their oral health, and regular dental visits are an essential part of that plan. But studies show less than 65% of Americans actually go to the dentist. There are several reasons for that, but dental anxiety and fear are among the most common. Many people assume they have an actual phobia, but anxiety and general fear are quite different from a paralyzing dental phobia. In fact, approximately 60% of people avoid the dentist due to anxiety and dental fear while only 5-10% suffer from true dental phobias. Nonetheless, dental worries and fear of any kind are very real for the sufferer. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to ease your dental fear and experience no stress dentistry.
Speak Up and Communicate
The only way to release anxiety is to get it off your chest. And the only way your dentist can know your fears is if you’re upfront and honest about them. Often times the fear is completely unnecessary and all concerns can be avoided with the right forethought and planning. Express your fears and concerns to your dentist to see what can be done to adapt the treatment to your specific needs. Successful treatment includes making sure trust and communication are there at all times. So speak up to help kick your fears to the curb.
Get Some Personal Reviews
Good businesses reflect their success with happy customers. And those closest to you will always be the most trustworthy sources of business information. So check with your friends and loved ones prior to your appointment. Ask about their experience with the dentist. Dive into whether they’ve heard any specific pros or cons and pay close attention to the answers. Glowing reviews from people you trust can go a long way to alleviate anxiety.
Use Distraction Techniques
If the concept of the exam still makes you nervous after talking to the dentist, a little distraction may help. Load a playlist to your phone or mobile device and bring headphones to the exam. Music can block out all sorts of things from the sounds of drills to chatter. Stream a show or borrow some magazines or other reading material right from the lobby. Using a fidget spinner or stress ball can also help physically release and reduce stress through cognitive distraction.
Engage in Deep Meditation or Mindfulness
Just playing the waiting game can be stressful on its own. If your early or your appointment is pushed even just a few minutes, time can seem to slow to a crawl. Instead of letting anxiety take over, breath in deeply through your nose, hold the air for a few counts, and release it through your mouth. Repeat five times and check on your anxiety. If it’s still present, repeat. If further relaxation is required, close your eyes and perform a mental body scan. Focus on each body part and mentally coerce each muscle group to relax, beginning with your head and ending with your toes. Don’t forget tension areas like your forehead, eyes, jaw, neck, shoulders, back, and feet. Give us a call when you’re ready to ease into stress-free Holistic Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale.