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Are you scared or nervous around your dentist? You don’t need to be! It’s estimated that over 5% of people in this country avoid dental appointments due to this. Another 20% will relent and go, but only when it is a dental emergency. Preventative dentistry is key in good health across the lifespan, which makes dental care imperative. In some instances, fear of going to the dentist is a side-effect of another, co-occurring issue, such as posttraumatic stress (PTSD) or Anxiety disorders, which can complicate the situation and exacerbate the fear.

Are you nervous or worried about an upcoming dental appointment? There is no need to be scared; try these tips for overcoming fear:

Trust your Provider

Perhaps the most important way to overcome fear related to your dentist is by choosing the right provider, in the first place. Do you trust your provider? Have a history with them? If not, this could be the issue. Talk with friends and family to find their recommendations related to a dentist in your area; better yet, recruit them to go to the appointment with you, but more on that later!

Just Breathe

A lot of times, blood pressure and stress can arise due to the way that you breathe. Try to slow down and relax, breathing deeply and purposefully. Take in air through your nose, if possible, hold it; now, release slowly through your mouth. This can help ground you and keep you from becoming too focused on your fear.

Distract Yourself

Look for ways that you may distract yourself during the dental appointment, but make sure that they won’t interfere with what the doctor needs to do. For instance, ask about wearing headphones or earbuds to listen to soothing music or motivating recordings. Some dental offices provide TVs to help distract their patients during procedures.

Dig Deeper

If your fear is keeping you from going to the dentist, even though you might need to, it could be a bigger issue. It can help to talk to a therapist, counselor, or psychologist about the cause of your fear- as well as how to overcome it.

Talk to your Dentist

Talk to your dentist about your fear; there may be things that your provider can do to help. For instance, pain-free dentistry sometimes involves laughing gas or sedatives, depending on the procedure. Ask your dentist about your options to ensure your comfort.

Ask for Support

As previously mentioned, it can help to parlay fears when you ask a trusted friend or relative for support. Ask for someone to go to the appointment with you and try to make it a positive experience overall, by turning it into a social outing of sorts. Don’t be shy about asking for support.

Don’t be nervous or afraid of going to the dentist; talk to the trusted providers at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC. Your comfort and care are first and foremost; call to schedule your appointment today.