Dental anxiety, or odontophobia, is much more common than you’d think. In fact, up to 75 percent of people dread seeing the dentist in one way or another! Avoiding dentists may make sense to someone that is fearful of them, but it doesn’t help your oral health in the long run. No matter why you have a fear of the dentist, be it from a past traumatic experience or because you simply aren’t thrilled about the sounds and sensations of a dental visit, follow these five tips to get better acquainted with your dentist and to get your oral health back on track.
1. Recognize That You Have Odontophobia
Sometimes it’s easy for us to be in total denial over why we don’t want to visit the dentist. Many people claim that their schedules are too packed to see the dentist or that something suddenly came up before an appointment instead of acknowledging the sweaty palms and stomach butterflies that arise at the mere thought of a dental examination. When you recognize that you have dental anxiety, you are better equipped to help yourself and allow others to help you overcome it.
2. Don’t Go Alone
We feel more comfortable doing something we’re nervous about if we’re with someone who is relaxed and exudes confidence. Visit the dentist with a trusted friend or family member who can help you stay relaxed during your visit.
3. Take Deep Breaths
Whether you are with someone at the dentist’s office or alone, closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths can help your entire body relax. Slow, deep breaths are actually proven to have an affect on your nervous system, bringing a sense of calm.
4. Get Sedation
It can be difficult to feel pain or hear loud noises happening in your mouth without being able to see what exactly is happening during your procedure. Dental sedation helps you feel completely at ease and safe while you get your necessary dental procedures taken care of.
At Ruby Canyon Dental, we offer IV Sedation, which brings about a deep state of relaxation without putting you to sleep. Its effects do linger for a few hours after your procedure, so make sure you arrange for a ride home! For those who don’t need as much sedation or want a better option for kids, we also offer oral conscious sedation which is administered in pill form an hour before your treatment. Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas, is another popular option and helps you feel relaxed yet awake. Its effects wear off after just a few deep breaths of air.
5. Congratulate Yourself
Many of us are simply too hard on ourselves. It doesn’t make sense to punish yourself for having anxiety, but you should always congratulate and reward yourself for pushing through your fears and doing what you can to maintain optimal oral health. Visiting the dentist regularly can help prevent advanced oral health issues and overall health issues.
Don’t let dental anxiety stop you from living a healthy life. Our staff at Ruby Canyon Dental is here to help you feel as safe and comfortable as possible, and we are happy to do whatever it takes to help you feel right at home in the dental chair. Contact us to schedule an appointment today and see the difference!