Dental anxiety, otherwise known as dentophobia, is quite common among adults and children. According to the National Library of Medicine, up to 16% of adults suffer from dentophobia. If you have struggled with dental anxiety in the past, it is only natural to fear that your child might have the same challenges. So what can you do to relieve your dental anxiety and make that next trip to the dentist easier for your child?
Don’t worry. We have 8 quick tips to make things easier for you and your kids the next time any of you are in the dental chair.
8 Easy Tips To Relieve Dental Anxiety Before Your Next Appointment
If your child has had a bad dental experience in the past or you are dreading your next dental visit, you should know that it doesn’t need to be that way. Start by remembering your last visit. Chances are, it didn’t go as badly as you worried it would. In fact, your last trip to the dentist was likely a raging success. But still, we know that for those who suffer from dental anxiety, even a successful appointment might not relieve the future dread that dentophobia can cause.
If this is the case for you or your child, try some of these tips to help ensure that your next visit is a success. Learning techniques for working through your anxiety can not only help you but also set a good example for your child when it is their turn to get in the patient chair.
1. Seek out the best dentist near you in Wasilla, Alaska.
Seeing the right dentist can make all the difference in managing dental anxiety. When deciding who to see, be sure to look for reviews and testimonials on the dentist’s website and Facebook page. Reading about the good experiences of other patients can help put you at ease and reassure you that you have selected the best family dentist in Wasilla, Alaska.
2. Schedule your appointment during your best time of day.
Some of us are morning people, while others prefer afternoons. Consider the time of day that is optimal for you and request an appointment that fits into that window. If your dentist doesn’t offer appointments at convenient times, ask them for other options. And if it still doesn’t work, it might be best to look for another dentist. Valley Dental Clinic offers convenient appointment times every Monday through Thursday.
3. Avoid overscheduling yourself the day of your dental appointment.
We all seem busier than ever and have so many things to accomplish each day. But if you suffer from dental anxiety, overscheduling yourself the day of your dental appointment is like adding fuel to the fire. Plan ahead and keep the rest of your day as open as possible. This will help lower your stress level, thus helping to keep your blood pressure under control.
4. Take a pain reliever 30 minutes before your appointment.
Regardless of the type of dental treatment you will be receiving, adults may find it beneficial to take an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen prior to your appointment. This can help you manage any potential pain or discomfort, even though your dentist will take appropriate steps to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout your treatment.
5. Wear comfortable clothing.
When we are stressed, we can often feel every seam or stitch in our clothing, so wearing tight-fitting clothes on the day of your dental appointment might not be the best idea. We have found that patients who wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to their appointments find it easier to relax and enjoy their dental experience.
6. Come with a distraction.
Many of our patients load a playlist to their mobile devices before their appointments and come prepared with headphones so that they can relax to their favorite tunes. Both kids and adults alike may bring stress balls or other trinkets that they can hold during their appointment. Not sure what to bring? Consider what things you usually use as distractions when you are feeling stressed at home or at work. Whatever works for you, we encourage you to bring it along to your appointment.
7. Tell us about your dental anxiety.
If you have had a poor experience at another office or if you have dental anxiety, let us know when you schedule your appointment. The more we know about you and what causes your dental anxiety, the better we can prepare to help make your appointment the best possible experience.
8. Don’t skip out on your twice-a-year preventive dental checkups.
It may be tempting to forego your dental appointments if you have dental anxiety. But keep in mind that practice makes perfect, and it is no different when going to the dentist. More frequent dental appointments help with dental anxiety in two ways. First, they can help you prevent any major dental issues that would require invasive treatment. Second, they can help you build inner trust and be more confident in both your dentist and the dental experience.
You did it!
Did you get through your last dental experience successfully? If so, it’s time to celebrate! And if you have a child who is preparing for their appointment, now is the time to help them conquer their dental anxiety too. Start by considering the techniques that worked for you to see if they can apply to your child. Also, be sure to read our article that shares helpful ideas to help calm your child before their dental appointment.