Dental anxiety is a real disorder that affects many. Avoiding the dentist, however, can lead to more serious dental problems – some of which could be life-threatening (such as gum infections). There is much you can do when it comes calming yourself prior to a dental visit. Read on to learn what you can do.
Speak With Your Dentist
Dental anxiety is commonplace, so know that you are far from alone. That means your dentist not only understands your fears but can help make things easier just by being aware of your feelings. In many cases, your dentist will take some extra time to discuss a procedure, even something as routine as a cleaning, step by step. Also, ask your dentist about hand signals you can use to let them know you need a break from the action. Sometimes, a lot of fear can be eliminated just by knowing what will happen at your visit.
Don't Eat or Drink the Wrong Thing
If you aren't careful, you might create more problems when you consume sugar or caffeine before your appointment. Instead, try a caffeine-free calming tea, water, or a high-protein meal or snack.
Make the Entire Day Better
Try to schedule your dental appointment on a day when you don't have lots of other commitments. Take time off work and be good to yourself by resting afterward rather than rushing here and there.
Consider Anti-anxiety Medication
A variety of medications are available to help you relax. Ask your dentist about medication that is taken before the appointment that can help you relax. Nitrous oxide, inhaled right before a procedure, can also help make things less nerve-wracking. Finally, consider more intense intravenous sedation for long, complex, or more stressful appointments.
Don't Put Visits Off
Unfortunately, one of the side effects of dental anxiety is that dental problems can accumulate at an alarming rate. For example, the beginning of a cavity may signal itself with some pain. The fix is quick and simple – a filling. However, if the cavity progresses, you can lose the tooth, get an abscess, experience jawbone loss, and potentially lose more teeth because of the loosening of surrounding teeth. In addition, the more often you visit, the easier it will be each time you do so.
Embarrassment is Unnecessary
Your dentist sees people every day who have put off their dental care. They are there to help you and not to judge you so don't let shame prevent you from getting started on a healthier smile.
For more information contact a dentist office near you.