Going to the dentist need not be a nerve-wracking affair. There are simple things you can do to calm down and banish dental fears and anxiety forever.
For us as dentists here at The James Clinic, it’s astounding that so many people are fearful of what we do — and having it done to them. Dental anxiety is not just some random condition; it affects tens of millions of people around the world, including lots of folk in Ireland. We know from a study carried out in the United States that up to 40 million Americans will not go to the dentist because of their overriding fear of various procedures that causes them too much anxiety, and because of this, they never make those dental appointments that are so necessary to look after their teeth.
It’s a shame, because when you opt for quality affordable dentistry, there’s really nothing to be concerned about at all. Having regular checkups and teeth cleaning will ensure not just great oral health but your overall health too, and putting off or not even making dental appointments, because you’re just too afraid of what might happen, won’t do you any favours at all. So how do I calm down before going to the dentist?, you may well ask yourself if you’re afflicted by dental anxiety and worried out of your mind. Here are some ways you can make yourself more tranquil and have a relaxing time at the dentist — something you might never have even thought possible.
Calming Down Before Going to the Dentist
- Before your dental appointment, be careful of what you eat and drink. Avoid caffeine, such as in tea and coffee, and don’t eat anything that’s high in sugar — you won’t want to be jittery when you’re in the dentist’s chair. Instead, focus on having something that’s high in protein, so you feel full and, therefore, more relaxed.
- Keep an eye on your breathing as you’re going to the dentist, waiting in the clinic to be called for your procedure, and especially when you’re in the chair and having something done. When we’re anxious, we tend to take short, shallow breaths or even hold our breath altogether. This has the effect of decreasing the amount of oxygen entering the body, which can lead to feelings of anxiety or even panic. So even if you’re not entirely looking forward to your treatment — and that’s allowed — remember, if you start to feel anxious, take slow and deep breaths so you’ll feel better. You could also do some simple meditation the evening before or morning of your appointment, and there are many freely available online.
- It may not be possible, due to your dental clinic schedule, but if you can get an appointment at a low-stress time or day of the week, it may help with any anxiety you might have. Early morning appointments, for example, can be great to get dental procedures out of the way quickly, so you don’t have to be thinking about it until it comes around sometime in the afternoon, and stressing yourself out. And a Saturday dental appointment, if your dentist operates Saturday hours, can be good to make you feel that much calmer, as it’s the weekend and there’s much less to do.
- Above all, if you’re trying to calm down before going to the dentist, it’s essential that you talk about your fears. This can be as simple as not bottling it up, and potentially making your anxiety worse, but discussing it with a friend, family or colleague. A great way to slash any anxiety is to talk everything over with your dentist well in advance so you’re not left in the dark and wondering what they’ll do to you. Then you can sit, back, try to relax and maybe even enjoy the work that’s being done to ensure your teeth are in brilliant condition. That’s certainly something to smile about.
If you’re looking for quality affordable dentistry in an environment where you’ll be warmly welcomed and greatly looked after, come to The James Clinic and you’ll be right at ease. Contact us today to find out more.
Photo by Dingzeyu Li