Deal With Stress

Five Ways to Calm Your Nerves When Going to the Dentist

Stressed at DentistIf you feel nervous or anxious when visiting the dentist, you are not alone. Here are five ways to calm your nerves when going to the dentist.

1  Ask for the Specifics First

It can be nerve wracking when you aren’t sure what the dentist is going to do to you or how he is going to do it. Before you let anyone start doing anything to your mouth, ask the dentist to explain exactly what he will do. Just knowing what is going to happen can help you feel calmer about the experience. If something sounds scary or painful, ask the dentist about it to relieve your fears.

2  Work Out a Signal with the Dentist

If you feel uncomfortable when the dentist is working in your mouth, you can work out a signal beforehand with your dentist that you need a break. For example, you might hold up one hand to signal the dentist to stop for a moment. Just knowing that you are in control can calm nerves.

3  Practice Calming Techniques

While the dentist is working in your mouth, practice calming techniques. Try to breathe deeply and count slowly in your mind. Picture calming scenes in your head, and pretend you are somewhere else instead of in the dentist’s chair. If there is a picture on the wall, concentrate on that picture to clear your mind. If it helps, bring headphones and listen to music during the appointment.

4  Ask the Dental Assistant for Help

Dental assistants can be helpful when it comes to calming nerves. If you tell the dental assistant you are nervous before the procedure, she can talk to you throughout the visit. As you listen to her words, you will be less likely to concentrate on the dentist or the work. The dental assistant can even keep you informed of the progress if that makes you feel better.

5  Ask for Help

Finally, if your nerves are just too bad to continue, ask your dentist for help. He may be able to mildly sedate you or give you a medication to keep you calm during the procedure.

Never be embarrassed about your fear of the dentist. York & Bay Dental Office, a Hamilton, ON dentist admits that members of their own staff get anxious during dental visits. The best you can do is ask for help, and don’t avoid the dental care you need to keep your mouth healthy.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing about health and wellness and spending time with her dog, Max.

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