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5 Tips to Overcome Dental Anxiety

If dental anxiety keeps you from taking care of your teeth, you could be jeopardizing your oral health. 

Dental anxiety is anything from nervousness about visiting the dentist to a debilitating phobia that makes sitting through a dental exam nearly impossible. 

Your dental health is an important part of your overall health. And if dental anxiety is preventing you from seeing a dentist twice a year, you’ve got a real problem.  Without proper dental care, your teeth can develop cavities and infections that can spread to the rest of the body. 

Dr. Shiva Salehi at Madison Family Dental Group wants to help you overcome dental anxiety that prevents you from taking good care of your mouth. Here are five tips that will help you overcome your dental anxiety.

1. Understand what to expect

When it comes to dental anxiety, ignorance is never bliss. You should know what to expect during your appointment, and why we do, what we do.

You can do a little research online before you arrive for your appointment, or you can ask Dr. Salehi to explain the procedures she’ll use to keep your mouth healthy. She may not teach you how to read a dental x-ray, but she will tell you why she takes x-rays, removes plaque from your gumline, and polishes your teeth.

2. Stay calm

It’s easier to prevent anxiety than to relieve it when it’s already happening. You probably already have ways to keep calm. Before your appointment, practice some relaxing yoga poses. During your appointment, you can try deep-breathing. If a stress-relieving device, like a fidget spinner, helps you keep calm, bring it to your appointment. You can also listen to calming music or a meditation app while we’re working on your teeth.

3. Bring a friend

Sometimes bringing a trusted friend or relative to an appointment can help you feel calm and safe. If there’s room in the exam room, that calming person can help you relax, maybe by just holding your hand. Even if there’s no room for your friend to come into the exam with you, he/she can help you stay calm in the waiting room. Waiting can be the most stressful part of the dental process.

4. Distract yourself

While waiting for your appointment, distract yourself with phone games, a good read, or doing a little work. Word games on your phone, which take a lot of mental power, can distract you from thinking about your dental fears.

5. Ask for help

You’re not the first patient with dental anxiety we’ve seen. Don’t be afraid to ask us for help when you arrive. We want you to feel comfortable, and we know how to put you at ease. But we can’t help you if we don’t know you’re suffering from fear. So, let us know that you suffer from dental anxiety when you book your appointment, or when you arrive at our office.

Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from taking good care of your teeth and mouth. To book an appointment at Madison Family Dental Group, call our office at 916-229-8283, or use our online booking tool.

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