Talk to your dentist
There’s something about having knowledge on anything unknown that makes us feel less afraid or at least more self-assured handling the unknown. If you consider dentistry an unknown topic, maybe you can educate yourself by asking your dentist lots of questions. Find a dentist willing to listen to your fearful thoughts and concerns so they can better assure you there isn’t much to worry about. Usually when we talk about our fears someone with more information can help by reducing our anxiety. They may even eliminate it completely by showing our thoughts to be entirely irrational.
Studies show how incorporating a 10 minute meditation routine can improve our overall feeling of wellness considerably. Think of meditation as a way for you to focus on the present moment and be comfortable with a subtle feeling of relaxation. This will provide a sense of tranquility we don’t always experience in our day to day lives. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I dedicated time to focus on the present moment and simply watch life pass, instead of trying to control everything.” With meditation we can tune in to our natural way of being and more easily distinguish the difference between an authentic threat or an anxious thought.
Bring a friend or family member to your appointments
Sometimes modifying your environment in way that’s more familiar will reduce nervousness. A good way of doing this is to bring someone familiar to your dental appointments who can serve you with emotional support. This could be a close friend or family member who understands how you feel. You should bring someone who is prepared to talk you out of negative thinking patterns. Your companion ideally will understand they are there for you and that this isn’t so much about the two of you hanging out socializing. Make sure they are up to the challenge!
Practice good oral hygiene
By having superb oral hygiene you can feel more confident about your next visit to the dentist. With excellent dental care you can go into the dentist with a lower chance of having a root canal or being diagnosed with gingivitis, the onset to periodontal disease. See why these conditions may worsen your anxiety? If you were diagnosed with gingivitis, your mind would have logical reasons for feeling nervous which is not what we want. However, if you’ve been doing the regular brushing and flossing as recommended then there isn’t as much to stress about.
Seek out a therapist
Are you feeling anxious all the time or just while at the dentist? Seeking out a therapist may help with dental anxiety. Your therapist may counsel adjusting your daily routine to help combat both dental anxiety and any anxiety from day to day life. Or, your dentist may suggest specific techniques to focus on while at the dentist. The 3-2-1 technique involves naming 3 things you can hear, followed by 3 you can see and lastly, things you can feel. Then you reduce the numbers to 2, then 1. This is a useful exercise you can do while in a dentist’s office or anywhere you may feel anxious.
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