There are many reasons why you may fear the dentist. You’re not alone; dentaphobia affects both children and adults alike. However, we want to keep your teeth healthy, so it’s better than having a toothache or cavity that can cause further damage if left untreated. If you have any anxiety about going in for dental cleanings with our team at Murfreesboro Family Dentistry, here is some helpful advice on how to overcome this issue:
- Discuss your concerns with your dentist.
- Have a signal to let the dentist know you need a break.
- Distract yourself.
- We offer sedation options during your appointment time for those who need it.
Talk About Your Fear with the Dentist
Sometimes the best way to overcome a fear is to talk about it. Tell your dentist that you’re feeling nervous or anxious, and they’ll be sensitive to your needs. While you are in the chair, we can offer tips and strategies in-real-time so you feel comfortable with your visit.
Safe-Signal for Your Dentist
A safe-signal is like a safe-word, but since the dentist’s hands will likely be in your mouth, talking is not really an option here. If you’re not familiar with safe-words, they’re like a secret code word that let someone know you need to stop. Talk ahead of time and agree on something the two of you will remember, like raising your hand in the air or blinking hard twice. This way the dentist will see your signal and know to stop for a moment.
Distractions can be useful when you know you have to get through something, but don’t necessarily want to. Bring your headphones and favorite music, audiobook or podcast with you for the dental appointment. If keeping your hands busy while we are doing our thing works best to distract you, then bring along some stress balls or fidget toys that will help keep those restless fingers occupied.
Mindfulness is getting a lot of attention recently in the health and wellness industry. It has been shown to reduce stress, improve physical symptoms of anxiety like difficulty breathing or heart palpitations, and decrease pain sensitivity on things like dental cleanings. You can try mindful meditation techniques by focusing solely on your breath for three seconds during inhalation, holding it for another three, then exhaling for three. This will not only help distract from any discomfort but also lower blood pressure and help calm your mind.
The dentist has nitrous oxide for a reason. With just one small dose, it will relax you and help take the edge off. The gas is out of your system by the end so you can go on about your day after your visit is over.
At Murfreesboro Family Dentistry, you are our top priority. If you normally have a fear of the dentist, please give us a call so we can put your mind at ease. Our staff is gentle and supportive. The appointment can move at your pace and you will never feel rushed out of the chair. We offer very flexible scheduling times so you can schedule for when you want. We look forward to hearing from you.