October 2016 articles

Don’t Fear the Dentist

article2If dentists are just as scary to you as the ghosts, goblins and vampires that lurk around every corner this time of year, youre not alone. Whether its due to a bad experience in the past or simply fear of pain, more than 20 million Americans avoid going to the dentist because theyre scared.1 The good news: There are steps you can take to lessen your anxiety. First of all, dental technology and pain management have made great strides in the past decade. Having cavities filled and even getting root canals are practically pain-free.2 Additionally, most dentists know that visits to the dental chair arent a walk in the park for everyone, and they can take steps to make you feel more at home. From TVs in the exam room to aromatherapy and relaxing spa-like treatments, many dental offices have amenities that may even make you look forward to your visits. You can also take some steps to calm yourself before an appointment:

  • Choose a dentist you like and trust, or get recommendations from friends and family.
  • Eat a high-protein meal before you go protein has a calming effect on your mood.1
  • Avoid sugar and caffeine, which may make you feel more jittery and anxious.
  • Concentrate on keeping your breathing slow and regular. We tend to hold our breath when were tense, which decreases oxygen levels in the blood and can make us feel more anxious.1
  • If your dentist doesnt provide TV or radio in the office, bring your own music and a pair of headphones, so you can close your eyes and zone out during your appointment.

Finally, if you have a fear of the dentist, dont let your kids know. Children can pick up on your emotions, and they may develop a fear of the dentist even if they havent had a negative experience.

1 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21443 2 http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,21239

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