Overcoming Fear and Anxiety At the Dentist's Office
Updated: Dec 7, 2022
Tips for Easing Dental Fears
Ask friends and family. If you don’t already have a dentist, ask people you trust about their own dentist and be happy with their provider. Word of mouth is a great way to find a good dentist.
Search for a dentist online. Many dental offices have web sites where you can learn about their practices and become familiar with the staff. If you have found a few dental practices that look promising, ask friends and neighbors if they are patients or know anything about them.
Talk about your feelings. Once you choose a dentist, make sure you communicate with the dentist and staff. Don’t be shy! You are not the first patient who ever felt nervous or anxious. Talking will make your dental experience more relaxed and pleasant.
Ask questions. Ask your dental team to inform you about the type of dental treatment they recommend based upon your unique oral health needs. Once a treatment plan has been developed, ask your dentist to explain the procedures in detail. Knowing what to expect before it happens can help put your mind at ease.
Try to relax. If you are nervous before going to a professional cleaning or dental procedure, talk to the dentist about making the experience more comfortable. The dentist and staff should make every effort to make your visit comforting and less stressful.
Overcoming Fear with Prevention Regular dental checkups and cleanings are always essential to keep your mouth healthy. But it's the oral care at home that can keep you from needing more complicated dental procedures down the line. Whether or not you have a fear of the dentist, brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once daily, and limit sugary snacks between your main courses. As you and your dentist work to make your visits more relaxed, it won't take long for fears and stress start to weaken. And as each dental appointment becomes more comfortable, your teeth and gums will become healthier and your smile more confident.