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Here are 10 ways to get over your fear of the dentist.

08-06-2022

You wish to overcome dental phobia? Want normalcy? More people than you think fear dentists, so you may be closer than you realise. One in ten have serious anxiety. If your phobia of dentists is preventing you from seeking treatments, here are some tips.

1. Visit the dentist without an appointment.

Visit the dentist when you don’t need to. Walking, driving, or cycling to the dentist’s office and standing outside can help. Instead, shop nearby. If you can, ask the dentist first. This will help you adjust to the settings and reduce worry.

2. Smile and think favourably

Sometimes smiling and appearing cheerful can soothe your concerns and make you happy on the inside. It can also comfort others.

3. Relax

Try relaxing techniques at home, in the waiting area, and in the chair. Simple breathing exercises, shutting your eyes, and thinking positive thoughts can ease stress.

4. Tell others

Problems shared can be half. Talking to a trusted friend can ease your anxieties. Explaining your difficulties to someone can help you rationalise them. Perhaps they have anxieties, and you might both benefit.

5. Distract yourself

Having something to focus on throughout the dental process might reduce anxiety. If the dentist can, request background music. Some dentists have TVs.

6. Let the dentist explain small treatments ahead.

Explaining what the dentist will do might help reduce stress. Once you know what they’re doing, you don’t feel lost. You can even joke about it (see point 5).

7. Reward yourself

Managing dental anxiety involves educating oneself to have a happy experience, like bringing up a child or training a dog. If you offer yourself a reward after every dentist visit, you will eventually link the dentist with that treat, whether it’s going to the movies, out to dine (if allowed), shopping, sports, or gaming. It can be a terrific method to release tension.

8. Determine the issue

If you can isolate the reason of your anxiety, such as a childhood visit, you may be able to better manage it.

9. Switch dentists

Sometimes you need a new dentist. If all your negative feelings about dentists are related to one practise, then maybe it’s time to start over at a new place and make fresh associations?

10. Hypnotize

If earlier methods failed, try this. A specialist may be able to reduce your worry and get to the bottom of the problem. Try phobia-specific websites.

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