Skip to Content

Taking the Fear Out of a Dental Visit

Share this post with your friends!

Pretty much no one is going to say they love going to the dentist. Even if the best Houston dentist is taking care of your teeth and gums, it doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy the twice-yearly visit. 

So, what are you supposed to do if you’re afraid of the dentist? Are you supposed to swallow your fear twice a year? Some people may tell you to get over it; after all, it’s not like they enjoy their trips to the dentist.

However, dental fear is a real phobia, and it can eventually wreak havoc with your oral health. If you’re not resigned to letting your teeth fall out due to lack of care, there are some things you can try to make a dental appointment a little less frightening.

Learn Some Breathing Techniques

Okay, you’ve resigned yourself to going to the dentist twice a year—congratulations, you’re following ADA advice! If you have a perfectly reasonable fear of the dentist, this may mean bracing for a panic attack every six months. Your fear of the dentist may not result in an actual panic attack, but it comes pretty close.

So, what can you do to try and keep your stress and panic levels manageable? Have you considered trying some breathing techniques? There’s a good reason why therapists often recommend this strategy. Actually, there’s more than a single reason. 

When you slow your breathing down, your body almost always automatically starts relaxing. You can almost feel the stress and tension drifting away. Also, focusing on slowing down your breathing takes some concentration. This means you can’t focus on your fear of the dentist.

Learning how to breathe slowly and steadily under stress isn’t going to cure your fears. However, it can make your visit less stressful for you and your dentist.

Build Connections at the Office

You’re probably not looking to build lasting friendships with the staff at your dentist’s office. However, if you can overcome your fear enough to at least be able to engage in friendly conversation, you’re off to a good start.

Surprisingly there’s actually an advantage to going to a Houston-based dentist. The Bayou City always has something going on that makes a great conversation starter. In the early spring, the Rodeo is almost always on everyone’s mind. Don’t forget about the various sports events. 

From baseball to football (both American and European), you can usually find some sort of common ground. If this fails, Houston’s traffic is always something to talk about. If nothing else, talking about the never-ending construction on I-59 should be enough to make you forget you’re at the dentist.

Something you may not have considered. As you get to know the staff at the dentist, you can share your fears and anxieties. Don’t worry; you’re probably not the only patient who’s anxious every time they walk into the office. The staff may be able to help you relax before you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Create a Calm Environment

This may seem silly and even next to impossible. After all, how are you supposed to create a calm environment in the dentist’s office? Not only are you in a place you’d rather not be, but you’re also listening to all of the assorted sounds. From dental hygienists chatting about various oral health diseases to noises from various tools, it’s enough to make you cancel your appointment.

Instead of running for the nearest exit, you can create a calmer environment. This can include bringing along a pair of noise-canceling headphones and cranking up your favorite tunes. Yes, studies are showing music can help you relax in stressful situations. However, before you start jamming to heavy metal, the type of music can make a difference. In other words, try to find calming music.

So, what qualifies as calming music? This is going to be different for everyone. Some people may want to crank up Bach while others head to the latest top 40 hits. But if heavy metal, think of bands like Slayer and Metallica, can help you stay calm under stress, then by all means—rock out!

You Can Get Through a Visit to the Dentist

While these strategies are not a magic solution to eliminate dental anxiety, they can significantly mitigate your stress and make your dental visits more manageable. 

By adopting these tips, you may not begin to anticipate dental appointments with enthusiasm, but you can transform them into experiences that are no longer overwhelmingly daunting. 

Share this post with your friends!