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Why overcoming dental anxiety is important

Avoiding going to the dentist can cause gum disease and premature loss of your teeth. It can affect even your overall health. Numerous studies have shown that bad oral health is associated with conditions such as heart disease and disorders in both of the lungs.

How to know if you have dental anxiety

  • Trouble sleeping the night before dental appointment
  • Getting more and more stressed when you're in the waiting room
  • Wanting to sob or feel physically sick just thinking about the dentist
  • Feeling anxious or unable to breathe while you're sitting in a dentist's chair
  • Thinking of a dental instrument in your mouth is overwhelming.

How you can overcome your dental anxiety

Everyone needs to look after their teeth, because healthy teeth and gums are vital for your entire body's health. What's more, everybody wants to see yours lovely smile!

There are just a few ways to conquer the fears of dental visits. The dentist will tell you more things to make you feel at ease.

Be transparent about how you feel

Speak to your doctor, hygienist or dentist about how you are feeling. When you set your appointment and when you arrive tell them about your fears. Understanding how you feel makes them treat you better. Furthermore, acknowledging your worries will help to lower your stress level.

Set a safe signal

Pick a gesture that you can use if you are feeling anxious and need a break — a smile, a thumbs down sign, a touch on the shoulder. Controlling when your dentist or hygienist begins and finishes will help to reduce your anxiety.

Hold your breath

We still hold our breath when we're stressed, without even knowing it! Holding your breath reduces your level of oxygen and increases your level of tension so let it out and try to stay focused on taking long, deep breaths.

Calm your body and mind

Are your hands clenched? Curled toes? Your entire face scrumpled? Concentrate on calming the muscles from head to toe.

Schedule your appointment at your convenience

When your appointment is scheduled in the midst of a busy workweek, the additional tension will make things worse. Visit on a Saturday or at night when you are not being pressed for time.

Dental sedation

Your dentist can prescribe a sedative to help you stay calm, after you speak to your dentist about your anxiety. You have a range of choices from a mild sedative like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to a stronger sedative that can put you to sleep.

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