It’s no secret that going to the dentist or orthodontist can be a daunting experience. Whether you’re new to the practice or have had your fair share of dental and orthodontic appointments, it’s easy for anxiety and fear to take over when you think about sitting in that chair. And yet, if you want your teeth healthy and free from cavities, you must visit the dentist every six months while attending your regular orthodontic check-ups. How do you make these trips less stressful? Here are four ways:
1. Stop the Negative Chatter
One of the first things to consider when thinking about visiting your dentist or orthodontist is all those words you say to yourself that only amplify the fear. When you tell yourself that it’s too stressful, that you can’t do it, or that nothing will help with your anxiety, what you’re doing is reinforcing and adding to your feelings of anxiety and stress. Instead, reframe your thoughts and take a deep breath. Remind yourself that this is an experience like any other and breathing deeply will help you feel calmer and more grounded.
2. Accept That It Will Be Okay
Another negative way to approach your next visit is by telling yourself that you know it won’t be okay or that the doctor will probably find something wrong with you. These types of comments just increase our anxiety around going to the dentist or orthodontist because we’re already thinking negatively about what might happen. Instead, prepare yourself for the visit by thinking about how your doctor will likely find nothing wrong with you, and you’ll be on your way shortly.
3. Use Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is an excellent technique that allows us to become more conscious of our thoughts and feelings, and it has been found to help reduce anxiety and stress levels. To do this, you simply need to find a quiet space and then focus on your breathing. When you keep your mind in the present moment and release thoughts of the past and future, you feel less anxious and stressed about what is to come with your appointment.
4. Find a Dentist or Orthodontist You are Comfortable With
The key to reducing dental anxiety is finding an experienced dentist or orthodontist that you are comfortable with. This could be because they have a gentle touch that makes the appointment easier for you, or it might be someone who discusses everything thoroughly, so you understand what your next steps will be. The bottom line is if your dentist or orthodontist makes you feel calm and safe, it will be a much more relaxed experience for you.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, almost 75% of people could benefit from orthodontic treatment. However, anxiety and fear surrounding what could happen next can stop people from seeking help. By following these four tips, you’ll be armed with the tools to make your next visit to the dentist or orthodontist much more pleasant. Call us today to schedule an appointment.