How to Keep Smiling at the Dentist

Do you get anxious when going for your dental appointment? Regular dental visits are necessary for a great smile and good general health. Even though you’re anxious you should still go. There are ways that dentists can make your visit more comfortable.

In the waiting room

Dental offices often have features available to make their patients feel at ease while they wait. These can include calming videos, water features, free wireless, comfortable furniture and welcoming staff. Dental clinics that cater to children and families may also have play spaces available.

 You can use deep breathing and visualization to calm yourself; picture yourself on a beach or imagine how this is going to help you feel your best.

Before your exam

Let your dentist know that you are anxious about the visit before you arrive. They may be able to provide you with a mild sedative to make your visit more comfortable. Your dentist can also go over your treatment plan with you so that you know what to expect.

In the treatment area

The time will go by much faster and you will focus less on what the dentist is doing if you are distracted. Distraction techniques can lessen pain levels.

Other non-medical ways to relax you can include distractions like sound therapy (soothing music or nature sounds through earphones). You can also use your phone to listen to music (remember to mute your phone and not answer calls during your visit!).

Bring something comforting to hold onto; a stuffed toy, soft blanket or other special object.

Some dental offices provide videos on the ceiling or on monitors to watch during your procedure.

Let the dentist know right away if you are experiencing pain. They may need to give you more local anaesthetic, adjust your position or alter their technique.

After your exam

Smile! You’ve had a great dental visit, with a lot less stress and now you have a beautiful smile as a reward.