Dental anxiety is a real issue among both young and adult patients, it can have many causes such as a bad first experience or simply because the smell of dental offices triggers a painful memory. However, we are not here to talk about the causes but the solutions for Dentophobia because we know just how important it is for everyone to have a proper dental care session once in a while.
- Make a relaxing playlist
The power of music is undeniable, it can make you cry in a matter of minutes or boost your mood instantly depending on the song – this is exactly why making a playlist that helps you get relaxed is key. Try making it about an hour long so you don’t get bored of the same tunes playing over and over again.
It is best if you play it since you start your car or hop on the bus to get to the dental office, then bring your earphones to listen to it in the waiting room and ask for your dentist to let you play it as they do the procedure.
- Bring a good book to the dental office
Sometimes waiting in line before a rollercoaster makes you feel more afraid than actually being on the rollercoaster, and this is the case with patients with Dentophobia, this is why a book will be perfect for the wait to go by fast.
Of course, if you forget your book you can always get a good read out of the 10-year old magazines in the waiting room! Reading your horoscope for May 2009 may not be the most entertaining way to pass the time but it will surely be better than to sit there staring at the wall art.
- Ask a friend to come with you
They say that everything is better when you are with your friends and going to the dentist is no exception. Bringing a loved one to the dentist with you is going to help you feel a lot safer and make the waiting time go by a thousand times faster.
They can even go and give you their hand to hold while you get your procedure done, this is a great way to diminish anxiety… Just make sure that your friend is not afraid of going to the dentist too!
- Try breathing techniques
Breathing is something that we do all of the time without even noticing it. However, when done consciously it can bring great benefits such as calming one down and releasing tension. Yes, it may not be possible to do once you’re at the dentist’s chair but it can really help while you’re waiting.
There are many techniques such as counting and breathing, walking and breathing, imagining a happier place and breathing, etc. Just a quick google search will reveal how many there are.
- Choose a great dentist
Great dentists are those that apart from being good at their job, are good to their patients. An empathetic dentist will be perfect for you because they will help calm down by reassuring you that everything is going to be okay and there’s nothing to worry about. They will let you play relaxing music and even make a little chit chat to distract you.
Great dentists can be found in many places, to identify them just look for online reviews on them and try to find adjectives in them such as “patient”, “kind”, “reassuring”, etc.
- Associate the dentist with something nice
It is like when doctors give lollypops to children after each visit: to associate the memory of going to the doctor with something sweet. As one grows up, it becomes more challenging because a simple candy won’t do the trick… So, what about associating the dentist with the beach?
When making dental tourism, you associate a new, exciting experience, with your visit to the dentist. It may be hard on your first visit because of the anxiety of visiting a new place combining with dental anxiety. Nevertheless, by your second visit, you’ll be much better.
Cancun is one of the best spots for dental tourism as it has an international airport, amazing beaches, and professional dental specialists that use the same materials as in the United States, and even belong to the American Dental Association.