How to Manage Anxiety at the Dentist

women at the dentistOne of the most common fears among adults is going to the dentist, and many of us do feel at least a little bit of anxiety at our dental appointments. Luckily, there are ways that you can manage your stress while at the dentist so that you can take care of your smile.

  1. Talk it Out – Your Niles dentist and the staff have your best interests in mind. If you’re feeling anxious, tell them! They will go out of their way to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. They see patients every day who deal with dental anxiety, so they will know how to help.
  2. Breathing Exercises – When we’re nervous, we sometimes forget to breathe. Focus on slow regular breathing to reduce stress levels and take your mind off of the exam.
  3. Jam Out – If you are undergoing a procedure and can’t handle the sound of the drill, bring a pair of headphones and listen to music.
  4. Avoid Caffeine – Caffeine, and high-sugar foods can increase your anxiety, so take care to avoid them before an appointment. Before coming to the dentist, eat some high-protein food, which can produce a calming effect.
  5. Hand Signals – Sometimes anxiety is caused by feeling helpless. When the dentist is working in your mouth, it can be hard to communicate. Before beginning the exam or procedure, agree on a set of hand signals with your dentist so that you can let them know you want them to ease off or stop what they are doing. This can make you feel more empowered and help you get through your visit.
  6. Choose a Good Time – Feeling rushed can heighten feelings of anxiety, so choose an appointment time that won’t stress you out. Don’t make an appointment you have to rush to attend or one where you have to be somewhere directly after the appointment. Early morning or Saturday appointments may be more relaxing for you.

Make an appointment with our dentist today. We serve patients in Niles, Skokie, Gurnee, Arlington Heights, and Vernon Hills, IL.