How to Curb Anxiety at Your Next Dentist Appointment

January 24, 2020

Nervous dental patientNervousness before and during a dental visit is incredibly common. Most dentists and hygienists are used to easing patients through the process, and you can bet you’re not the first anxious person sitting in their seat.

There are also some things you as the patient can do to make your next dentist visit as stress-free as possible. Try these six tips for calming your nerves at your next appointment:

  1. Tell Your Dentist: One of the best things you can do is be upfront and honest with your dentist about your nervousness before a dental procedure. With the awareness of your anxiety, your dentist will know to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible and assure you it’ll be over before you know it.
  2. Ask Your Dentist Questions: On the flipside, asking about what to expect can also prepare you better than not knowing the ins and outs. Many dentists are happy to explain and talk through the steps of the procedure with their patients—especially letting them know when it’s almost over!
  3. Skip the Caffeine and Sugar: Both caffeine and sugar can increase your heart rate, so it’s best to avoid consuming coffee, caffeinated tea or other sugary drinks and foods. A soothing cup of herbal tea (that’s caffeine-free) can be helpful, as well as drinking plenty of water.
  4. Breathe Deeply: Your breath has a huge effect on your mood. Taking deep, calming breaths can help slow your racing heart and mind.
  5. Don’t Rush Yourself: Make sure you don’t have too much else going on before or after your appointment. Piling on too many responsibilities in the timeframe around your visit will only contribute to stress. If you can go home right after and relax, you will be less on edge than if you had to make it to an important meeting.
  6. Don’t Avoid Your Appointments: Though it may sound tempting to forego stepping foot into a dentist office altogether until you absolutely need to—like if you’re in pain, for example—you will make things harder for yourself in the long run. Preventative care is the best defense against needing more serious procedures, and knowing how your teeth are doing can allow you to avoid painful surprises. Likewise, the more 6-month checkups you have under your belt, the more comfortable you will get with your dentist, hygienist and office so that it doesn’t seem so scary anymore.

At Greeley Dental Health, our team knows how to make our patients feel safe and comfortable, whether you’re coming in for a routine visit or getting a procedure like a filling or root canal. We’ll be there with you every step of the way!