The new year is looming ahead — a time filled with resolutions, many of which focus on ways to improve your health. Do you want to take control of your oral health but feel like your dental phobia holds you back?
If so, know you’re not alone: More than 80 percent of Americans experience dental phobia or anxiety!
To start, let’s consider common symptoms of dental anxiety. Depending on the intensity of your fear, you may experience one or more of the following signs:
- Agitation, aggression, or moodiness
- Uncontrollable emotions, including crying and panic attacks
- High heart rate
- High and unstable blood pressure, which may lead to fainting
- Heart palpitations
Fortunately, there are ways that we can minimize your symptoms and reduce your dental phobia.
1. Keep up with your at-home dental care.
Remember to brush twice a day and floss once a day. This simple yet effective routine will help prevent complicated dental issues, which will ultimately help you avoid emergency trips to the dentist.
2. Prepare for your anxiety.
You can bring a stress ball or fidget toy to play with during your visit. This simple task may be enough to distract you! Additionally, if a weighted blanket helps you control your anxiety, ask to have the x-ray shield vest placed on you.
3. Communicate your concerns!
Communicate your dental phobia to our team prior to your appointment. We can work together to make your appointment more comfortable, whether it’s with sedation dentistry or a favorite playlist or a meditation app on your phone. A breathing exercise will not only distract you but also help to lower your heart rate and calm your anxiety. Plus, headphones will block out the noises caused by drills and other tools.
If you need a break during the middle of a procedure, simply raise your hand to let us know. Remember: We are always here for you!
4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Oftentimes, our fear is caused by a lack of understanding. Ask your dentist whatever you want to know about your upcoming visit: what it will feel like, what it will sound like, how long it will take, how you will feel afterwards, and so on. We will do our best to answer any and every question.
5. Bring a family member or friend.
Finally, it may be helpful to have a loved one with you. Just knowing they are there may help you feel more at ease. If you’re concerned about their presence at your appointment, don’t hesitate to ask us ahead of time if it’s okay.
Let 2024 be the year that you overcome your dental phobia and focus on your oral health!
At Maitland Ave Smile Co., we strive to help all of our patients — regardless of their anxiety or fears — feel comfortable during their appointments. It is our goal for everyone to leave with a happy and healthy smile!
Call us at 407.834.0330 to schedule your next appointment! Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like restorative dentistry, bad breath, and more.