No matter what age you are, everyone feels nervous about visiting the dentist at some point. Whether that’s for cosmetic work or just a check-up, there are going to be times when you feel a little anxious. That’s why we’ve provided some tips for you to use if you visit your local practice, like Northern Beaches Dental in Mackay as an example, you could try some of the following.
Bring a soft toy
It may feel a little strange bringing in your favourite fluffy thing to keep you calm, but you will find your dental team to be quite supportive of this. No matter the age, having something fluffy to squeeze when things get a little too much can help quite a lot.
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is that you communicate with your Dentist in Mackay during treatments, even if it’s a routine check-up. Let them know in advance that you may be feeling a little anxious or try to introduce a signal system to say when you need a break. They’re not mind readers so they’re relying on you to let them know if what’s being done is painful or stressful. Keeping everyone on the same page can make the whole treatment process a lot easier.
Listen to some music
Listening to some relaxing music is another great technique for keeping calm. Having a distracting tune to focus on can make your visit just fly by as you will be more focused on the song than what’s going on in your mouth. Or if any drilling or motorised tools are being used it’s a good way to block out the noise which can be quite stressful for patients.
A general recommendation for music is to aim for something with a nice slow tempo or a happy beat that you can lose yourself in. Try to stay away from heavy metal or thumping bass as those raise your heart rate and can stir up feelings of anxiety.
Try stress-reducing breathing techniques
Most people when they’re stressed will hold their breath, this is an unconscious action that we’re not always aware of and it’s the worst thing you can do when you’re stressed. This is because it limits your body’s ability to oxygenate your blood.
Why this is important is, when you are feeling anxious your system is flooded with Adrenaline in a fight or flight response, which is why you start to feel panicked and your heart beat starts to race. Breathing techniques where you have to inhale slowly in through your nose and back out your mouth can help; this oxygenates your blood and helps your body to burn off that Adrenaline build up. Keep a steady pace when you start to feel stressed and, in a few minutes, you should feel your body start to calm back down.
So, on your next visit to your local practice try a few of these techniques to keep yourself calm and make your visit a lot less stressful.