Coping Skills for Facing Dental Fears
We all have something we are afraid of -- spiders, the dark, heights, maybe even going to the dentist. Sometimes, you can avoid scary things. You do not like heights? Stay close to the ground. But seeing your dentist is one fear you should not dodge. Here are some things you can do to help you get to the dental office and through the appointment.
*Speak up -- Let the dentist and the staff know that you are anxious. Tell them what makes you nervous or if you’ve had a bad experience in the past. Talk to the team about any coping skills that have worked for you in the past.
*Ask questions -- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
*Agree on a signal -- You can give, like raising your hand, if you need to take a break during treatment.
*Distract yourself --You have a lot of options for distracting yourself. Bring headphones and listen to some music or an audio book. Occupy your hands by squeezing a soft stress ball.
*Breathe --Deep breathing brings oxygen into your body, helping slow your heart rate and relax your muscles.
These are just a few coping techniques. Work with your dental team to develop a plan that not only gets you in the door, but keeps you coming back for visits on a regular basis.