2 Surefire Ways to Stop Being Afraid of Going to the Dentist
When people are asked what they would rather do than go to the dentist, their answers are alarming. Without getting into horrifying specifics, suffice it to say that people would rather endure a wide range of horrible discomforts, inconveniences, and even high levels of suffering rather than showing up for a dentist appointment.
In fact, not only is the thought of having to keep a dentist appointment stressful and scary to people, just the thought of making an appointment will send people into stress mode.
Why do people get so stressed out about going to the dentist?
While there is no standard answer to that question, few will argue that it has something to do with the chair and being powerless as the doctor or hygienist probes your mouth looking for issues and problems that need to be painfully fixed.
But they are envisioning the wrong thing – essentially, the worst possible scenario that rarely materializes. Regardless, many people hold fast to their image of what going to the dentist will be like and they postpone making an appointment or cancel the appointment they did make.
Fortunately, many people follow through with their appointments even though they stress about them for days in advance. That’s’ probably because they know how to manage and eliminate their fear of going to the dentist. And, in case you’re one of the other types, you can, too!
There are 2 strategies you can learn and apply to manage your fear of the dentist forever!
- Create distractions
When you are in the waiting room, or actually in the dentist chair awaiting your exam, do things to take your mind away from where you are and what is about to occur. You can put on headphones and listen to an audiobook or the music you most enjoy. That will certainly help mitigate your immediate awareness of your surroundings.
Also, by keeping your hands busy, you’re occupying your mind and helping to reduce any stress you’re feeling. Squeeze a stress ball or play around with some kind of small object. And in order to truly prepare for mindfulness, close your eyes and envision your favorite place – with you in the middle of it. Ideally, this place is calm, serene and pleasant, perhaps a lovely garden or a sandy beach.
- Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the awareness of being relaxed, centered, and grounded. This is prompted through soothing, managed, even breathing. But, before you can engage in effective mindfulness, you must clear your mind and relax your body.
Now you are ready to relax your mind and experience mindfulness. Do some breathing exercises. Inhale slowly and evenly and exhale the same way. Do this while you’re waiting for the dentist and while he or she is conducting your exam or performing the work you need to be done.
Focus on your entire body – one muscle group at a time. Breath evenly and focus on your head, all the way down your arms, back, legs to your toes. Release tension. Experience the tension leaving your body and your mind.
For more information about dental anxiety or anything related to dental health, contact Paul Mansky Dental today! We are located in Troy, Michigan and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!