Halloween is nearly upon us and that means candy. Lots of candy. Literally, pounds of candy await most trick-or-treaters. Along with candy can come cavities and that, of course, means a trip to the dentist.
For some, going to the dentist is even more terrifying than the ghosts and goblins that are promoted on Halloween. Just the thought of walking through the door of the dental office can lead some to cancel the appointment before the day arrives. An estimated 9-15% of Americans (30-40 million) avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety.¹
The American Dental Association offers some helpful tips to aid you in overcoming dental anxiety. The full article is located here.²
1. Speak up – Anyone with anxiety knows sharing your feelings makes a world of difference. If you’re tense or anxious, do yourself a favor and get your concerns off your chest. Your dentist and dental team are better able to treat you if they know your needs.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Agree on a signal. Let your dentist know by raising your hand if you need to take a break during an exam.
2. Distract yourself – Taking your mind off the exam may seem impossible when you’re nervous, but there are some things that that can help distract your thoughts.
- Wear headphones.
- Occupy your hands.
3. Use mindfulness techniques – Relaxation starts in the mind. Try deep breathing exercises to help relax tension in your muscles.
- Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and then exhale for the same number of counts.
- Do a body scan. Concentrate on relaxing your muscles, one body part at a time. Start with your head and work your way down to your toes.
At Seven Branches Counseling, we would be happy to help you smile again and begin the management of your dental anxiety or any other anxiety you may have. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.