If you start sweating at the thought of going to your biannual dental appointment, you are not alone. Many people – including adults – face anxiety when it comes to getting their teeth cleaned. Fortunately, people whose anxiety stems from a bad experience as a child can take comfort in the fact that technology has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. In addition to making it much more comfortable and painless to go to the dentist, technological advances have made it easier for dentists to diagnose problems accurately and quickly. For instance, new X-ray equipment has made it faster and safer to get your teeth evaluated, and dentists are able to catch small oral issues before they become a real problem. If you still feel nervous to get your teeth cleaned, the American Dental Association suggests the following tips:
- Choose an appointment time that will not make you feel rushed or pressured. For instance, appointments early on a Saturday won’t leave you feeling stressed about getting back to work, and you will be able to better focus on your oral health.
- Bring an mp3 player with you to disguise the sound of dental equipment. Many people are nervous about the sound of a drill, so your favorite songs will help drown those fears out.
- Use visualization techniques to relax. Picture yourself on the beach or another favorite vacation spot – what does it feel like? Are your feet sinking into the sand and the sun hitting your face? The more detail you put into your visualization, the calmer you will feel and the more you will be able to forget about your anxieties.
- Finally, and most importantly, talk to your dentist about your anxiety.
Dentists on your True Care Advantage dental plan understand that patients may be nervous, and they are more than willing to help put you at ease according to your needs. For instance, if you prefer to have the dentist explain everything before he does it, just ask. The important thing is that you are comfortable coming back so you can take good care of your oral health.