If you avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety and fear, you’re certainly not alone. According to a recent study conducted at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine, as many as 40 million Americans avoid going to the dentist because of their anxiety and fear. And avoiding regular dental treatment, in turn, can lead to more dental problems and more anxiety in the future.
At Stephens Dentistry, we don’t want you to suffer any anxiety or dental pain in Evanston, and here are five tips for keeping your anxiety under control.
1. Speak Up and Communicate.
Don’t keep your anxiety bottled up. Tell the receptionist when you book your appointment about your anxiety, and then discuss this issue with the dentist and dental assistants at the beginning of your appointment. Share any bad dental experiences you may have had in the past, and ask questions about the procedure you’re about to have. A little knowledge can help alleviate a lot of fear. And agree on a hand signal to let the dentist know when you need a break.
2. Watch What You Eat and Drink.
Before your appointment, avoid sugary foods and caffeine, in favor of high-protein foods that can have a calming effect.
3. Try Distracting Yourself.
Take your mind off the procedure by bringing some headphones to listen to your favorite music or an audiobook. You might also occupy your hands with a stress ball or a fidget spinner.
4. Focus on your breathing.
As in meditating, focus on slow, regular breathing to help reduce your stress level.
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We hope these tips will help you avoid anxiety and dental pain in Evanston, and we hope you’ll make Stephens Dentistry your dental practice of choice.