Do you avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety or are you fearful when it’s your day with a dentist? This condition is known as dental anxiety.

Dental anxiety is a recognized condition affecting both adults and children. It’s the leading reason why so many people neglect to give their smile the attention needed for optimum oral health.

Helpful tips to address dental anxiety

Dental anxiety can range from outright avoidance to panic attacks in the dental chair – if that sounds like you, you’re not alone. Here’s what you can do to get back in control:

  • Practice deep breathing – breathing exercises are helpful when feeling overwhelmed
  • Meet your dentist first for an easy talk, without treatment
  • Call your dental office and give the dental staff a heads up about your anxiety
  • Use signals – During treatment, establish a “stop” cue or hand signal to get the attention of the dentist
  • Distract yourself with music, a comforting object, or a friend
  • Visiting a psychologist can be helpful too
  • Have treatment done under happy gas (nitrous oxide), conscious sedation, or general anaesthetic
  • Hydrate before the appointment
  • Prepare to treat yourself after, you know – you did it!