How to Overcome your Fear of Dentists

 Up to 20 percent of Americans admit that they have a fear of the dentist. The problem is so prevalent that psychologists have created a special term for it. They call it dentophobia. While you will want to be honest with your dentist if you are afraid, there are some meditation techniques that may help get you through your next checkup without as much anxiety. 

Deep Breathing 

One technique that many people find effective in treating fear of going to the dentist is breathing in through the nose while counting to four. Then, hold your breath while you count to four. Finally, exhale while you count to eight. Deep breathing helps improve the oxygen flow to the brain starting the parasympathetic nervous system helping you feel calmer. 


While many find guided meditation tapes helpful in the dentist office, if you do not have any or forgot to bring them, then you can still use meditation. Start by thinking about the procedure ending well and the experience that your dentist has in your procedure. Then, take four deep breaths. Then, picture the novocaine going in smoothly and painlessly. While the dentist is doing the work, picture yourself floating in your favorite swimming pool. Before you know it, the procedure will be over. 


If you are wondering how to overcome your fear of dentists, then hypnosis may be the perfect solution. Even if you cannot take a person knowledgeable in hypnosis to the dentist office with you, it is possible to use an app to help you stay in a hypnotic state while the dentist is working on your mouth. These techniques are usually designed to take about 10 minutes before you will feel totally relaxed. Soothing voices on the app along with video imagery will have you feeling great while the dentist is working on your mouth. 


Some patients find it helpful to listen to music while having dental procedures done. Music helps you connect to your inner peace. Listening to sounds from nature can help quiet your racing mind as it tries to think of everything that can go wrong. Many people even combine relaxing music with Qi Gong or T'ai Chi practices to help their bodies heal faster after a trip to the dentist. 

Be Optimistic 

According to Lasting Smiles of Highland Park, people who are optimistic can be taught to not fear the dentist. Many find that humor is particularly important in helping them deal with dental stress. It breaks down the barriers between the dental staff and patient making them seem more like equals, according to research from the University of Sweden. Even if the staff seems to have no humor, thinking positive thoughts has been shown to help people feel less anxious when visiting the dentist. 

Since good dental health is vital, it is important that you overcome your fears and visit the dentist. If these techniques do not work for you, then visit with the dentist about your fears. Most dentists are ready to assist you in overcoming your fears. They can use special medicines before your appointment along with sedation and other techniques during your visit to help you cope. Many find that they are less fearful after one successful visit to the dentist.
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