3 Tips For Reducing Anxiety When Visiting Your Dentist

Do you dread having to go get your teeth checked out? Do you wish that there was some way that you could skip going to the dentist entirely? Unfortunately, in order to have healthy teeth, going to the dentist is something that is necessary on a yearly basis, at the very least. But what you may not realize is that it doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience. While you may never look forward to getting a dental checkup, there are things that you can do to help make your next visit more comfortable. 

Switch dentists: Many people continue to go to the same dentist for years at a time, simply because that's what they're used to. But that doesn't mean that your usual doctor is the right dentist for your needs. Some people would prefer a dentist who jokes around, while others might like one who is more serious. This is a matter of personal preference. But you should always go to a dentist who is willing to stop and listen to your concerns and your needs. If you ever visit a dentist who tells you what "must" be done without taking the time to listen to what you want or can afford, it's time to find another dentist.

Listen to music: While the dentist is examining your teeth, put on some headphones and listen to some of your favorite music. Music provides a great distraction from what the dentist is doing, helping to alleviate both pain and any anxiety that you may be feeling. Since you can't talk anyway while he or she is examining your mouth, a good dentist will be more than understanding of your desire to listen to your headphones at that time. You and the dentist will be able to discuss the state of your mouth and any treatment options once the exam has finished.

Reward yourself: Make plans to do something fun for yourself, such as going to your favorite ice cream parlor, as soon as you're done with your dental visit. It may seem silly, but associating something unpleasant (visiting the dentist) with something good (getting ice cream) can help your brain to equate dental visits with something good. If all you do after visiting the dentist is to go home or run other errands, your mind will continue to associate visiting the dentist with unpleasant experiences, even if the visit itself was quite pleasant.