Brushing and flossing twice a day is the most important part of any dental care routine. Well, that and regular trips to the dentist’s office. The people with the healthiest teeth and brightest smiles have been going to the dentist since they were in diapers—quite literally from the time they were 6 months old or before! But not everyone is besties with their oral hygienist.
According to the Canadian Dental Association, 11-22% of Canadians have extreme dental anxiety. While there are as many reasons for fearing the dentist as there are flavours of mouthwash, dental anxiety or dental phobia usually stems from an unpleasant memory or a lack of familiarity with one’s dentist. Whatever the cause, if you’re one of the millions of Canadians who suffer from dental anxiety know that you’re not alone.
But, more importantly, know that your fears and anxieties don’t have to stand in between you and your best smile. If you use at least one of these tips for coping with dental anxiety, we promise you that the only thing you’ll fear is having to wait until your next regular check-up.
Wouldn’t it be great if, as you sit in the dentist’s chair getting your routine cleaning, you can dream of green meadows and babbling brooks? That’s precisely what sedation dentistry offers.
If you suffer from mild to extreme dental phobia, you can talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry. There are various levels of sedation—from mild anaesthetics to deep sedation—that your dentist can provide depending on your level of anxiety and the dental procedure you’ll be undergoing.
You also don’t have to worry about allergens as there are numerous FDA-approved drugs to induce sedative states. According to the American CDC, nitrous oxide (or laughing gas) is the most commonly used anesthetic in dentistry. Just think, you could be laughing your way through a root canal!
Is there anything more unnerving than the sound of a drill? Maybe the sound of a drill slowly working its way towards your wisdom teeth.
If the sounds at the dentist office throw are sending shivers down your spine, don’t be shy about bringing your earphones and pushing “Play” on your favourite playlists. Listening to music or podcasts can take you outside of the dentist’s office and keep you distracted until your mouth is all clean and ready for smiling.
And if you have any great artist recommendations, we’d love to hear them too!
Physical distractions are another great way to get through potentially frightful trips to the dentist. Fidget spinners, stress balls, weighted blankets… teddy bears! Whatever it takes to make you feel safe and keep your mind off anxiety-causing stimuli as you sit in the dental chair. Physical distractions are also great for keeping the attention of children with special needs such as ADHD as they get their smile tune-up
We promise that your dentist won’t take it personally if you’d rather talk to your teddy bear than to them. As long as you’re smiling and saying, “Ah,” as you do.
Meditation and Breathing
Bring your “Zen” spirit into the dentist’s office. Breathing exercises, mindfulness, transcendentalist meditation, or whatever technique you prefer is welcome in your dentist’s chair. The benefits of meditation don’t come easy so you’ll have to practice every day… twice a day. Once when you wake up and once before bed. i.e., make it a regular part of your dental care routine.
Are You Anxious About Seeing the Dentist?
Experiencing some form of dental anxiety is completely normal. Believe us when we say that even the bravest people out there have some reservations before a wisdom tooth extraction. Cedarwood Dental understands this and we support each of our patients on their journey to a brighter smile.
Call us today and our dental hygienists will walk you through the steps we take to ensure our patients have a comfortable, friendly, and anxiety-free environment.