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Strategies for Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Feeling a little nervous about your next check-up? You’re not the only one! Research indicates that about a third of adults experience dental anxiety. But since regular dental care is essential to maintaining good oral health and overall health, finding tricks to make those check-ups less stressful will increase your odds of sticking to a regular dental care plan. Read on for our best strategies for overcoming dental anxiety.

  • Find the right dentist
  • Bring a friend
  • Ask all the questions
  • Tips for relaxing in the chair

1. Find the Right Dentist

The most important way to reduce bad feelings about your next appointment is to make it with a dentist you look forward to seeing! Choose a dentist who is friendly, caring, and skilled. A good dentist also makes a point to listen to the patient’s questions and answer them in such a way that the patient truly feels like a member of her own dental care team. 

If you get an uncomfortable feeling around your dentist or feel like just a number, it’s time to look for a different provider!

2. Bring a Friend

If you’re feeling especially nervous about a visit, consider bringing a friend or family member with you. Your loved one will be allowed to sit near you and can offer reassurance during your appointment. This is also a good strategy if you have to discuss a treatment plan with your dentist. Your loved one can help you ask questions during the appointment, discuss options, and help you remember later what was said, including post-treatment home care. 

3. Ask ALL the Questions!

Another way to feel more at peace about your appointment is to ask all the questions you have. Wondering what those instruments are that are being used during your cleaning? Ask! Not sure if a sensation you’ve been feeling in your tooth is normal? Ask that too! Patients can sometimes refrain from asking questions out of embarrassment or fear of the answer, but we strongly encourage you to ask as many questions as it takes to help you feel at ease about your dental treatment. No question is a bad question!

4. Tips for Relaxing in the Chair

Another way to reduce anxiety is to bring a few things with you to make the experience more pleasant. A little chapstick on your lips before your cleaning can help prevent chapped lips afterward, especially on a chilly spring Madison morning. 

Feel free to bring headphones to listen to your favorite tunes or save a podcast to listen to during your appointment. Don’t worry about keeping up a conversation with your hygienist! If your dental team member needs to talk to you, they can get your attention. 

If you find it tricky to keep your hands still while having your teeth worked on, bring a fidget toy or stress ball to manipulate during the appointment.

Family Dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin

Do you need to establish dental care for you or a family member? We’re happy to help! Contact us [page] today. Affiliated Dentists offers family dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin, providing a comprehensive range of services from simple dental fillings to full dental restorations. 

Strategies for Overcoming Dental Anxiety brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson  

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