How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

Some people love going to the dentist. While this small group of people exist, a large majority of the population is apprehensive. This is called odontophobia (dental anxiety) and it affects individuals of all ages.

These people start sweating at the thought of going to the dentist. Their heart starts racing and worst of all, it may stop them from going to the dentist altogether! A dental checkup is just as important as any other checkup so you should not let dental phobia get in the way.

Here are some tips to overcome dental anxiety:


Find the Right Dentist

First and foremost, it is important to find the right dentist. Not all dentists have the same approach or bedside manner. Some may be skilled in all things dentistry but they may lack the people skills to keep you calm.

It’s important to find a balance of both so take the time to read reviews or ask for recommendations from friends and family. Consider scheduling an initial appointment just for consultation. 

This is where you can discuss your fears without the pressure of undergoing a procedure, bringing us to the next point.


Communication is Key 

Do not hesitate to talk to your dentist about your fears. A good dentist will take the time to understand your concerns and work with you to create a plan. An experienced dentist should also be well aware of common dental fears. 

That is when they can recommend techniques to help you relax and feel more comfortable during the appointment. All in all, communication is key and knowing that your dentist is aware of your dental anxiety can make a world of difference.


Bring a Buddy

Bring a friend or family member to join you on your dental adventure. Knowing a familiar face in the waiting room or someone to chat with post-appointment can help ease your nerves.

Their presence can help you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed even if you cannot talk to them during the procedure.


Mindful Breathing 

“Deep breath in, deep breath out”. Breathing techniques are some of the best ways to deal with anxiety-inducing situations. This can be achieved anywhere, even at your dentist’s office! It involves raising your awareness and focus, helping you relax better. 

Coping with dental fear is no different as it can take you away from the moment so you can focus on your breathing. Practise some mindfulness techniques before your visit and do them in your waiting room or during your appointment. 

Just remember to do them subtly or your dentist might think you’re having a panic attack!


Positive Reinforcement 

Treat yourself after a dental victory. Plan a reward, big or small, for facing your fears and conquering that dental appointment. It could be a favourite meal, a relaxing evening, or an indulgent treat. 

Associate positive experiences with your dental visits, and soon you might find yourself looking forward to them. A reward system is also highly effective for kids. 

Dental anxiety in children is common, and positive reinforcement can help shape their perception of dental visits.  



A fear of dentists is something a lot of people experience. The thought and sensation of drills and scalpels on your teeth is unnerving, to say the least – but completely necessary. Dental care is self care and coping with dental fear is much easier than you think. 

So start finding the right dentist and work on your breathing techniques because it is time for you to get that checkup! Contact us today to make an appointment. 

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