If you’re getting braces in Hawkesbury in the near future, good for you! They’re a great way to straighten crooked teeth and achieve the smile of your dreams. However, for many people, the procedure can trigger fear and nervousness. Around 60% of people experience anxiety at the dentist, with a further 5-10% experiencing full-blown dental phobia.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce your dental anxiety. Here are some tips:
Recognise the fear
Being aware that you’re experiencing anxiety (rather than suppressing or denying it) is the first step. You’ll then need to establish what it is specifically that you’re afraid of around getting braces in Hawkesbury. Is it the pain? Not knowing what the dentist is doing? Often this fear stems from an earlier experience in your childhood.
Tell your dentist
Once you’ve figured out what it is you’re afraid of, it’s important that you communicate your fears with your dentist. Dentists are used to handling nervous clients, so they should be patient and understanding.
Once the dentist knows what you’re afraid of, they can help you further by offering alternatives or ways to reduce the pain or fear associated with the procedure. Being honest with your dentist also helps you to trust them more, which may relieve your anxiety further.
Challenge your fears
Challenging your fearful thoughts is one of the best ways to reduce (and even eliminate!) anxiety around getting braces in Hawkesbury. Get out a notebook or a sheet of paper and write down all the thoughts that come to mind when you think of the dentist. Some examples of thoughts may include:
- I don’t have any control over what the dentist is doing; I feel helpless
- What if it hurts?
Once you’ve written down your thoughts, try to put a positive or realistic spin on them. Alternative thoughts may include:
- I choose to trust my dentist and temporarily relinquish control. If I want the procedure to stop for any reason I can communicate with them to do so.
- I will make sure the dentist gives me pain relief or anaesthetic. A little bit of pain is manageable; I will survive. Visiting the dentist is good for me in the long-run.
Bring a friend or family member
Bringing along a trusted family member or friend can be a great way to ease your anxiety whilst getting braces in Hawkesbury. Knowing that there’s a person you love and trust by your side can alleviate fear and make you feel safe.
Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques
Even before you sit in the chair, practicing relaxation techniques can help to calm your nerves. Take deep breaths, perhaps breathing in for four seconds and out for four seconds. Deep breathing reduces stress and tension in the body.
Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgement, observing experiences and emotions as a calm observer. This prevents us from reacting out of anxiety or fear. You can practice this by focusing on your senses and your breath, and let your thoughts go as you do so.
Have a kit ready
It’s a good idea to prepare a little kit to have at your disposal after getting braces in Hawkesbury. You’ll want to fill it with things like:
- A toothbrush
- Lip balm (for dry lips)
This ensures that you are prepared wherever you go. It allows you to clean your teeth after meals, and keeps your lips from getting dry and cracked.
Getting braces in Hawkesbury doesn’t have to be intimidating; there are many ways that you can deal with and overcome dental anxiety.