Dental anxiety is more common than you may realize. In fact, an estimated 15 percent of adults around the world experience some anxiety about visiting the dentist. Yet, keeping up with your oral health is too important to avoid. Make 2024 the year you overcome your anxiety and visit the dentist with more confidence. We wanted to provide simple ways you can feel relaxed and calm throughout your visit.

  1. Shift Your Mindset

Part of minimizing anxiety includes changing thought patterns. That can include reminding yourself that your dentist is your health partner who is here to improve your smile, keep your teeth and gums in good shape, and boost your overall well-being. In fact, our entire team feels that way! We also want to provide you with the most comfortable, pain-free experience possible. Feel free to meet with our team before we even begin treatments to discuss the source of your anxiety and ways we can help.

  1. Come Prepared

Walk into your appointment with specifics about what unnerves you. If it’s the sights or sounds, you can bring headphones or an eye mask to wear while we work. We even have sunglasses available that you can wear too. You may also want to schedule your visit at a time that’s quieter. Call us ahead of time, before you schedule, so we can recommend the ideal time for your appointment.

  1. Distract Yourself

One of the best ways to get through periods of anxiety is to distract your mind. Bring earbuds and listen to your favorite calming music, guided meditation, or podcasts. Do mindful breathing while the dentist works. You may want to also practice breathing exercises beforehand, so you are ready to go when it’s time for your appointment.

  1. Exercise Beforehand

Studies have shown that exercise reduces stress and elevates mood through the release of endorphins. Take a short jog or brisk walk to get your heart pumping right before a dental appointment. You’ll feel more relaxed and less fixated on your fears. You may just want to save the super sweaty workouts for after, so you don’t feel too warm when you arrive at our office.

  1. Plan Rewarding Aftercare

Having a comforting activity lined up for post-appointment provides motivation to get through it. Promise yourself an afternoon of reading on the patio with your favorite coffee. Schedule a pedicure or binge-watch your favorite show once it’s over. An enjoyable activity can help reduce stress and make you look forward to the appointment. 

If you are still struggling, feel free to give us a call and make an appointment. We’d love to help you overcome your dental anxiety, so you can get the dental care you need. Call Smile Chicago today at 872-204-0824 to schedule an appointment in Chicago, IL. You can also request an appointment online.