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How can I tackle my dental anxiety?

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Dentists see themselves as friendly and welcoming, so it is surprising to know that around 50% of the UK population has a dental phobia according to a survey conducted by the Oral Health Foundation.

For around 12% of these people, their fear is so great that it prevents them attending the dentist at all. This is a real problem when it comes to maintaining good oral health.

In this month’s blog the team at Ringmer Dental have put together some simple steps you can take to help banish dental anxiety for good.

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  1. Find the right dentist

Look for recommendations from family and friends. Here atRingmer Dental all our team are well trained in treating dentally anxious patients and will do everything we can to make the visit as stress free as possible.

  1. Know your enemy

We do not mean the dental team! Try to find out exactly what part of visiting the dentist it is that makes you anxious. By knowing the source of your fears this will help the team to put in place the appropriate treatment plan, ensuring they start with the basics before building up to those processes that cause you anxiety. This approach will help you to build a rapport with the team and help to put you at ease.

  1. Ditch needles needles

In some cases, it may be possible to use a topical rather than an injected anaesthetic. Once again, it is important that you talk to your dentist and let them know your concerns.

  1. Try distraction techniques

When it comes to taking your mind off treatment, distraction is your friend. Some people like to listen to music, use stress balls, fidget spinners and other distractions to keep their mind off what the dentist is doing.

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  1. Meditation

Meditation, mindfulness and calming breathing exercises can work wonders in the battle against everyday anxieties and the same is true for dental anxiety.

  1. Choose an early appointment

Pick an appointment first thing in the day, this will give you less time to worry and fret.

  1. Reward yourself

Treating yourself to a reward following dental treatment can help to rebuild positive associations and help make each visit seem less of a chore.

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  1. Talk to a professional

If dental phobia continues even after following all these steps, it may be time to speak to an anxiety expert. Counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy could arm you with the coping mechanism you need to get past your fear once and for all, as well as getting to the root cause of the anxiety.

We know that for many people visiting the dentist is not high on their list of fun activities, but by attending regular for routine dental appointments, we are able to identify problems early and treat them quickly, reducing the need for extensive dental treatment. If you would like to speak to our friendly team and start the journey to better oral health, call Ringmer Dental on 01273 813898 today.