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Are you having anxiety about your first dental visit in years? If you’ve put off visiting the dentist due to fears or concerns, then you’re not alone. A recent study concluded that more than 60% of the people surveyed said they’re afraid of the dentist.

Dentist anxiety can cause many problems for you in the future. Failure to visit your dentist on a regular basis leads to poor dental hygiene. If you currently have dental issues, then these problems will only worsen if not treated properly.

It’s time to take control of your fears and your dental hygiene. In this guide below, you’ll learn several ways to decrease dental fear and anxiety. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about easing your mind before your first dental visit!

Schedule a Tour

If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, then you might not have a specific dentist you go to. You’re most likely visiting a new office you’ve never been to or revisiting an office that you haven’t seen in years.

Either way, it’s essential you call the dentist’s office and ask to schedule an office tour or visit. Find a day to come into the office without an appointment to get a feel for the environment and to meet the dentist and the staff.

If you’re able to meet with everyone before your first appointment and see the office, then you’ll have less anxiety on the day of your actual appointment. After visiting the office, if it doesn’t cross off all your needs, then move on to another dentist’s office until you find one that you’re comfortable with.

Speak With Your Dentist

In order to confront your fears, you need to acknowledge them. Take a few moments to write down all of your fears about the dentist. What worries you about your visit?

Are you afraid of pain? Are you afraid of the dentist finding an issue? Are you not a fan of the tools used during a cleaning?

Write them down and then speak about your fears with your dentist. Be honest with your dentist and he or she will help ease your fears. Once your dentist explains the procedure step by step and what tools will be used, you won’t have as many concerns running through your mind.

Schedule Early Appointments

Another way to help ease any fears about the dentist is to schedule your appointments in the early mornings. Scheduling them in the late afternoon might cause you to have anxiety about it throughout the entire day. Rather than spending your whole day thinking about the appointment, get it over with first thing in the morning.

You can wake up, brush your teeth, and go. Once your visit is complete, you then have the rest of your day to relax.

Review Hand Signals

Dentists have their ways of knowing when their patients are uncomfortable or need something, but there will be times when your dentist doesn’t understand all of your needs. Remember, you won’t have much use for your words when the dentist is working on your teeth.

To make sure there’s always good communication between you and your dentist, you can review a few hand signals with him or her first. You can ask the dentist for a hand signal for “stop.”

You can also ask the team to provide you with a blanket or earplugs if either of these will help ease your anxiety. You can bring your own as well if you believe they’ll help.

Bring Along Your Favorite Music

Bringing along your favorite music is a great way to keep your mind distracted while having dental work done. Rather than having to listen to all the loud tools and other noises, you can escape into your own world.

If you want to listen to your music while at the dentist, then be sure to let your dentist know ahead of time. You can go over a few hand signals with him or her so the two of you can communicate without you needing to hear.

If communication becomes complicated, then you can always take your earbud out for a moment and then place it back in.

Find a Trustworthy Dentist You’re Comfortable With

Once you find a trustworthy dentist you’re comfortable with, you’ll soon see all of your fears fade away. After scheduling your tour and completing your first appointment, you’ll begin to build a relationship with your dentist.

If you like the dentist, then be sure to reschedule at that particular office. The more visits you have with that one specific dentist, the more comfortable you’ll become with him or her.

You’ll also build relationships with the staff and the dentist’s team. They’ll soon know you by name and will know your fears and concerns and how to address them with you during each visit.

Before you know it, all of those extra things done to make you feel at ease might not be needed anymore.

Don’t Fear Your First Dental Visit in Years

Not seeing your dentist for years at a time has a negative impact on your dental hygiene. Don’t fear your first dental visit in years! Instead, use the tips listed in our guide above to prepare you for your visit and put your mind at ease.

Are you ready to schedule your first dental appointment?

Contact us today to schedule your first visit and to get to know our team.