It is not uncommon for people to feel anxious about going to the dentist.

It’s understandable, too – after all, you’ll be facing a stranger who will be poking around in your mouth and asking you to open wide.

Fear of the dentist is not usually related to possible pain, but in fact due to lack of control while in the dentist chair. People with dental anxiety often dread the thought of having to endure a procedure because they are unable to dictate what will happen next.

Between 5% and 8% of people avoid the dentists due to fear, anxiety, or other dental phobia. But try and keep in mind that looking after your teeth and gums is one of the best preventative measures against serious illness later in life, such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and is also a vital part of your daily hygiene routine.

To overcome dental anxiety and to enjoy the benefits that good oral health have on our lives, try these five helpful tips:

Stay Calm

One of the most important things that you can do to combat dental anxiety is to stay calm. If you’re feeling anxious, take a deep breath and relax your muscles before your appointment. Try some relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.

Ask for a Sedative.

If you’re really scared and unable to stay calm, ask your dentist if they can give you some form of sedation during your appointment. They will be able to assess whether this is an appropriate treatment option for you or not so don’t worry about being judged

Bring someone with you.

This can help you to feel more at ease, and they can also help distract you,

Ask your dentist questions.

This will allow you to focus on the oral health care provider’s answers, rather than your fears and insecurities. It might also help you prepare for your next visit and make you feel more confident than scared on your next visit.

Find a distraction.

Bring something with you that relaxes and distracts you. Find a toy, music or book and bring it with you when going in for your appointment. This will help stimulate the right side of your brain which can reduce feelings of anxiety!

Find out about your procedure beforehand.

Educate yourself on dental procedures beforehand. Read up on it a little so that you’re not as frightened of it when the time comes. It’s important for us to understand why certain things happen while

Most of your fears and anxieties are created in your own head. If you know what to expect, the experience is much less frightening and can even be enjoyable!

Dental staff are trained to deal with all kinds of patent issues, so if you mention you have fear issues, they will ensure they do their best to assist to make your experience as stress free as possible.
And if you still suffer from a fear of the dentist, you could also seek professional counselling to help with any fear or anxiety issues you may have.