Tips To Help With Dental Anxiety at The Orthodontist

Have you ever felt scared or uneasy before getting dental work done or attending an orthodontic check-up? You may suffer from dental anxiety. Our team at Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics understands that some patients want to improve their teeth, but they get nervous about actually getting it done. We are here to help you practice preventative steps by providing tips to help with dental anxiety at the orthodontist.

An Overview of Dental Anxiety 

Also known as dental phobia, feelings of stress or fear associated with going to the dentist are attributed to dental anxiety. Patients who suffer from these nerves may put off scheduling their next appointment and avoid proper care for their teeth. No matter how complex or straightforward an appointment may be, these emotions or fears may arise before a procedure. 

It can affect patients of all ages, but let us reassure you that you are not alone! Dr. Jared Lee and our expert team are well-prepared to help those who need extra support and make your time with us go as smoothly as possible.

Common Symptoms and Signs

When you have an upcoming appointment, or after arriving at the office, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: excessive sweating or overheating, a fast heartbeat, low blood pressure, visibly distressed, and feeling faint or light-headed.

If you recognize any of these signs in your behavior, please don’t hesitate to let us know so we can help you prepare for the next time they arise. We strive to keep your needs in mind to support you in easing your anxiety and making you feel more comfortable.

Bring Along a Loved One

We invite you to bring a family member or friend if you feel anxious about an upcoming appointment. Their presence can help relax you during otherwise tense moments in the treatment chair. Of course, work will be done inside your mouth, so you may not be able to hold a conversation with them. Nonetheless, they can still talk to you and act as a source of emotional support. 

If you are distracted by anxious feelings, they will also be able to ask questions you may be wondering about later. 

Take a Distraction With You

During your next appointment, feel free to bring a screen or device with music along. Instead of concentrating on the work being done on your teeth, you can focus on a TV show, your favorite playlist, a podcast, or a phone app. This can help to shift your attention away from anxiety triggers and instead toward an enjoyable task. You can even rely on non-electronic methods by bringing a stress ball or focusing your eyes on a specific detail in your view.

We encourage you to try combining these ideas to enhance their effectiveness and stay in control of managing your dental anxiety. Depending on what needs to be accomplished during a particular appointment, double-check with Dr. Lee to see what distractions he recommends will work best while allowing you to progress your teeth to the next step.

Tips To Help With Dental Anxiety at The Orthodontist

Discuss Your Anxieties With Our Team

One of the best ways we can help you manage your dental anxiety is for you to bring it to our attention as soon as possible. The earlier we know about it, the earlier in your treatment plan, we can work to accommodate your concerns and anxieties going into future appointments. Our incredible team are experts in talking patients through discomfort and promise there is no need to feel embarrassed about sharing what you are worried about.

We work with each patient individually to tailor appointments to their needs and assist with their worries. Our staff will happily explain exactly what will happen during an appointment or procedure so that no surprises await you. 

Positive Visualization

Otherwise known as finding your happy place, positive visualization is yet another method used to help ease dental anxiety and make your time at Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics more enjoyable. All you need to do is imagine a memory or setting where you feel most content and try to transport yourself there. Think of the sounds this environment makes, the people you would see or talk to, the things you would feel, etc. 

For some patients, this may be playing their favorite sport, walking through a forest preserve, on a calm beach with friends, or playing video games. These positive associations shift your mindset and help calm yourself down during an appointment. You can even bring along a small object that fits in your hand related to your happy place to help you visualize it.    

Work on Deep Breathing

A natural way to keep your body calm and your muscles at ease is through the power of deep breathing and meditation. By concentrating on the sound of your breathing, especially with your eyes closed, you can reduce the physical effects anxiety may have on you. You can also focus on particular body parts and take away the attention toward the work being done in your mouth. We encourage you to practice these techniques at home to feel confident coming into your next appointment.

Tips To Help With Dental Anxiety at The Orthodontist

Be in Control of Your Dental Anxiety!

At Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics, you can count on our team to help you conquer dental anxiety! We strongly believe in ensuring you understand your treatment each step of the way to help ease any discomfort you may feel. Please let us know how we can assist you! We proudly serve Santa Paula, Oxnard, and the surrounding communities with our expert orthodontic services. Get started on treatment today by scheduling your free consultation with us!