Dental trips are dreaded by approximately 30 to 40 million Americans who will actually avoid going to the dentist due to their dental anxiety. Their dental anxiety usually stems from their fear of the pain or just the environment. To make the trip easier, many Americans will resort to requesting sedatives. However, relying on sedatives is not the only way to treat mild dental pain and anxiety. In fact, here are 3 suggestions on how you can avoid using sedatives altogether for your next visit to the dental office.
Ease the Pain with Fluoride Toothpaste
A lot of the pent up anxiety that is associated with a trip to the dental office is not unwarranted. Depending on your dental health, even a mild cleaning treatment can be rather painful, and can leave your gums and mouth sore. You might be able to relieve anxiety if your trip to the dental office becomes painless. The best way of doing so is to take good care of your teeth and oral health.
In particular, reducing dental sensitivity can be a huge stepping stone in feeling more comfortable when you're in the dental chair. Before getting your teeth cleaned, stop by the dentist's office and pick up a high concentration fluoride toothpaste. Use this toothpaste for a while before making a dental appointment. The toothpaste will strengthen your tooth's surface to reduce and prevent teeth sensitivity so that your next dental visit will feel like a breeze.
Bring Along Some Headphones or Ear Plugs
Dental anxiety can be triggered by many factors. In particular, a study showed that the mere sound of dental equipment has a large influence in provoking and triggering dental anxiety. With that in mind, you might not need to rely on sedatives if you can avoid the sound of the dental equipment by wearing ear plugs or bringing along headphones to listen to mus.
You can ask the dentist to discuss the procedures outside of their main office, so you won't be exposed to the sound of the dental equipment. Before you head in, put on some music or wear ear plugs and you'll be able to tune out the sound.
Get Cognitive Behavior Therapy
If overcoming dental anxiety is a goal of yours, you should also consider getting cognitive behavior therapy. Some dental offices will even have in-office therapists that can provide you with the cognitive behavior therapy you need. You'll need to attend approximately 6 to 10 sessions in order to see a positive effect.
The therapy will help you identify critical behaviors, and determine which one of these behaviors are considered to be excessive or deficits. The therapists will then help you learn how to evaluate your actions and how to better control your stress levels and response to the situation.
If going to the dentist office is a source of stress for you, taking proactive steps in learning how to deal with your anxiety or bettering the conditions surrounding the situation can help you keep your anxiety under wraps. With these techniques, you can avoid relying on sedatives on your next dental visit. If you'd like to learn more, check with a dentist office near you.