San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Millions of people suffer from dental anxiety or a fear of going to the dentist. While there are methods of relaxing for patients such as use of nitrous oxide or sedation dentistry, some patients prefer a more natural option for relieving their dental anxiety. Here are some tips you can try to help calm your dental fears the next time you are sitting in the dentist chair.
These tips are essentially a form of meditation, a calming practice that clears the mind, reduces stress and anxiousness, and promotes a state of clarity, calmness, and happiness. If you feel that you need other means of relaxation such as sedation dentistry, please speak with our office about the available options. We want your experience to be as relaxing and stress-free as possible.
Yogis have one thing down pat, that’s their breathing. Their purposeful and mindful breathing helps calm the body and mind, and is often used as a form of meditation during yoga practices. To mimic these same calming effects while breathing, follow these tips.
Inhale slowly through your nose and deep into your belly. Exhale slowly while completely deflating your stomach, as if you were trying to connect your belly button to your spine. Place one hand on your stomach while you breathe to ensure you are breathing deeply, and not taking shallow breathes that usually occur when you are nervous or anxious.
Relax the body
As you focus on your breathing, relax the body as well. Begin by relaxing every muscle in your body. Start with your face and jaw muscles, move on to your neck, shoulders, down to your legs, feet, and toes. Some people find it difficult to tell if their muscles are relaxed or not, so a good way to know for sure is to actually tense each muscle and then relax them. This may seem like a difficult thing to do at first, but try to block out any background noise, and close your eyes. You may even want to bring your own set of noise cancelling headphones or headset to listen to relaxing music.
Take mental notes
Become curious about any worries, negative thoughts, or feelings throughout your body that may pop up while you are attempting to relax. How do they make you feel? Where are they occurring at in the body? Know that everything passes.
If you are feeling anxious or nervous about your dental appointment, be sure to discuss this with the dentist and your dental care team. Dentists are usually well equipped with techniques to help calm patients and promote a comfortable experience. Sometimes, just knowing what to expect during the procedure is enough to ease the minds of some patients.
At Glen Park Dental, we also offer sedation dentistry as a way to provide a safe and comfortable experience during your dental procedures. Please contact our office by calling (415) 585-1500 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our sedation dentistry.
Glen Park Dental provides comprehensive, compassionate, quality oral health care for patients in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California.