Do you have some kind of anxiety about the dentist’s chair? Do you shudder at the prospect of being in a clinical environment, and having someone poke around inside your mouth with pointy instruments?
You’re not alone – dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias, and it manifest across a wide spectrum. Some people might only feel a little uncomfortable about dentists visits and only do the bare minimum of check-ups, while others will flee the dentists’ chair like it’s the plague.
Needless to say, this dental anxiety can interfere with your dental health if you’re not going to make appointments at an adequate frequency because of it. For the sake of your teeth, and ultimately your smile & confidence, you should at least consider employing some of the following strategies to overcome your fear of the dentist.

Don’t go alone

One of the best ways to confront any fear is to have a close friend or loved one by your side, perhaps even holding your hand throughout, and giving a squeeze when they sense your anxiety creeping up. Even just knowing you have someone you trust in the room supervising the process can give you the reassurance you need to continue on.
A lot of dental anxiety can be born out of a fear of being in a state of vulnerability, with bright lights and masked people hovering over you. Having someone close to you present can help dispel the irrational fears and keep you grounded.

Find a calming or distraction technique

We can’t tell you a specific technique, because everyone has different things that will work for them when it comes to calming down or distracting your mind from something unpleasant. For example, many people can benefit from popping in their earphones and listening to relaxing music, others might find a breathing exercise that can help them to calm down if they feel like a panic is coming on.

Book the earliest appointment you can

Booking the earliest appointment that you can get is another technique some people have found useful to minimise the effect of their dental anxiety. It’s pretty simple in theory – the earlier in the day you have the appointment, the less time you will have to be stuck thinking about it and digging yourself into a hole of anxiety that will make leaving the house more difficult.

Find out what the phobia is caused by

Understanding the deep-seated reason for your dental anxiety is the first step in truly getting over it. There could be many reasons, and some might require a form of clinical therapy to truly overcome. No matter what the cause ends up being, identifying it is the first step in formulating a plan to put it behind you.

Take care of your teeth at home

In case it wasn’t obvious – taking excellent care of your teeth at home (brushing, flossing, and avoiding problematic foods/drinks) is your best defence against the dentist chair. In an ideal situation where you took perfect care of your teeth, you would really only need to visit the dentist twice a year for routine check-ups.

While it’s often not realistic to expect you to completely avoid sugary drinks and remember to brush/floss thoroughly every single morning and night, doing the best you can will minimise your exposure to the dentist’s chair. While this tip doesn’t necessarily help you overcome your fear, it helps you avoid confronting it without compromising your dental health.