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Tried and True Ways to Reduce Dental Anxiety

A woman sitting in a dentist chair covering her mouth with fear

People love to complain about going to the dental office. Shots, drills, personal bubbles - we get it. The reality is, though, that many people suffer from genuine dental anxiety (36 percent) and Carolina Family Dental wants to help. 


Have you ever put off oral health care or went into it assuming the worst? If so, you may feel some of these:  

  • Worried that a new procedure will be like a previous bad experience

  • Fearful of pain

  • Stressed with an anxiety disorder

  • Wary of needles or blood

  • Uncomfortable with someone in your personal space

  • Distrust of analgesia

Since doing Tai Chi in a dental office is pretty awkward for everyone, let’s come up with some other ways to reduce anxiety. 

General Ways to Reduce Anxiety 

Many of the ways to reduce dental anxiety are also true for everyday life. You’ll recognize these:

  • Get more sleep

  • Stay hydrated

  • Exercise

  • Eat and drink with your mood in mind, avoiding over caffeinating, over eating, and overloading your body with excessive sugar

Strategies for Reducing Dental Anxiety 

In extreme cases, some people recommend hypnosis and guided imagery, but for almost everyone, there are some tried and true strategies for lessening the effects of dental anxiety:

  • Go to the dentist more often to build trust and comfort with the staff and procedures 

  • Bring someone with you

  • Consider medication for severe cases

  • Use sedation if necessary and appropriate

  • Tell your dentist about your anxiety

  • Ask your dentist to explain the process

  • Breathe deeply and purposefully

  • Use meditative practices

  • Distract yourself with music or video if allowed


These are just some of the techniques you can employ to improve your overall experience. You can also try clenching your fists, squeezing the sides of your pants and having your whole body seize up in anticpati–. Wait a minute. That’s the opposite. Just stick to the suggestions above and you will likely quell some of that nervous energy. 


If you’re near the Grand Strand area, we would love a chance to care for you. So contact us with questions or to set up a consultation. We provide excellent dental care and would love an opportunity to prove it!