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Combatting the Fear of Going to the Dentist

We're just going to go right out and say it: many people do not like going to the dentist.  Some people are downright afraid to go and they'll put it off until they can't any longer.  While our office does what we can to allay discomfort and fears, many people still get that twinge of anxiety before a visit. 

* Sometimes it's due to an unpleasant childhood experience. 

* Sometimes it's due to the stories we hear from other people ("Did you hear about so-and-so's wisdom teeth extraction?")

* Sometimes it can be learned behaviours - simply witnessing the anxiety of a parent/guardian in a dental situation can create similar feelings in their children.

Whatever the reasoning behind it, here are some tricks you can try for your next visit:

1) If you're concerned about your child's oral health, bring them when they are young, so they can get used to the idea of visiting the dentist as a part of a routine schedule every couple of months.  They can start off by observing their parents' visits and then work them up to being in the chair themselves - when they have teeth or about 3-years of age (this'll depend on the child's maturity levels and their ability to co-operate (e.g. following simple directions like, 'open your mouth'), so double check with your doctor directly).  Stay calm, cool and collected and your children will, like you, treat dental visits as just a normal, routine habit that doesn't cause anxiety.

2) Feel free to bring a portable music player and headphones so that you can block out the noises of the dental office.  Music, or even listening to podcasts, etc can help distract your brain from feeling anxious.  What's the most relaxing song, you ask?  Check out Weightless.

3) Try deep breathing techniques or meditation before your appointment so you can enter a state of ease.  Deep breathing through the nose during dental treatment can help you work through any nervous feelings you may have.  This sounds like it could be too "new age-y", but it's actually backed up by science.  Read about it here.

4) Communicate with us.  Let us know what's making you uncomfortable and we'll try and put your mind at ease.  We do love to keep our Smiling Stars informed of every procedure we recommend and if there's something you don't understand, we'll be happy to explain it again.

5) Depending on the situation, some cases may require sedation dentistry.  Since your comfort is important to us, feel free to inquire about Oral Sedation or Sleep Dentistry services for appointments like wisdom teeth extraction. 

Call us today for more information: (416) 226-6688.


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