10 Tips to Overcoming Anxiety about Visiting the Dentist

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Good dental health is important. But like 75% of adult Americans, you may feel anxious about seeing the dentist. A good dental plan can help you overcome your fears and be on your way to smiling with confidence.

The Most Common Reasons Why Some People Fear the Dentist

Can you relate to any of these? Don’t worry—you’re not alone.

  • Worrying about possible pain or fearing that the local anesthetic will not be effective
  • Feeling that the dentist will rush and not pay attention to your needs
  • Sense of having no control, especially if you're seeing an unfamiliar dental provider
  • Memory of a previous bad experience, such as a childhood memory
  • Bothered by the smell of a dental office

How to Reduce Your Anxiety Before and During Your Dental Visit

The key is arming yourself with the right information and finding ways that make you feel in control. Here are ten tips to help you be less anxious when you visit your dentist's office.

Before your dental appointment:

  1. Find a dentist that lets you feel in control
  2. Get the facts about any procedure—what you imagine may be worse than reality
  3. Be an active participant in your care—ask your dentist any questions you may have

During your dental appointment:

  1. Schedule your visit when you are not rushed or under pressure
  2. Work with your dental team so they understand your fears and can even develop hand signals to help communicate with you during the appointment
  3. Bring a portable audio player and headphones so you can listen to your favorite music
  4. Visualize a place that has pleasant memories that can help take your mind off matters at hand
  5. Focus on breathing regularly and slowly while relaxing your entire body
  6. Avoid coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages and sugary foods prior to a dental visit
  7. Choose a dental plan that provies you with great coverage.

How to Choose a Dental Plan That Helps You Smile

If you have an uneasy feeling about going to the dentist, pick a dental plan that puts you at ease and in control of your dental health experience. There are several dental plans that offer retired uniformed service members and their families the quality dental coverage they need.

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