Dentists' waiting rooms aren't usually associated with fun. You might have a deep fear of the dental drill, or be nervous that you have a few cavities; whatever the reason, it's normal to feel some anxiety before taking your turn in the dental chair. Sitting in the waiting room, those nerves can build up.
Because we want to make sure everyone comes in for regular dental check-ups and feels comfortable doing so, we have put together these tips for keeping calm in the waiting room.
Listening to your favourite soothing tunes could be more effective in lowering stress hormones than medications.
1. Listen to music
Make your feet tap, not your heart, and pack your headphones. Music has been proven to have a calming effect. Listening to your favourite soothing tunes could be more effective in lowering stress hormones than medications, according to a study by the University of Montreal.
2. Keep your mind busy
Reading a book or concentrating on a puzzle will stop your mind probing scary thoughts like your tongue would a sore tooth. Pick up a magazine or newspaper and catch up on the latest news. Flip to the back and look for a crossword or Sudoku to give your brain something to do.
Not much of a puzzle person? Dig your phone out of your pocket and pull up some funny YouTube videos. Having a good laugh at something could soothe tension, giving you a rush of endorphins instead.
3. Get comfortable
You don't have to wait for your appointment perched on the edge of your seat. Staying stiff and upright can only increase tension, so settle into your seat. Close your eyes if you need to and relax your whole body.
Focusing on your breathing is an effective relaxation technique. Nausea, sweating and a racing heart are often accompanied by a shortness of breath when you're nervous. Remind yourself to breathe slowly and deeply. This increases the flow of oxygen in your body, slowing your heartbeat and giving you a sense of calm, explains Harvard Health.
For some people, even the above methods won't be enough to calm overwhelming nerves. That's why, at City Dentists we offer the option of sedative medications to calm anxious patients and ensure delivery of the dental care you need. If you suffer from mild or moderate anxiety over dental visits, ask us about sedation dentistry today.