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How To Deal With Fear of Visiting the Dentist

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If you feel queasy at the thought of visiting the dentist, you're not alone. 

According to a recent poll by Delta Dental of Washington, 58 percent of people have some anxiety about seeing the dentist. And almost as many are afraid of the costs (50 percent) as they are of the pain (51 percent).  

Fear of the dentist often starts during childhood and continues into adulthood. Whether it’s you or your child who is concerned about visiting the dentist, here are a few tips from Delta Dental to making your next visit less painful on your emotions and your pocketbook:

1. Establish a relationship with your dentist. Consider scheduling a preliminary meeting, where you can formally introduce your child to their dentist. Many dentists can give tours and introduce you or your children to their tools, exam room and equipment to help ease nerves.

2. Practice mindfulness exercises. If your child is feeling particularly anxious before a dentist visit, consider doing some deep breathing exercises before you leave home.

3. Establish signals for discomfort. If you or your child’s anxiety or fears stems from pain and discomfort, consider establishing hand signals with your dentist for when they need a break.

4. Make a visit to the dentist a familiar routine. Dental visits should occur regularly and the more familiar they can feel the more comfortable your child will be. Try to develop regular routines, such as scheduling appointments on particular days, or make fun plans afterwards they can look forward to.

5. Create a special music playlist of favorite songs. Whether it’s your favorite music or a few of your kid’s frequently played tunes, create a playlist of music before your visit. Only listen to the playlist at the dentist appointment, making it a special treat and welcome distraction during visits or to ease nerves on the drive over.

6. Talk about the costs up front. Before getting sticker shock, first check to make sure your dentist is IN-network with your dental benefits carrier. Then, be upfront with your dentist that you’d like to know the costs before receiving services. By knowing what services are needed ahead of time, you can check with your benefits carrier and find out what procedures are covered and at what percentage. Having this piece of mind can ease any financial fears before you event set foot in the door.

For more information on your oral to overall health, visit deltadentalwablog.com.

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Guest Saturday, 26 July 2014