Are you nervous when going to see the dentist?
Many people are nervous about going to the dentist and it’s understandable why. A common reason is a bad experience in the past. “I’ve seen a number of clients not only from Farnham but the surrounding towns like Fleet, Alton and Aldershot where they have had a negative experience which can really stay with you unless its dealt with,” says Dr Rashid of Time Dental in Surrey, “that’s why I talk through client concerns first to try and find out what it is that makes them nervous. Once I’ve identified the reason for the worry I take them through relaxation exercises and then I will be able to provide gentle dentistry. The best and proven technique to help relaxation is controlled breathing.”
When you get nervous your shoulders hunch up, your breathing shallows and becomes very rapid. It’s your body’s way of preparing for what is termed “fight or flight”. To help relax in the dental chair place your hands on your tummy and start breathing slowly and deeply through the nose, focusing on the movement of the hands. As you breathe in your hands should be rising on top of your tummy as it rises, and when you breathe out you should feel your hands moving down with your tummy. You should also let your shoulders drop down as you breathe out. What this is doing is getting you to breathe with your diaphragm in a slow and controlled manner which helps you to relax as well as providing a distraction technique for what is going on in the mouth.
“Having soothing music through headphones also helps, sometimes my clients choose a DVD to watch during treatment. This again is a distraction technique which works well. Other options for relaxing clients are using medication or sedation, “says Dr Rashid.
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