Even though you make a genuine effort to practice a good oral care routine, you’ll probably experience tooth decay at some point in your life. When you need a tooth extraction, root canal procedure, or another type of oral surgery, you might feel anxious or fearful about going through the procedure. While this is natural, there are things you can do to have a better experience.
Talk Openly to Your Dentist
When you find out that you have a dental issue that needs to be corrected, talk to your dentist about your feelings. Your dentist and their staff will take extra efforts to help you feel more comfortable. Your dentist may also suggest different treatments that won’t be as frightening to you.
Bring Some Music
You can take your mind off of the dental procedure by bringing along your smartphone and some earphones. Then, when the procedure starts, you can turn on your favorite music to help you relax. If you don’t feel like listening to music, listen to a podcast or radio show to help you stay distracted. Just be sure to keep the volume low. You’ll want to be able to hear your dentist provide you with instructions during the procedure.
Eat High-Protein Foods
Your dentist will probably advise you to avoid eating or drinking within 24 hours of your procedure. Before that fasting period, you should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, and you should resist eating foods with large amounts of sugar. Instead, eat foods that are rich in protein because they help reduce anxiety.
It’s a common habit for patients to try to hold their breath during a dental operation. You should consciously avoid this habit and concentrate on a natural breathing rhythm. When you hold your breath, you’re more likely to feel anxious. Less oxygen to the brain will result in a higher state of panic, so help your brain get the oxygen it needs by following a regular breathing pattern.
You can reduce your need for invasive dental procedures by being diligent in how you care for your teeth. This includes seeing your dentist twice per year. A checkup every six months will help your dentist spot problems earlier so you won’t have to endure a more uncomfortable procedure later.