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How to Relax In the Dentists Chair

Tony Forster -- A visit to the dentist doesn't have to be a jaw-clenching experience. Here's how to be cool in the chair.

If you're anything like me, you'll feel varying degrees of anxiety when you find yourself sitting in the dentist's chair. Perhaps you can remember a specific incident from your childhood that brings back painful memories, or maybe you don't like the sounds and smells involved.

Being afraid of the dentist is nothing to be ashamed of and is something most of us experience at sometime in our lives.

The good news, however, is that modern dentistry is now a different experience. Modern dentists have a greater understanding of their patients' fears and concerns and have undergone additional training to meet these concerns.

Dental practices have also greatly improved. Less painful treatments, more efficient practices, and quicker dental treatments along with your dentist's empathy make for a much nicer experience.

Lie back and think of something pleasant.

Here are five things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable:

1. Arrive relaxed, calm, and on time.

Plan your visit with care, be sure to allow plenty of time to arrive and park your car if driving. If you are running late or have difficulty getting there on time you will naturally be more stressed. A high level of stress can make you irritable, making it more difficult to control your level of anxiety.

2. Try exercising your brain.

Don't just sit in the dentist's chair thinking about nothing, or worse, still imagining what might happen. Use the time effectively by thinking about something that will tax your brain. Why not have brain puzzle already prepared? Or perhaps you'd prefer to think about planning your next holiday or a home improvement.

Whatever you do, make sure you have something to occupy your mind other than what is going on.

3. You are in control.

It is important that you let your dentist know how you will signal when you want to stop and take a break. The mere fact that you can now control the situation often helps reduce anxiety and makes the treatment more bearable.

4. Music can help.

A personal stereo that allows you to play your own choice of music or a talking book can help distract your mind and hide the sound of treatment.

5. Hypnosis and relaxation.

Perhaps your dentist offers these techniques which are a little like day dreaming. These techniques allow you to gain control over your feelings of distress, panic, or fear. If your dentist doesn't offer these services they will most likely be able to suggest somebody suitable.

Most importantly, speak to your dentist and explain any fears and concerns you may have about your treatment. A good dentist will be able to empathize with your feelings and carefully explain what they are about to do and how. Simple communication can go a long way toward resolving your issues without the need for any other technique.

Try some of these tips and, who knows, you may even find yourself looking forward to your next visit!

Note: The content of this article is for information purposes only. It is advisable to consult your medical or dental practitioner before implementing any program or change to your current regime.

Tony Forster has a keen interest in dental care and bad breath treatment, and has compiled many useful resources at

© 2005 Tony Forster

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.