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Routine dental visits are vital for maintaining good oral health, but about 10 percent of Americans experience dental anxiety. Even though dental insurance results in extremely affordable dental care, approximately 20 percent of people only visit the dentist when absolutely necessary out of sheer fear.

But when people avoid the dentist, more severe problems can develop, which makes them even more scared to go to the dentist. It’s a vicious cycle that can be broken if you take steps to reduce your dental anxiety. Start with these tips.

·         Prepare in advance: Schedule your dental appointment at a time that’s convenient for your schedule. The last thing you need is added stress from an appointment that makes your day more hectic. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep so you’re well rested and as relaxed as possible. Avoid caffeine or any other stimulants that could make you less relaxed before your visit.

·         Discuss your anxiety: Be sure to tell your dentist about your anxiety so he or she can take extra care to make the experience less stressful. Tell your dentist what helps you relax, whether it be a good TV program playing in the background or listening to your favorite music via earbuds. Establish a hand signal that you can use to signal your dentist to stop if you need to take a break.

·         Find ways to relax: Some people have found great success in calming themselves with techniques like controlled breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. These can be practiced both in and out of the dentist’s chair to increase oxygen flow to your brain and soothe your body.

·         Consider medication: If your anxiety is too strong, using certain medications may make the experience easier. Ask your dentist if nitrous oxide or sedative pills are safe for you to use for a dental visit.

Even with dental anxiety, it’s important to get the care you need. Luckily, dental insurance makes visits affordable so you don’t have to worry about the bill causing anxiety!

Protect your smile today. Call Mitchell & Mitchell Insurance Agency at (415) 883-2525 for more information on Los Angeles dental insurance.

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