Controlling Anxiety At The Orthodontist

For many kids and adults visiting the oklahoma city orthodontist can be a panic inducing experience. The fear of pain, sharp instruments, and being confined to a chair all play on many of our worst nightmares.  Not to mention most of us have an understandable aversion to people prodding at our mouths and teeth.


However, there are a few helpful tools to calm yourself.  Breathing is my favorite. Not just literally breathing, we do that all day.  No, intentionally breathing. This will not only help you at the orthodontist, but will make a difference in how you approach many other situations.


Take long, slow breaths.  Focus on the inhale and follow the breath in through your nose.  Feel it expanding your chest and your diaphragm. Follow the exhale back out.  Notice your breath. What is it like? Cold, shaky, slow, fast? As thoughts pop into your head, just notice them and let them go. With practice, this meditative technique can noticeably transform the way you engage with fearful situations.


Not into the meditation? Then just face the fear head on. For many of us our minds will continue to ask, “but what if something happens.” Well you should answer it.  Walk through each of those worst case scenarios. Actually face them. What if it hurts really bad? What if they cut your gums? Face those fears. Keep asking, “then what?” Eventually you will realize that everything is actually ok.  The orthodontist will not kill you. They are here to help you and make sure your bite, smile, and teeth are working at their best.


The orthodontist is not there to hurt you.  They have years of training and experience to keep exactly that from happening. All of them have attended at least eight years of schooling, apprenticeships. Remember, they really do not want to mess up.  Hurting patients explicitly goes against their best interests. The orthodontist okc is incentivized to make sure that you have the best experience and get the best results possible. That’s how they get more patients and continue to grow their business.


A few other tools can help. Bring a squeeze ball and hold on tight.  If you feel self conscious using a squeeze ball then find something smaller. Many people play with jewelry or a ring.  If you can imbue that task with meaning then it becomes even more powerful. For example, you can let your wedding ring remind you of your spouse, and how much they care for you.


Math problems are a great way to preoccupy your mind from worries.  Try counting by sevens or complex operations, such as multiplying and dividing large numbers.  You don’t need to be a math professor. Simple addition will suffice.


Basically anything is on the table except grinding your teeth.  If all else fails, bring it up with your orthodontist. They may have some simple techniques and tools to help you.  If your anxiety is severe enough it may warrant medicating. This is a discussion worth having with your orthodontist oklahoma city, primary care physician and therapist.