It’s estimated that 36 percent of people living in the United States have a fear of dental treatment and going to the dentist. This fear can make people avoid the dentist at all costs.
Neglecting routine care or necessary procedures from the dentist because you’re scared could leave you worse off, no matter your mouth’s condition.
If you find yourself avoiding dental care because of fear or anxiety the good news is that help may be in the palm of your hand! Your smartphone or smart devices are full of apps that can help you stay calm before and during your dentist appointment.
Here are some handy calming apps for anxiety that will get you back in the office and ready to take care of your smile:
Calming apps that ease dental anxiety
Your phones, tablets, and other smart devices are great tools when it comes to using apps that are meant to help calm your mind and reduce anxious thoughts or feelings. Here are just a few calming apps that can make a big difference at your next appointment:
Meditation apps help control your thoughts
Apps like Headspace, MINDBODY, and Calm, by the folks behind Calm.com, are designed to help you several ways. Many have features that help you learn to meditate and control your thoughts, learn focused body movements, and enhance the quality of your sleep. Look for something that allows you to focus on your body and mind to help calm your dental anxiety.
Relaxation apps offer anxiety management
Like the meditation apps above, there are numerous relaxation-inducing mobile apps that allow you to self-help for anxiety management. Some provide white noise and calming sounds to settle your mind, while others suggest self-hypnosis or acupressure techniques to help you relax. Many of these helpful tools will have you focused on yourself and not the stress that comes with seeing a dentist.
Audio apps help take your mind off of things
If music, podcasts, or audiobooks are your thing, make sure you bring your favorite headphones to your appointment so you can maintain your Zen from the dentist’s chair. Podcasts are great for keeping your mind focused, and you can double the impact by listening to shows that tackle mental health maintenance.
Audiobooks let you enjoy your stories on the go, and they’re available from many retailers like Apple or Audible. If you just want some mindless music to enjoy, services like Spotify have stress-specific playlists available. Or just load up your music apps with your favorite songs.
If you’re more easily distracted by the flashing lights and moving pictures on your smaller and more portable version of the silver screen, download Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or even fire up YouTube and find something to take your mind off of your dental anxiety. There are so many options to choose from, you might forget why you were stressed in the first place.
If you are unable to watch a movie or show during dental treatment, try and take some time before your appointment to watch your favorite part. In some cases, dental offices have TVs with video apps installed above the patient’s chair. If this is the case for you, be sure to take advantage of it!
Don’t let fear of the dentist stop you from having good oral health
Getting to the dentist’s office may seem impossible if you have fear and anxiety, however, it’s important to visit twice a year to maintain your oral health. Technology such as apps that are meant to calm, relax, and distract you are great tools for relieving stress and anxiety. Try one or all of the recommendations above at your next appointment – they might be the key to a comfortable dental checkup!