As many as 20% of people refuse to go to the dentist due to anxiety, whether it stems from embarrassment about the physical state of their mouth or fear of pain or the cost of procedures.
Yet, neglecting routine care because you’re scared could leave you worse off, no matter your mouth’s condition.
Here are some handy calming apps for anxiety that will get you back in the office and ready to take care of your smile:
Apps like Headspace, MINDBODY, and Calm, by the folks behind Calm.com, are designed to help you in a number of 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 body and mind to help calm your dental anxiety.
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, 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.
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 locate something to take your mind off of your dental anxiety. There are so many options to choose from, you might totally forget why you were stressed in the first place.