Tag Archives: how to ease dental anxiety

Oral Health: Coping Methods for Easing Dental Anxiety

Easing Dental Anxiety

If you’ve ever dealt with nerves, the jitters, or anxiety about visiting your dentist, know that you are not alone … let’s talk about easing dental anxiety.

According to article, Why Are People Afraid of the Dentist? Observations and Explanations,

“Dental anxiety, or dental fear, is estimated to affect approximately 36% of the population, with a further 12% suffering from extreme dental fear. This anxiety can have serious repercussions in terms of an individual’s oral health, and it is considered to be a significant barrier to dental attendance resulting in poor attendance.”

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Downside of Avoiding Dental Offices

Seeing your dentist for routine checkups and maintenance is too important to your health and wellbeing to skip. When you don’t see your dentist, you’re at a much higher risk for:

  • Cavities
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss
  • Infection
  • Gum disease
  • Discolored teeth
  • Plaque and tartar

More Tips from the American Dental Association: Coping with Dental Anxiety

Easing Dental Anxiety: Tips and Tricks

Rather than postponing or cancelling visits, let’s look at some of the coping mechanisms for dental anxiety.

Related Article: Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods Can Help

Psychological Coping Mechanisms

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Guided imagery – visualizing happy thoughts, nostalgic thoughts
  • Distraction (tv, music, stress ball, etc.)
  • Using a weighted blanket

Bring a Friend

Ask your dentist if a relative or a friend can accompany you to your dental appointment. Having a familiar person nearby may calm nerves and make you feel safe.


In some cases, medication may help with dental anxiety. Analgesia is an over-the-counter medication that are sometimes used to reduce pain and anxiety, or sometimes, dentists will use laughing gas to ease anxiety.

Make Sure to Speak Up

Let our dental office know beforehand that you experience dental anxiety. It can make a world of difference if Dr. Skrobanek and his Team are aware of your anxiety and can be prepared prior to your appointment. You can also agree on a signal with Dr. Skrobanek if you ever need to take a break. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, sometimes knowing exactly what will happen, and when, can alleviate some nerves.

A Few More Tips

  • Avoid caffeine and sugar before any appointments – these can make you jittery and more anxious. Instead, eat a high protein snack or meal. 
  • Choose an appointment time that is the least stressful for you. 
  • Arrive on time for your appointment – try not to arrive too soon.

Easing Dental Anxiety at GPS Dental

The mouth is a great window to the rest of your body, so when you visit us at GPS Dental, we can take a peek into your overall health during your regular dental cleanings and exams. This could save you money, time, and protect your health down the road. Learn how HERE.

When your Dr. Skrobanek catches a problem early, there’s a much better chance of figuring out what’s going on and treating it early, with a higher success rate. Oftentimes, dentists can detect warning signs before we experience any symptoms. Actually, oral health is an easy way to boost your immune system, learn more HERE.

Luckily, when depression or anxiety takes a toll on oral health, there are ways to fight back. The simplest step in easing your dental anxiety that you can take is to maintain your oral health by brushing twice a day, flossing daily and scheduling regular dental appointments with Dr. Skrobanek and his team at GPS Dental. Keeping up these basic oral health habits can go a long way to keeping your mouth in tip-top shape.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

How to Ease Dental Anxiety for Kids

how-to-ease-dental-anxietySo many of our patients ask us how to ease dental anxiety for their kids. We’d like to offer 3 simple tips.

For many years, a trip to the dentist has been a stressful for both adults and children. The stereotype of a dental office being a scary place in the past was true for many reasons. However, over the years advancements in dental technology and the high number of prominent dentists with offices that are calm and soothing, instead of sterile and intimidating have shifted this stereotype out of our reality.  Now this has become a thing of the past.

Although the fear or anxiety of visiting the dentist is relatively small among adults today, for some children this fear still remains and gives them anxiety. It can cause visiting the dentist to be a very stressful ordeal for those children and their parents. We encourage parents of young children to take an active role to help manage and reduce this fear at an early age.

To help, we have comprised a list of three useful tips and ideas that may help you in the process when trying to figure out how to ease dental anxiety. We want you and your child to enjoy a stress-free experience when visiting the dentist’s office.

1.    How to Ease Dental Anxiety: Why start kids early?

In order to prepare your child for what to expect when visiting the dentist, the most important step is to simply start scheduling dental appointments at an early age.  Many experts that offer dentistry for kids agree that parents should schedule the first appointment before the child’s first birthday.

Scheduling their first dental appointment and continuing regular checkups is very important for two distinct reasons:

  • To evaluate and prevent issues that may occur at an older age. This may seem unnecessary when the child is still very young and beginning to get baby teeth; however, this gives a dentist the chance to observe and assess the developing teeth. This is an important and proactive step in dentistry for kids and sparing your child from future issues or discomfort that may arise.
  • To introduce the dentist to the child and the dental office. If a child does not receive regular dental care, then a visit to the dentist may seem strange and frightening; as they are not familiar with the situation. By getting your child accustomed to making regular trips to the dentist from an early age, it allows them to become comfortable with the atmosphere of the dental office which will likely make a huge difference in reducing any fear or anxiety.

2.    How to Ease Dental Anxiety: Leading by example, how you can set the tone.

In the eyes of a young child, there is no greater role model than that of a parent or guardian. If your child is fearful when visiting the dentist, instead of telling them how they should behave, perhaps it would be better to show them instead. This is easy; bring your child with you during one of your dental appointments, so they can watch you. They’ll see you, the most important person in their world, set an example of how to act when you visit the dentist. By showing your child there is nothing to fear during a dental appointment, your child is much more likely to associate the dental office with positive feelings rather than negative.

3.    How to Ease Dental Anxiety: Eyes on the prize!

Rewards can make the difference. As you already know, providing a little added incentive is always an effective motivational tool to encourage someone to overcome an obstacle. This is particularly true with children; when facing an obstacle or challenge if they have fear, anxiety or lack the motivation to push through.

If your child remains genuinely fearful of going to the dentist, consider turning this fear into a challenge for them. Perhaps your child has a particular place they would like to go, (such as an amusement park or the zoo) or maybe they desire a certain toy or item? If a reward is promised for good behavior during his or her dental appointment, then this may provide your child with the motivation they need to face their fears. Keeping their eye on the prize can also add a certain amount of distraction at the excitement and anticipation of receiving their reward.

While the historic reputation of a trip to the dentist being a scary experience for kids may still be a common stereotype, with help from parents, this idea can continue to become something of the past, as the future of dentistry for kids continues to grow brighter with every smile.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implants, sleep apnea, TMJ / TMD Treatment, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.