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6 Ways to Increase Relaxation & Ease During Dental Care

dr-margolis-hs2Submitted by Dr. Michael Margolis, DDS, IMD (Doctor of Integrative Medicine), FIND (Fellow of Institute of Nutritional Dentistry)

At My Dentist, we strive to elevate your experience at our office. Listed below are some tips to help increase ease and relaxation while you are receiving dental care.

Use noise canceling headphones or earplugs to block out sounds

Reducing ambient noise can help calm the nervous system. This is beneficial if you are sensitive to noise and helps with overall relaxation. (1)

Utilize nasal strips

Use them to help you breathe through your nose, while the dentist is working in your mouth.
Nasal strips help reduce nasal congestion by lifting the nasal passage to help increase air flow. This is very helpful especially if you are a mouth breather, have a deviated septum or a stuffy nose.

Listen to a guided meditation or relaxing music during the dental procedure

A guided meditation is where relaxing music is combined with verbal instruction consisting of guided imagery and positive affirmations to evoke and generate positive, soothing mental images. Guided imagery is a stress management technique which increases feelings of peace and happiness.

Count your breaths

Simply counting your in-breath and out-breath is an easy way to calm and relax your body.
For example, while breathing in, count to yourself how long it takes to take a nice deep breath in, then count out the same number on your out-breath. Your breathing will become relaxed and even. Remember to expand your rib cage on the in-breath.

Eat a healthy meal prior to a dental procedure

Eating a healthy meal prior, will help you feel comfortable and more relaxed during your visit and carry you over post dental procedure. A procedure may prevent eating immediately afterward, for example you may have to wait till the numbness wears off before you are comfortable eating. Ask your dentist when you can resume eating.

Hydrate

Hydration and proper nourishment both assist in recovery.
Drink water, water, water! Coconut water is also a great option for re-hydration. Look for “no sugar added” options in all drinks. You can hydrate a little extra beginning the day before a dental visit. No sodas, carbonated beverages or drinks containing acid for at least 48 hours following surgery. No drinking with straws. A non-dairy protein drink made from pea protein powder and/or other plant based ingredients combined with unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or flax seed milk, is a nutritious way to both hydrate and receive nutrients post dental procedure.

References:
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988259/

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