When it’s time to go to the dentist, do you cringe with worry? Does sitting in your dentist’s chair make you feel anxious? Does the sound of the tools put you on edge? Have you tried relaxing music for anxiety control?
If sitting in the dentist’s chair makes you squirm, we have solutions! Having a distraction and some effective practices may reduce your urge to flee the dental office or avoid the dentist in the first place.
A variety of different sounds can have a calming effect on your anxiety. We strongly recommend listening to some when you’re in for a cleaning or a filling. We’d love to hear what you use for relaxing music for anxiety control, too!
Relaxing Music for Anxiety Control – Music as a Distraction
The American Dental Association recommends that patients listen to music in the dentist office as a form of distraction. This will be most effective if you personalize the experience. Try a combination of different sounds and music to see what works best for you.
It’s important to remember that your dentist is concerned for your overall well-being. Make sure you’re relaxed and comfortable with your dentist before starting any dental work.
Build a Relationship with Your Dentist
If your dentist doesn’t ask how you are when you arrive, prompt him or her to by sharing about your dental anxiety. Do you have a history of anxiety while visiting the dentist? Or, is this a new fear that occurred after a traumatic experience? Your dentist will be able to give you better care when he or she has this information:
1. How you’re feeling
2. What’s bothering you about the appointment
It’s likely your dentist wants to be accommodating!
Ask if you can play your relaxing music for anxiety control over the speakers of your phone. This way, you’re still able to converse with the dentist during your appointment.
If you’re more interested in “blocking out” the experience, earbuds and noise-cancelling headphones are excellent. They allow the music (or silence) to shut out external noises.
White Noise for Stress Relief
If music isn’t calming you, white noise is another option that reduces stress. In a study in which white noise was played, 80% of infants fell asleep within five minutes. White noise gives you something to concentrate on while also allowing you to be present in the moment with the dentist. A fan, heater, or playlists online are great options for white noise.
Music is a powerful way to influence your emotions. You don’t want to get pumped before your dentist appointment, you want to relax. So, avoid music that you listen to before working out or going out on the town.
Relaxing music for anxiety control tends not to have lyrics. This will help keep you calm and avoid bringing up any negative thoughts from the lyrics. When at the dentist, be aware of your surroundings if you’re playing music without headphones. Your music should be soft and peaceful; don’t disturb anyone else in the office who may have anxiety!
Call your dentist’s office before your appointment and ask how they accommodate patients who want to listen to music. If you’re comfortable, you can also ask them if they have special accommodations for patients with anxiety. They should be quick to offer help and encouragement. If you’re not relaxed with your current dentist, we encourage you to use this tool to find a new dentist who feels like a friend.