If you feel anxious about visiting the dentist, you're not alone. Dental anxiety is common, and can be so bad, it moves into the phobia realm. Using meditation techniques before and during a dental visit can help you quiet your anxieties.

Focused Breathing

When you're anxious, you may tend to hold your breath or have shallow breathing. The lack of oxygen actually makes your stress worse. Focusing on controlled breathing in and out takes your mind off the stress and helps you relax. A mantra is sometimes helpful, such as "good feelings in" on inhaling and "bad feelings out" on exhaling. Counting your exhales is another technique for focused breathing. If you are distracted and lose count, simply start over at the beginning.


You may find that going to a happy place in your mind can remove you from the place that is causing you anxiety. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a peaceful space far away from the dentist's chair. Go in your mind to somewhere you find calm and relaxing, such as the forest or the beach. Imagine the sounds and details of your surroundings, such as plants, birds or waves washing up on the shore.


Mindfulness meditation is a method that allows you to stay in the present moment. This prevents you from becoming anxious thinking about past pain from dental procedures or the possible pain from this one. It involves concentration on breathing to keep you in the present. If your mind drifts and thoughts sneak in, simply acknowledge them and go back to your breathing. This technique takes some practice, so it's better to use if you are already a practitioner or start learning the technique before your dental appointment.

Gazing Focus

This type of meditation lets you zone in on an object to "zone out" from what is going on around you. Pick something in the room, such as a picture or a window, and simply keep your eyes soft and gaze at it. If your mind wanders, bring it back to noticing the focus of your gaze. You can direct your gaze beyond the object, or bring the object in and out of focus.

Dental anxiety and phobia are real conditions that can have adverse affects on the mind and body. Using meditation techniques can help you alter your thought patterns and move away from the fear. Talk to a dental office like Arbor Dental Care Ltd to learn more.