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Breathing Techniques for Anxiety Reduction

Breathing Techniques for Anxiety Reduction

For the average person, going to the dentist can be an overwhelming experience. If you have a dental phobia, going to the dentist can almost be impossible. Patients who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia may end up avoiding dentists entirely, causing a great deal of harm to their oral health.

Smile in the City is a New York dentistry office that understands the fear that some patients experience. Luckily, this fear can diminish by using certain breathing techniques. You can practice these at home and then implement them when you come into the office and are waiting for the dentist.

Box Breathing

This technique is called box breathing because of its simplistic pattern. The steps for this method are:

  • Fully exhale all the air in your lungs while counting to four.
  • Do not breathe back in yet, wait until the count of four.
  • Inhale air back into your lungs, counting to four at the same time.
  • Keep the air in your lungs and hold steady until the count of four.

You do not need to stick to four seconds, but keep the number consistent for each step if you switch it.

Abdomen Breathing

By using your entire torso to breathe, you can reduce your heart rate and prevent yourself from hyperventilating. For this breathing technique, the steps are:

  • Place one hand on your chest over your heart and the other hand on your stomach.
  • Breathe deeply through your nose until you feel your diaphragm inflate.
  • You should be feeling your lungs stretch out a small amount.
  • Slowly release your breath.
  • Repeat these steps 6-10 times.

If you practice this breathing technique for several weeks, you may notice an overall decrease in your blood pressure and heart rate.

Relaxation Breathing

Before beginning this exercise, sit on a chair or the floor, whichever is more comfortable for you. Then, complete the following steps:

  • Take a full, deep breath and fill your lungs with air.
  • Let the breath out and keep repeating the word ‘relax’ in your mind.
  • Then close your eyes and take another breath. When you exhale, count down in your mind, starting from either 5 or 10.
  • After a few of these breaths, take notice of areas where you may be clenching or tensing. On your next breath, try to loosen those body parts.
  • Continue until your body is feeling relaxed and you are mentally calmer.

Try not to let any negative thoughts into your head during this breathing technique. Simply focus on settling your body down and soothing yourself.

Importance of Calming Down

When you arrive at our NYC dentist office, we will be able to gauge your anxiety levels. If you feel stressed, our team will try to put you at ease so that you will get through the procedure as pain-free as possible.

When you are feeling calm, you will have a clear mind before, during, and after your dental procedure. You will be able to pay attention to what is going on and ask questions. By communicating your concerns, our team can guide you through the process, so you will know exactly what to expect.

People commonly hold their breath when they are nervous, which decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain. This is a dangerous scenario, especially when the patient is in the middle of a dental procedure. Learning to remain calm will help you keep your breathing steady the entire time that you are in the dental chair.

Many people worry about pain during dental treatments. Dentists numb the area they are working on, but they need the patient to stay still to ensure that they do not feel any pain. Using breathing techniques will calm patients down so that they do not move during the procedure.

Scheduling an Appointment

Our highly trained NYC dental team has many years of experience treating anxious patients. We can help you overcome your concerns and restore your beautiful smile. Schedule an appointment to discuss the different treatment options that we offer.

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