Mindful Practices to Make Your Dental Checkups More Relaxing

February 21, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drthomas @ 1:48 am
Smiling woman in dental treatment chair

Millions of people feel nervous at the thought of visiting the dentist. They might even postpone basic care, such as cleanings and checkups, because they struggle with stress and anxiety whenever they are in a dental office. Some patients request sedation to help them relax, but if you are reluctant to be sedated, what can you do? These mindful practices may help to make your dental checkups more relaxing:

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are one of the most effective ways to release stress and tension throughout the body. Try the three-part breath:

  • Part one: Inhale through your nose and let your belly expand. Exhale through your nose, slowly releasing as much air as possible. Generally, your exhalation should last twice as long as your inhalation.
  • Part two: Inhale through the nose, expanding both your belly and your ribs this time. Again, exhale slowly.
  • Part three: Inhale, expanding your belly and ribcage. Then, invite the breath into your upper chest before you exhale fully.


Your mind’s eye is a powerful tool! If you feel anxious during your dental appointment, try picturing yourself in a relaxing setting. Some people imagine themselves sitting by the ocean or walking through a meadow of wildflowers. Try to imagine the sights, sounds, and smells of your peaceful setting.

Progressive Relaxation

Physical tension commonly accompanies stress and anxiety. To relax, focus on tensing one group of muscles at a time. Hold the tension for a few seconds before consciously releasing it. Do this throughout your body, moving from your facial muscles downward.

Listen to Music

Your dental team may need to speak to you during your appointment, but there will be some portions of your visit when it will be fine for you to pop in your earbuds and listen to some uplifting music. Alternatively, you could listen to a fascinating podcast or audiobook. Some people even choose relaxing white noise programs.


Some people find that a positive or empowering phrase helps them to deal with stress and anxiety. For example, you might repeatedly tell yourself something like, “I am calm. I am in control. I trust my dentist. I am proud of myself for taking care of my health.”

Talk to Your Dental Team

Do not feel like you have to put on a brave face for Dr. Thomas and our dental team. We understand that dental care is not easy for everyone. If there is anything we can do to make your experience easier, let us know! We will do everything we reasonably can to accommodate you.

Meet the Practice

Dr. Preetha Thomas is an experienced holistic dentist in Southlake, TX. She enjoys creating a positive, relaxing experience for patients, and when necessary, she is able to offer sedation. If you would like to learn how she and our team may be able to help you overcome your dental anxiety, contact our practice at 817-912-1218.

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