Health Tip: If You Fear Going to the Dentist

(HealthDay News) -- Regular dental checkups and cleanings are key to having healthy teeth and gums. But the sights, sounds and potential pain of the dentist's office are enough to keep many people away.

The American Dental Association offers these suggestions for making a dental appointment less frightening:

  • Talk to your dentist about your fears. The dentist and the staff should do what they can to make the experience easier.
  • Schedule your appointment during a time that's not busy. Opt for an appointment early in the morning or sometime on a Saturday.
  • Bring a portable music device with you. Focus on the soothing tunes, instead of the sounds of the dental instruments.
  • Close your eyes and visualize a relaxing scene -- to take your mind off what's happening in the dentist's chair.