Dental Anxiety and Mindful Meditation

Stressful events upset our inner self.  They cause anxiety, worry and mental anguish.  Life stress which occurs daily but is not necessarily deadly is the one of the worst stresses because it causes the same inner reactions than life threatening stress.  The body reacts and activates the Fight or Flight Response which in turn informs the adrenal glands to produce various hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine to prepare the body for a struggle.  The heart rate increases, the blood vessels constrict, the muscles tighten and any resources are utilized to prepare the body to defend, flee or fight.

Many individuals suffer severe anxiety with dental visits. Please also review AICHP’s Meditation Instructor Program


It is hence very important to mentally calm oneself when mundane day to day events occur.  Mindfulness is one way to do this.  Meditation and relaxation in the moment is key to keeping the inner systems of the body calmer.  It is about recognizing the situation, the stress itself, and also subjectively modifying one’s response to it.  Hence it is cognitive but also physiological.   One utilizes the meditation to activate the body’s Parasympathetic System which reverses many of the Fight or Fight reactions found in the Sympathetic System.   Through this, the blood pressure lowers, the heart rate decreases, the vessels relax, the muscles unconstrict and the mind finds ease.  Fortunately, anyone can learn Mindfulness Meditation and apply this to everyday situations.

One stressful situation that this can be applied to is the visit to the dentist.  For many, there is a true fear and trauma in visiting the dentist.  Maybe a child one had a difficult experience, or even as an adult, one fears any type of medical procedure.   As each day becomes closer to the appointment there can be a build up of anxiety and stress.  The body and mind become more occupied with the visit and stressed hence producing a stress response in the body.  The day of the appointment, the anxiety may even be higher and upon arrival, one may in a high state of stress.   Mindfulness Meditation can help negate the effects of stress on the body and help ease the mind prior to a visit.

In the article, “How Mindfulness Can Ease Your Dental Anxiety. Even if You Don’t Love Meditating” by Heather Beasley Doyle, the usefulness of Mindfulness prior to dental visits is explored.  The article speaks of an interview with a dental professional who utilized Mindfulness not only for dental students but also as a way to help patients better prepare for their visit.  The article states,

 “For patients anticipating a stressful procedure, I think diaphragmatic breathing is probably the most effective, easiest way to ease their anxiety. It’s called the three-part breath. It uses  the diaphragm, the lungs, and then the upper chest. You start by breathing from the belly, into your lungs, and then you lift your collarbone as you breathe into your chest. Then you exhale on a long slow breath that’s twice as long as the inhale. It engages the parasympathetic nervous system, and it’s a very conscious and effective way to relax the body, the nervous system, and to focus the mind.”

“How Mindfulness Can Ease Your Dental Anxiety. Even if You Don’t Love Meditating”.  Beasley Doyle, H. (2023). Tufts Now.

To review the entire article, please click here


Dentist anxiety, also known as dental phobia or odontophobia, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by intense fear or anxiety related to dental visits and procedures. This fear can be so overwhelming that it prevents individuals from seeking necessary dental care, leading to a decline in their oral health.

The impact of dentist anxiety on oral health is significant. Avoiding dental visits can result in untreated dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. Neglecting oral health can also lead to more serious conditions, including tooth loss and systemic health issues like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The benefits of meditation for managing anxiety

Meditation, a practice that involves focusing the mind and achieving a state of calm and relaxation, has been proven to be an effective tool for managing anxiety. It offers a wide range of benefits for both mental and physical well-being. Regular meditation practice can help reduce stress, promote emotional stability, enhance self-awareness, and improve overall health.

When it comes to dentist anxiety, meditation can be particularly beneficial. By calming the mind and soothing the nervous system, meditation can help individuals manage their fears and anxieties associated with dental visits. It allows individuals to cultivate a sense of inner peace and tranquility, making it easier to face dental procedures with a greater sense of calm and control.

How meditation can specifically help with dentist anxiety

Meditation provides a variety of specific techniques and approaches that can help individuals overcome dentist anxiety. One such technique is mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing one’s attention on the present moment without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, individuals can learn to observe their anxious thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them. This allows for a greater sense of detachment and a reduction in the intensity of anxiety.

Mindful Meditation can help ease the anxiety of visiting the dentist.


Another helpful meditation technique is guided imagery. This involves visualizing positive and calming images, such as serene landscapes or peaceful scenes, to create a sense of relaxation and well-being. By engaging the imagination in this way, individuals can create a mental escape from their dental anxieties and replace them with more positive and calming thoughts.

Breathing exercises are also commonly used in meditation to promote relaxation. Deep, slow breathing can help activate the body’s relaxation response and reduce anxiety. By focusing on the breath during dental procedures, individuals can maintain a state of calm and reduce the physical symptoms associated with anxiety, such as rapid heartbeat and tense muscles.

Techniques for incorporating meditation into your dental routine

Incorporating meditation into your dental routine can help make dental visits more manageable and less anxiety-provoking. Here are some techniques to consider:

  1. Pre-dental meditation: Before your dental appointment, set aside a few minutes to practice meditation. Find a quiet space where you can sit comfortably and focus on your breath or use guided meditation apps or videos specifically designed for dental anxiety. This can help you enter the dental office with a calmer state of mind.
  2. During dental procedures: Practice mindfulness and deep breathing during dental procedures. Focus on your breath and try to keep your attention in the present moment. Whenever anxiety arises, acknowledge it without judgment and gently bring your attention back to your breath. This can help distract your mind from anxious thoughts and promote a sense of relaxation.
  3. Post-dental meditation: After your dental visit, take some time to relax and restore your calm. Spend a few minutes engaging in a mindfulness practice or listening to a guided meditation that focuses on relaxation and self-care. This can help you process any residual anxiety and maintain a positive mindset towards future dental visits.

Finding the right meditation style for you

There are various meditation styles to choose from, and finding the one that resonates with you is essential for overcoming dentist anxiety. Here are a few popular styles to consider:

  1. Mindfulness meditation: This style focuses on being fully present in the moment and observing thoughts and emotions without judgment. It can help build resilience to anxious thoughts and cultivate a sense of calm.
  2. Loving-kindness meditation: This practice involves directing well-wishes and compassion towards oneself and others. It can foster feelings of self-acceptance and reduce self-criticism, which can be helpful for managing dental anxiety.
  3. Transcendental meditation: Transcendental meditation involves the use of a mantra or repeated sound to achieve a state of deep relaxation. It can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety.

Experiment with different meditation styles and see which one resonates with you the most. Remember that meditation is a personal practice, and what works for one person may not work for another. Find the style that brings you the most peace and tranquility.

Additional strategies for overcoming dentist anxiety

In addition to meditation, there are several other strategies you can employ to overcome dentist anxiety:

  1. Communication with your dentist: Openly discuss your fears and anxieties with your dentist. A compassionate and understanding dentist can help alleviate your concerns and create a more comfortable dental experience for you.
  2. Gradual exposure: If your anxiety is severe, consider gradually exposing yourself to dental visits. Start with short, non-invasive procedures and gradually work your way up to more complex treatments. This incremental approach can help desensitize you to dental anxiety over time.
  3. Relaxation techniques: In addition to meditation, practice other relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or listening to calming music. These techniques can help you relax before, during, and after dental visits.
  4. Distraction techniques: Engage in activities that distract your mind during dental procedures. Bring a book, listen to music, or use noise-canceling headphones to focus on something other than the dental environment.

The link between stress and oral health

It is essential to recognize the link between stress and oral health. Stress can have a detrimental impact on oral health by contributing to conditions such as bruxism (teeth grinding), temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and gum disease. By managing stress through meditation and other stress-reduction techniques, you can significantly improve your oral health and overall well-being.

Tips for maintaining a healthy smile despite anxiety

Despite experiencing dentist anxiety, it is crucial to prioritize your oral health. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy smile:

  1. Maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A clean mouth reduces the risk of dental problems and promotes overall oral health.
  2. Eat a balanced diet: Opt for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. This ensures that your teeth receive the essential nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy.
  3. Limit sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods and drinks can contribute to tooth decay and other dental problems. Limit your consumption of sugary snacks, sodas, and candies to protect your teeth.
  4. Schedule regular dental check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining good oral health. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can catch any dental issues early and prevent them from progressing into more severe problems.

Seeking professional help for dentist anxiety

The dentist visit for many can be overwhelming. Some may need counseling and help in managing stress.


If your dentist anxiety is severe and significantly impacts your daily life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. A mental health professional experienced in treating anxiety disorders can provide you with the necessary tools and techniques to manage your dental phobia effectively. They can guide you through exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or other evidence-based treatments to help you overcome your fears.

Remember, you are not alone in your dental anxiety, and there is no shame in seeking help. Your oral health is essential, and by addressing your anxiety, you can ensure that you receive the dental care you need for a healthy smile.

Conclusion: Embracing meditation as a tool for oral health and overall well-being

Meditation is a powerful practice that can help individuals overcome dentist anxiety and achieve a healthy smile. By incorporating meditation techniques into your dental routine, you can manage anxiety, reduce stress, and promote a sense of calm during dental visits. Finding the right meditation style for you is key, as everyone’s experience with anxiety is unique. Additionally, employing other strategies such as communication with your dentist, gradual exposure, and relaxation techniques can further support your journey towards overcoming dentist anxiety.

Remember, your oral health is a vital component of your overall well-being. By prioritizing your dental care and seeking professional help if needed, you can embrace meditation as a valuable tool for maintaining a healthy smile and living a happier, more anxiety-free life.

Please review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program as well as AIHCP’s Stress Management Consultant Program


Please also review AIHCP’s Meditation Instructor Program, as well as AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program.  Both programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.  Please review the Meditation and Stress programs and see if they meet your academic and professional goals.

Additional Resources

“Coping with Dental Anxiety”. Higuera, V. (2021). Healthline.  Access here

“Easing Dental Fear in Adults”. WebMD Medical Contributers. ( 2021). WebMD. Access here

“How To Deal With Dental Anxiety”. HealthEssentials. (2023). Cleveland Clinic.  Access here

“What to know about dental anxiety”. Fletcher, J. (2022). Medical News Today. Access here

Stress Management Video on PTSD Part III

PTSD is unprocessed trauma due to a horrific event.  Learning to finally face that trauma and move forward is an important step.  Learning to process and again learn to trust and have productive relationships are important.  Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.



Please review the video below

Stress Management Consulting Program Video on PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is trauma that is not processed.  It is due to trauma that is so severe that it leaves an imprint that the brain at the moment is not able to process into long term memory.  As a result, it is unfragmented and haunts the person as if it never ends and continues to occur.

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals


Please review the video below

Parental Stress and Managing It

A very large stressor is children.  Parents deal with stress of their children and adult children their whole lives.  Different ages and different times present different and unique challenges in parenting, but overall, the stress of having children and raising them is a challenge.  Parents need to learn how to cope with stress and juggle the issues of parenting with their own life to stay afloat in life.  This can be a difficult endeavor.  Many parents need to better organize, prepare and react to the stress children can play upon it.  Ultimately in the end, the hard work and long hours can pay off to a successful child rearing.

Stress Management techniques can also help parents better cope with stress.  This includes time management, time alone, meditation, and having a strong support system to rely upon.  Unfortunately for those parents without a support system, coping can be even more difficult and hence time management and meditation can play huge roles.

Parental stress comes at any age and has different challenges with each age. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program


The article, “Here’s How to Navigate Parenting Stress” by Madeline Brown takes a closer look at managing stress associated with parenting.  In the article, she lists the primary causes of parent stress and how to identify it.  She also lists on ways to better cope and find the necessary assistance.  She states,

“Stress is a poor boundary keeper. Work stress doesn’t stay confined to the office. Financial worries don’t magically go away when your child is sick and sleepless. The parenting journey is naturally peppered with seasons of heightened stress and worry — from the sleepless newborn stage to the teenage rebellion years and beyond. A list of what doesn’t cause parenting stress might be shorter. Nevertheless, these are common factors that can make parenting stress worse:”

“Here’s How to Navigate Parenting Stress”. Madeline Brown.  January 6th, 2022. Psych Central.

To read the entire article, please click here


Parenting will always be stressful but it is also rewarding.  Parents can learn to balance what is merely an annoyance with what truly should concern their time.  Many parental stressors are minor daily things or small accidents.  Depending on the age, children will spill, or teens will have a bad grade, but these are parts of natural growth in life.  Parents need to be able to categorize these things and understand when to be angry, stressed, or just fix the situation.  Parents also need to know how to categorize short term and long term needs of children and what focus to give certain tasks priority over.

It does not help that many parents have other issues as well. Many issues from work, or relationships can emerge and make it harder to handle the work at home.  Tasks and chores can pile up, especially for parents without much assistance.  This can only begin to bury the parent in more responsibilities.   To shave off some of these issues, time management is critically important for any parent as well as schedules for their child of any age.

When small issues become larger issues is when the true stress of parenting can emerge.  Bad behavior, drugs, or problems with the law are all possibilities.  These types of stressors cannot be simply brushed to the side and must be dealt with.  It is important to know when a stressor is a legitimate issue which is going to demand the parent’s time and abilities.  Other stressors can include finances, school costs, care cost, and other care giving responsibilities.  Many parents stay up late at night thinking how they will better care for and afford their child or children’s needs.  It can be quite frightful but through management and structure, one can find a way to the goal line in raising a productive young adult.

But if you think parenting ends at 18, then you are in for a surprise. Parentings adult children also comes with many stresses.  Parents can worry about the success of their children, career options, or college success.  Adult children who never grow up can be a constant stress on parents in their older years.

It is important for parents of any age to always look towards self care.  Self care involves being able to look at oneself and ensure physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs are met.  It may seem like there is no time for this, but it is important to try to find the time.  Whether its a half hour of meditation a day, or having counseling or a massage,  it is critical to find the self care.  Burnout can occur in anything and parenting is no exception.  Dealing with burnout properly and finding the support and help one needs is critical for the entirety of the family.  This is again why self care is so important.

Obviously beyond the self care, parenting should also be viewed not as only stressful but also rewarding.  Enjoying time with your children and doing exciting things can rewrite the narrative that is always a job but also a beautiful vocation of sharing love.


Parenting is the toughest job on the planet.  It does not come with a manual or instructions but involves giving one’s entire self, both heart and soul into ensuring the welfare and success of the child. In its very nature, parenting is stressful but levels of stress can be managed by assorting what is merely daily to what is an immediate issue.  At whatever age, try to enjoy the ride and let one’s love of their child or children dictate the pace but remember, self care is always important and parents sometimes need a break too.

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification as a Stress Management Consultant.

Additional Resources

“Parenting stress: What causes it, and how does it change us?”. 2020 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D, Parenting Science.  Access here

“Parental Stress is Key Contributor to Development of Children’s Mental Illness”. Krystal Jagoo. January 11th, 2022. Verywellmind.  Access here

“4 Tips for Managing Parenting Stress”. Erlanger A. Turner Ph.D. June 24th, 2013. Psychology Today.  Access here

“Parental Burnout and Stress”. Psychology Today Staff.  Psychology Today. Access here


Stress Management Program Article on Work and Home Stress Balance

With life, a proper balance with work and life is critical to optimal health.  When this balance is not achieved, bad things occur.  On the extreme of over work, the imbalance leads to multiple stresses that come home with the individual.  These stresses can overtime become chronic and unhealthy for the individual.  Burnout can become a common end result.

Work and home life need to be balanced to avoid stress. please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program


It is important for workers to understand the need for relaxation and home life and to properly balance life with work.

The article, “How To Offset Stress And Achieve Work-Life Balance” by Ed Beltran looks closer at how to balance work and life to avoid burnout.  He states,

“As if the world wasn’t stressful enough, the pandemic brought greater challenges to the often-elusive work-life balance. One of the biggest challenges was the transition from office life to the solitude of working remotely. Parents suddenly had to learn how to teach their children at home while maintaining the same productivity at work as before. Moreover, millions of Americans united in the fight for equality and civil rights.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.

Stress Management Consulting Program Article on Stress Reduction Tips

Stress can make life difficult.  It can prevent productivity, affect emotional and physical health and strain relationships.  It is important to control stress.  There are many ways to learn how to control stress and one needs to find the best methods for oneself

Learning to manage stress can help in all facets of life. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consultant program


The article, “Twelve Tips to Reduce Stress” by Don Doman looks at twelve ways one can reduce stress.  He states,

“Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes”

To read the entire article, please click here

Reducing stress is important.  Learning how and reviewing these twelve tips could help reduce stress and help have a more tranquil life.  To learn more about Stress Management, please review AICHP’s Stress Management Consultant Program.  Stress Management Consultants can help others learn to manage stress and have more productive lives.  The program is online, independent study and open enrollment.  It leads to a four year certification in Stress Management



Stress Management Consulting Program Article on Burnout

Burnout can happen to even the most energetic and optimistic person.  Over work, heavy schedule, stress and sickness can all lead to a burnout.  If someone pushes him or herself too much, it can happen suddenly.  Burnout can be avoided by properly scheduling oneself and setting limitations.  It can also be avoided by taking time to take care of oneself.  It is important to give self care for one’s own health.

Identifying burnout before it hits is critical to health. Please also review our Stress Management Consulting Program


The article, “Prevent burnout – 3 burnout symptoms and how to avoid them” by Thea O’Connor reviews the various issues surrounding burnout and how to avoid and also overcome it.  She states,

“Burnout affects about 5-7 per cent of the working population, according to Michael Leiter, professor of industrial and organisational psychology at Deakin University. Leiter explains that it is difficult to say if the condition is on the rise, since burnout has not been tracked over time, and is likely to be hidden in the “mental stress” category of workers’ compensation claims.”

To read the entire article on burnout, please click here

Burnout can happen suddenly to someone who constantly is doing too much.  It is important to notice the signs.  Also, please review our Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.

Stress Management Consulting Program Article on Stress Eating

Stress and eating can go hand and hand.  Many people cope with stress in different ways.  Eating can be a very unhealthy way to deal with stress if it is consistent and in large amounts.  It can deviate one from regular exercise and lead to bad dietary habits.

Does stress lead you to unhealthy eating habits? Please also review our Stress Management Consulting Program and see if it meets your academic needs

The article, “Stress-eating: Five strategies to slow down” by  Kelly Bilodeau states,

“Weight gain has many underlying causes but one of the most common is something we all experience: stress. Whether it’s the, mild temporary kind caused by a traffic jam or major and chronic, triggered by a traumatic life event — stress is no friend to your waistline”

To learn more about stress and eating, please review the article by clicking here

Please also review our Stress Management Consulting Program, as well as our Holistic Nurse program and see if they match your academic and professional goals.

Stress Management Program Article on Achievement While Stressed

The ability to operate at a high professional level is critical at work and even more so when the pressure is on and one is dealing with stress.  One’s ability to perform while under duress is what determines a winning outcome.   Being able to manage stress and utilize stress management techniques can help an individual better cope with stress and achieve optimal outcomes.

Please also review our Stress Management Program to learn more about handling stress and achieving goals
Please also review our Stress Management Program to learn more about handling stress and achieving goals

The article, “Overcoming Stress (And Performing Your Best) When The Pressure Is On” by Gary Bradt states,

“Do you ever talk to yourself this way at work? You pile pressure on yourself in an already pressure-packed situation. It’s easy to do. The project is late; the client is upset. Senior management is feeling the heat and passing it down to you.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review our Stress Management Program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.

In the meantime, handling stress is an important skill that can determine failure or success in life.  Stress is something that many deal with on a daily basis and if one is incapable of coping, then they will face many difficulties in life.

Stress Management Program Article on Parenting Stress

Good article on the stress of parenting.  Parenting can be one of the most stressful jobs, albeit rewarding, the stress from the first day of having a child to even when they are well grown, is a continual stress of worry.  With anything worthwhile, comes stress.  Stress Management though can help one better deal with stress.

The article, Thoughtful Parenting: Parenting Stress — it matters; management is key, by Sue Fegelein states

“Parenting stress is the stress associated with being a parent. Parents are often juggling jobs, childcare, finances and household duties. Studies have shown that parents who report high parenting stress tend to be “authoritarian, harsh and negative in their reactions with their child,” and the quality of parent-child relationships is decreased by parenting stress.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review our Stress Management Program to learn how to help others cope with stress