Although we all need a few good visits to the dentist every year to assure our oral health is up to standard, it is understandable that not everyone is comfortable in that laid back chair. While everyone has their own uncomfortable aspects of seeing a dentist, one very common one is the gag reflex that many endure. While it’s a definite turnoff of going in for your appointment, there doesn’t have to be such a looming fear of coughing and watery eyes.

Tips For Dealing With Gag Reflex

Whether it’s from the utensils and tools used by the oral hygienist, the process of getting oral X-rays taken, or the ever fearful plaster molds of your teeth being made, there are many different reasons why a gag reflex might act up during your appointment. The coughing, gagging, watery eyes, and overall exhaustion of fighting off the inevitable can be enough to definitely deteriorate some people’s hygiene habits. However, here are some tips to use the next time you are preparing yourself for your battle at the dentist:

Breathe Through Your Nose

The next time you’re on the chair and can feel the gag coming on, take a deep breathe in and out through your nose. By breathing only through your nose and concentrating on doing so, you’re allowing less muscle movement in your throat and mouth, thus blocking out the recognition that there is something in your mouth which could obstruct breathing.

Try Humming

A faint hum in the back of your throat is a great way to clench your throat muscles back into control while simultaneously making you breathe through your nose. It can easily distract you from the work going on in your mouth, thus getting it over with faster.

Desensitizing To The Tools

Ask your oral hygienist if you can adjust yourself to some of the tools like the small dental mirror or forceps being in your mouth. Be careful not to hurt yourself in doing so, but by letting yourself be in control at first you can relax your gag reflex.

Clench Your Left First

It may seem weird, and there is no real scientific explanation for it, but countless of patients report that making a fist with your left hand and squeezing your left thumb very tightly actually represses your gag reflex. Next time you’re about to gag, try it!

Gag reflexes are natural and shouldn’t be made a ashamed of. While they do happen, it’s important to find the best way to cope with them for the sake of your mouth’s health. Next time you’re at your appointment here at Sugar Land Dental Spa, make your oral hygienist aware of your gag and you two can work on suppressing it together.