For some people, visiting the dentist is associated with stress and discomfort, but it doesn’t have to be. There are things you can do before going to the dentist that will make your visit all the more pleasant.
This article covers a list of things to remember to do before your visit and we also provide helpful tips to help you prepare for your appointment and ensure everything goes smoothly.
Why is it Recommended that Patients Pay the Dentist a Visit Twice a Year?
Patients who skip visits often end up with cavities and gum disease. If patients wait until a problem becomes severe, it may be too late to treat it. The patient then will need more extensive treatment which can have higher costs depending on the treatment.
Though the American Dental Association suggests more frequent scheduling for patients, most dentists recommend visits at least twice a year.
Dentists typically engage in deep teeth cleaning and plaque buildup removal to help prevent gum disease progression and tooth decay.
By visiting the dentist twice a year, patients avoid these expensive treatments. Regular dental checkups are needed for preventative dentistry to take effect.
How to Prepare for your Upcoming Dentist Appointment
A popular reason people put off their dental appointments is the lack of preparation and prior oral care. Here are some tips on what you can do before your next visit to a dentist
Make sure you brush your teeth, and your tongue, at least two hours before your appointment. This helps remove any plaque build-up that may be causing gum disease. Brushing your tongue also removes bacteria and reduces bad breath.
Remember to floss as well as you can. Rinse your mouth out with water after brushing and flossing. This rinses away food particles and toothpaste residue.
Do not try whitening your teeth yourself. You can buy over-the-counter products from drugstores or online retailers. These products contain chemicals that can damage your enamel and cause discoloration. If you want whiter teeth, ask your dentist about what teeth whitening solutions they have to offer.
If you fear dentists for one reason or another, let staff know beforehand. Some patients find it easier to relax if they know that the staff is prepared to handle an anxiety episode.
Also, don’t forget to bring your ID and insurance.
Tips on Ensuring your Dental Visit Goes Smoothly
Do Not Be Afraid to Express. Many of us do not like to discuss what we feel, fearing we come across as weak or vulnerable. However, communicating with your dental professional is crucial.
If you express what you feel to the staff or dentist, they will work together to get you the care you require. The dentist and staff cannot read your thoughts, and it would help to tell them if you feel overwhelmed or uneasy.
Use Hand Signals to Communicate. If during your dental cleaning you need to communicate something to your dentist, try using your hands. For example, use your hands to motion time out if you need a break from the procedure or to let them know something hurts.
Choose a Trustworthy Dental Professional. Choose a dentist you feel comfortable with and who will take care of you. You should also try to find out what kind of experience they have working with anxious or nervous patients.
A good dentist should be able to reassure you that everything will go smoothly. They should also be willing to help you get through any anxiety you might have before your appointment.
Request a Breakdown of What Will Occur. It can be frightening when a dentist begins pulling out dental instruments without explanation. One way to help yourself feel calmer is by getting a rundown of everything your dental professional plans to do.
Schedule Your Appointment When It’s Not Busy. Try to pick an optimal appointment time. The middle of a weekday or weekend is often the best time to make an appointment as it’s not usually busy then.
If you schedule your appointment during peak hours, like early morning or around closing time, it’s likely the offices get very crowded.
Basic Questions to Ask your Dentist Before your Next Visit
What Is Your Favorite Toothpaste?
This may seem silly, but many people don’t know what toothpaste they should use. There are different types of toothpaste, including ones that whiten teeth, freshen breath, clean teeth, etc. You want to make sure you use good quality toothpaste that does its job properly. If you have sensitive teeth, try switching to a fluoride-free version.
Are There Any Foods That Can Hurt My Teeth?
Some foods can harm your teeth over time. Sugar-rich foods, like candy and sodas, can dry out your mouth and increase the risk of cavities. Grains like wheat and corn can stick together and create plaque buildup. Chewing gum can also leave behind residue that can irritate your gums. These things can eventually wear down your teeth and cause them to become decayed.
Do You Have Any Bad Habits That Could Harm Your Teeth?
One of the biggest causes of cavities is improper brushing technique. Brushing your teeth too hard can cause damage to your gums and enamel. Also, if you eat foods high in sugar, like candy or soda, these can lead to decay. Another bad habit is smoking cigarettes. Tobacco contains nicotine, which dries out your mouth and makes it easier for bacteria to thrive.
Am I at Risk for Future Dental Issues?
Genetics plays a role in determining which individuals are more likely to develop certain health conditions. Poor oral hygiene and bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol can also increase your chances of developing dental problems. Your dentist can tell you whether or not you have a higher chance of suffering from these issues by looking at your medical history.
What to Expect During your Routine Check-up at the Dentist’s Office?
At the office, you will meet with the dental assistant who will take care of any pretreatment procedures. You may receive some topical anesthesia before the procedure begins if needed.
Once the treatment begins, the dentist will use instruments to remove debris from your mouth, clean out the cavities, and examine your teeth and gums.
After the cleaning, your dentist will apply a protective coating over the treatment area. Then they will polish your teeth using special equipment.
A routine checkup lasts approximately 30-45 minutes, but this changes from patient to patient.
Preventative Tips for Managing Future Dentist Visits
These preventative measures help keep patients orally healthy and reduce the risk of developing oral health issues:
#1) Brush and Floss Regularly
Routine brushing and flossing help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. There are many ways to brush and floss properly, and here are some tips to help you keep your mouth healthy.
Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush at least twice daily. You want to try and gently brush back and forth across your gums, not just along them. Rinse thoroughly after brushing and floss once a day.
Replace your toothbrush and toothpaste after three months. And mouthwash needs to be replaced every two years or so.
#2) Keep Your Mouth Healthy and Hydrated
Mouthwashes are great for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. They’re also helpful for preventing bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, and gum disease. But did you know that the alcohol in mouthwash dries out your mouth and causes damage to your oral health?
Instead, use a nonalcoholic mouthwash. Different types are available, such as flavored ones, at drugstores and grocery stores. Choose a flavor you like and keep it handy when you need it.
Another option is to drink more water throughout the day. Water helps rinse away bacteria and toxins from your mouth, as well as keep you hydrated.
Use a tongue scraper to remove dead cells from your tongue. Tongue scrapers come in various sizes and shapes. Use them frequently to prevent plaque buildup on your tongue.
Not into using a tongue scraper? Try brushing your tongue with a soft toothbrush after each meal. This removes food debris and bacteria from between your teeth and tongue.
#3) Eat Healthy Foods Rich in Calcium
Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. But did you know there are many ways to incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet? Dairy products are a great source of calcium, but there are plenty of other options.
Foods rich in calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, beans, broccoli, salmon, sardines, almonds, and dark leafy greens. Also, try to avoid eating processed meats and sugary snacks.
Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Houston, TX, offers patients a convenient, and comfortable dental experience in a modern office setting.
Dr. Roberto Velasco‘s goal is to help his patients achieve optimal oral health and complete smiles.
Fill out our online contact form today to restore or keep your smile beautiful!