For some, going to the dentist can create a sense of dread. It can lead to their skipping appointments… or not even making them at all. This is a bad thing since even regular brushing and flossing can’t catch everything that twice-yearly dental cleanings can.
There are steps that you can take to ease your mind before you make your trip over there. It can actually be quite simple.
Here are a few of the things that you can do to prepare to go to the dentist… and a couple of things that you should avoid.
Do Not Do Last-Minute Preparation
Cramming for a test in high school or college may have worked. Teachers only see the right answers, after all, and don’t know what went on beforehand. You can’t do that with your teeth and gums before your dental visit. The dentist or hygienist will notice things like red or bleeding gums from people brushing their teeth too hard in an effort to get plaque off. That also goes for last-minute flossing. You can also forget about things like doubling down on the mouthwash usage – the alcohol in it will dry out your gums. That will be another telltale sign. That said, be sure to brush and floss before your appointment.
You should still keep your appointment – you might get some tips on how to keep a good oral hygiene routine afterwards. The hygienist will likely be able to put a topical anesthetic to numb the teeth and gums and reduce any pain or discomfort. Not going will increase the chances of gum disease gaining a hold and then possibly running rampant.
Do Ensure That Your Dental Records Are Up To Date
When you call to confirm your appointment, another thing you should do is inquire if your records are up to date. This is especially important if you are switching dentists. That way, there won’t be an awkward scenario or a need to start a new file. This way, the dentist or hygienist will have a feel for your prior dental history and can make any adjustments.
Do Not Assume That They Remember Everything
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been seeing this dentist for a decade or more. They see many patients in between your six-month appointments. Always start your appointment with any issues that you’ve been encountering, your allergies or medical conditions. While the dentist or hygienist will surely have records, this keeps them from having to look it over… and it immediately puts it in the front of their minds while they do their work.
Do Eat Before Your Appointment
While this can be a tricky situation for some, especially those prone to nervous stomachs, going to the dentist without having eaten that day can increase the amount of saliva that your mouth makes… and that can make it more difficult for the dentist or hygienist to do their work, even with the presence of the suction tube. Eat something, even it it’s light… though forgo spicy foods or those heavy with garlic. That can wait until after your dental visit.
See If They Will Accomodate Any Concerns
It’s natural for people to be stressed about going to the dentist. Their concerns and fears are valid. If you have had a bad experience in the past, then it makes sense for you to have “dental phobia.” Dentists know this and the vast majority of them are working to make things much easier. This includes things like sedation dentistry, where you can choose your level, from taking anti-anxiety medicine before the appointment to being put in a state of sleep – though with this you will need someone to drive you home. Call and inquire beforehand. It’s never wrong to look out for your own best interests.
If you do this, then you will significantly improve your overall dental experience. Maintaining it will then make each successive visit even easier. After a while, the dentist will become part of your usual yearly routine… and you will likely feel much less stress each time you go. Having good oral health can do that.
Dr. Robert Trager has been seeing patients at his JFK-LGA Dentist office for many years. He has encountered nearly every scenario possible… and he makes every effort to ensure that each patient has a wonderful visit and that they leave with a gleaming smile, Give him a call to see what he can do for you: 718-656-4747.
Dr. Robert M. Trager
Building 14 West Wing,
Jamaica, NY 11430