10 Things to Know Before You Visit a General Dentist
Regular dentist appointments are an important aspect of your overall self-care. Your teeth do a lot for you in a day, so make sure they’re in the best condition by routinely seeing a general dentist. Twice a year is the recommended frequency for adults.
There are a few pointers to know before you arrive at the dentist that will help your appointment run as smoothly as possible. These will make your life, and your dentist’s life, a little bit easier. Keep them in mind and you’ll soon be your dentist’s favourite patient!
1) You Need Regular Checkups
So many people put off going to the dentist because they’re worried about the condition of their teeth, or they’re anxious about receiving treatments. But seeing your dentist regularly is truly to your own benefit. Your dentist can spot minor issues before they cause a major headache, and can even diagnose serious health concerns such as oral cancer. Your mouth is a vital window to your health, so make sure you take care of it.
2) Don’t Fear The X-Ray
There’s an old notion that x-rays are dangerous, cancer-causing machines. Modern x-ray machines actually emit very little radiation and are completely safe for patients of all ages. Don’t sweat it if your dentist requests for some x-rays to be taken of your mouth. They’ll be able to better assess how your teeth are doing and will have a baseline standard for future visits.
3) Don’t Be Embarrassed
Mouths aren’t always glamorous, and your dentist has seen it all. Don’t be embarrassed about gum disease, cavities, or anything else that’s causing you grief. It’s your dentist’s job to treat the condition without judgment. Embarrassment only gets in the way of proper dental care.
4) Keep Up Your Routine
The best way to ensure a quick and easy dentist appointment is to maintain your dental routine at home. This means twice-daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Your dentist will be able to tell if you’re scrimping in any one of these areas. They’ll have more work to do to get your teeth cleaned during the appointment, which will keep you in the chair for longer. Plus, you’ll be more likely to have issues such as periodontal disease.
5) Bleeding Gums Aren’t Normal
True, gum disease is common, but that doesn’t mean it should be happening. Bleeding gums are not normal in a healthy mouth. If your gums bleed when you floss or when your dentist performs your cleaning, that’s a sign that your gums need extra TLC.
6) There Are No Shortcuts
Your dentist will be able to tell if the only time you flossed in the past year was the night before your appointment. You can’t do it once and expect the results to be the same as a consistent regimen. There are no shortcuts to a healthy mouth; you have to make a solid dental routine a habit.
7) Little Ones Need Check-Ups Too
If your toddler has two baby teeth side by side, they should be seeing a dentist for the first appointment. There are ways to make a dentist appointment more exciting for a young child. You can start by reading them children’s storybooks about visiting the dentist and showing them how to floss at home. If you sense that they are feeling nervous or anxious before the appointment, allow them to bring along their favorite toy or stuffed animal to hold for comfort during their cleaning.
8) Disclose Everything
It’s important that your dentist be aware if you’re taking any medication, if you have any medical conditions or if you’ve been experiencing any dental discomfort as of late. If your dentist needs to administer a numbing agent, it could negatively interact with other chemicals in your medication. The more your dentist knows, the better they’ll be equipped to give you the best treatment possible.
9) Relax and Unwind
It’s very common to have some anxiety around seeing the dentist. This anxiety can even prevent people from seeing the dentist at regular intervals or seeking treatment when they have an urgent problem. If you’re uneasy about seeing the dentist, try some relaxation techniques before you go. Essential oils can work wonders, as can soothing audio/sounds, pressure points, and breathing techniques.
10) Figure Out Insurance
Some employers will cover full or partial dental care for their employees. Figure out whether dental is included in your benefits package before coming to the dentist. If you don’t have dental insurance, make sure to keep your treatment receipts. You can write them off on your yearly taxes.
These ten pointers will put you in good shape and prepare you for your next dentist appointment, whether it’s your first time going in years or just your first time in 2019. Remember, if you do most of the hard work at home, the dentist’s job (and your appointment!) will be much easier.