March Break Students: How to Book Your First Dental Check-Up
March Break is the time to finally decompress after rigorous course demands, strict schedules, and general brain overload. Maybe you’re thinking of the beach or sleeping all day or finally putting in time for those personal projects you’ve been neglecting.
March Break is also the perfect time to book yourself in for a dentist appointment. A healthy mouth is generally indicative of a healthy body and prevents debilitating gum, jaw, and tooth issues as you get older. Get a jumpstart on a lifelong beautiful smile by taking a few simple measures to book your first dental checkup. Not sure where to begin? Here’s a simple checklist to help get you started.
Find a Clinic Near You
Perhaps you’re close to the dental clinic you went to you were young, in which case, this process will be a little easier. They already have your dental records and can carry on where they left off. They may already have your insurance information on file, making the payment process much easier. And you’re likely already comfortable with the staff, having known them from your childhood.
If this isn’t the case, don’t worry. There are widespread dental clinics to serve every metropolitan and rural area. Use a clinic directory to pinpoint one nearest you, and don’t be afraid to inquire about pricing and the possibility of free consultations. The front desk team should be able to answer all of your questions before you go in.
Pick a Date and Time
Know that the time you book your appointment will have an impact on subsequent eating and drinking. If you have a lunch you know you need to be at, book your appointment so it falls well before or after. Mark it down in your calendar and set reminders so you don’t forget it. Many clinics charge a non-negotiable fee for not showing up to appointments, especially if no notice is given.
What to Expect During Your Check-Up
The first thing you can expect upon entering the clinic is to be greeted by the front desk team. Check-in with them, tell them your name, appointment time, and who you’re booked to meet with. They’ll confirm the details in their system and coordinate where your dentist is currently.
Next, you’ll meet your dental hygienist. They’ll escort you to your treatment room, where you’ll recline on a large, motorized dental chair that elevates and descends in order for the hygienist to gain better access and views of your mouth. Your dental hygienist will perform routine cleaning, brushing, and clearing away bits of food debris that may have gone unnoticed.
Very often you’ll receive a tooth polish, delivered by a spinning brush and using an abrasive toothpaste. This paste does wonders for shining up your teeth. Think of it as a buff and polish at a car wash. Having your teeth professionally polished does what regular brushing cannot, and leaves a noticeably different look and feel.
The Dental Exam
Finally, a dentist will perform an exam. Dentists undergo more education and training than a dental hygienist and are able to offer an insightful perspective when it comes to the condition of your mouth. If any x-rays have been performed during the visit, they’ll examine their findings and explain them to you.
Dentists will perform routine examinations to analyze your jawbones, bite, jaw evenness, gum health and look for any tooth abnormalities. From there they will relay their findings to you, making recommendations for follow-up treatment and at-home care. It may be necessary to book a subsequent appointment to address any issues found before they worsen. Even if nothing is wrong, it’s good to book your next appointment before you leave. Clinics will usually call you a few days before your next appointment, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting.
Your dental check-up should be a smooth, enjoyable process. A good clinic will do its best to work with your schedule to find a time that works, which is why March Break is such an ideal time to go in for a cleaning and exam. Once you get your cleaning and exam out of the way, you can truly focus on enjoying your break.