Although you may take good care of your teeth at home, there’s really no replacement for the high-quality dental care that your dentist can provide. That’s why it’s recommended that most people schedule a visit to a dental practice every six months.
But if it’s been a while since you’ve been to a dental office or you simply want to ensure your appointment goes as smoothly as possible, it’s understandable you might want some clarification about what you should do (and not do) to prepare. Below, you’ll find a few important dos and don’ts to keep in mind prior to your next appointment.
Before Visiting Your Dental Practice, Do…
- Brush and Floss As Usual: It might go without saying that you should brush and floss your teeth before seeing your dentist. Although your dentist will also perform these activities in the cleaning portion of your appointment, you’ll want to do everything you can to make their job easier. However, trying to cram in brushing or going overboard just prior to your appointment could cause issues and actually make it harder for your dentist to identify problem areas or other concerns. Basically, you should stick with your routine and do a good once-over before heading to your appointment.
- Come With Any Informational Changes: Most dental offices will have you fill out some simple forms prior to your appointment, even if you aren’t a new patient. In these situations, it can be easy to forget about pertinent changes to your medical history or to your insurance coverage. That can make it harder for your dentist to provide you with the best care or to work with your insurance company without incident. It’s a good idea to jot down any changes to your health and medications you take to your appointment in order to make this process a bit more effective.
- Prepare a List of Questions: Since you probably don’t see your dentist very often, your appointment presents a valuable opportunity to get clarification on any issues you’re experiencing or ask questions about general dental care. Once you’re in the chair, you might not be able to remember any of these questions. There’s nothing wrong with preparing a list of questions or concerns that you want to discuss with your dentist. In fact, it’s often the responsible thing to do! Your dentist will be happy to spend a bit of time providing you with the answers to improve your care.
Before Visiting Your Dental Practice, Don’t…
- Whiten Your Teeth: Although 80% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 say they want whiter teeth, this activity isn’t something you should engage in before your dentist appointment. Not only do many at-home whitening processes fail to work as intended, but they can also make teeth more sensitive — which can make your appointment more uncomfortable. If you want a brighter smile, talk to your dentist about the treatments they might recommend during your appointment.
- Eat Right Before: It’s not a good idea to fast until your appointment, particularly if you often feel the effects of low blood sugar. But you shouldn’t eat right before, especially if the food in question is chewy, sticky, or pungent. This can make for an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. We recommend you eat a protein-filled meal at least an hour ahead of time and plan to reward yourself with a healthy snack afterward.
- Go If You’re Sick: Whether you think it’s a simple cold or could be something worse, you should cancel your appointment if you’re feeling under the weather. Not only will a dental cleaning be unpleasant for you if you’re ill, but you could be putting your dentist at risk. Keep in mind that a dental cleaning can also cause gum irritation, which can make it harder for oral bacteria to get into your bloodstream. If your immune system is already low, it’s best to reschedule your appointment.
Now that you know what to do and not do before your appointment, you can walk into any dental practice with confidence. For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact us today.