Feeling overwhelmed and nervous about dentist appointments is real, so you’re not alone. For most people, regular dentist checkups can be a stressful experience. Luckily, the anticipation is worse than the actual appointment.
This is a guest post. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
Maintaining proper oral care is essential, so a routine dental visit is one way of keeping your teeth and gums fresh and healthy. Whether it’s your first time preparing for a dentist visit, there are some steps you can take to ensure your appointment runs as smoothly as possible.
Preparing for a Dental Visit
Your teeth do a lot for you during the day, so might as well ensure they’re in the best condition. Unfortunately, 42 percent of adults admit they don’t have regular dentist appointments. As a result, 1 in 4 adults experiences untreated dental diseases from the ages of 20-44.
To avoid this, you can start preparing for your dentist visit immediately. Keep these in mind and your next checkup will be easier.
Choose a Trustworthy Dentist
The first step towards a successful dentist appointment is to find a dentist who has excellent communication skills. A dentist should also help manage your anxiety and establish a long-term relationship.
Additionally, the statistics show that more than 75 percent of adults deal with dental anxiety, so it’s a common phenomenon. However, the right dentist can help you move past your dental fear and reinforce your confidence.
Confirm the Appointment
Once you settle on a dentist, it’s time to make a call and confirm your appointment. Ideally, you should call the dental office at least 24 hours before your visit and ensure you have the right address. At the same time, you don’t want to be late or too early on the day of the appointment.
Understand the Procedure
Dental visits are different and as such, they require special preparation. It’s essential to know what to expect, whether you want a regular cleaning, getting braces, or treating a disease. Some procedures may require not eating for many hours before the appointment.
However, if you’re unsure why you’re going to the dentist, there’s no shame in calling the clinic and asking them about any further preparation steps. If you prepare yourself mentally and physically before the whole process, you’re good to go.
Clean Your Teeth
Just like with any other appointment, it’s important to wash up in advance, and a dentist appointment is no different. Since the dentist is going to be up close and personal with you, it’s a common courtesy to clean your teeth and floss beforehand.
Besides, cleaning your teeth is also a matter of hygiene and the last thing you want to do is go to your visit with food in between your teeth. After all, no dentist wants to waste time cleaning out food before starting with the actual dental procedure.
Share a Detailed Medical History
When making an appointment, there are some items you need to bring along such as your medical history documents. These documents are helpful, especially since they include any medical conditions that you’ve been diagnosed with in the past and now. Other documents may include:
- Current medications
- Procedures you’ve undergone in the past
- Recent dental X-rays
- Referral letter from your previous dentist (if necessary)
If you’re taking any medications, your dentist must know whether certain drugs have a higher chance of having serious interactions with other medications. Similarly, you should let them know if you have any drug allergies to avoid allergy reactions. Once you make sure everything is in good condition, you’re ready to send in your medical history to the dental staff.
Be Open and Honest
For many people, sitting down and having a serious conversation about oral hygiene habits can be embarrassing. Unfortunately, it must be done. You should know about the basic dos and don’ts of oral health, and what’s going on with your teeth.
If you want to have a smooth dentist check-up, your dentist must know every detail about hygiene, pain, or other concerns you might have. You’d be surprised at how experienced dentists are with patients who struggle with anxiety.
Also, it’s equally important to let the dentist know when you’re experiencing pain. Sometimes certain parts of the procedure may be painful or uncomfortable, but if you don’t communicate your pain, it may lead to other complications and possibly interfere with the communication between you and the dentist.
If you take the above-mentioned steps seriously, the entire appointment will go easier and it may help with the anxiety for future checkups.
Pay attention to any advice the dentist may give you because, during every routine visit, they’re likely to find something that requires more attention.
Lastly, before you leave, you should stop at the office and make your next appointment so you don’t miss out on regular checkups.