Whether you have been going to the same dentist for years or you are seeing someone new, preparing ahead of time can go a long way toward making your visit as pleasant as possible. Here are some tips for what to do before a dentist appointment.
- Know Your Why
People usually visit the dentist because they need a routine checkup or they have a dental problem such as a toothache. Knowing why you are going to the dentist can help you mentally prepare for what’s to come. If you are seeing the dentist for a specific issue and you are not sure what will happen at your appointment, you can always call the clinic and ask. Prepare yourself mentally and physically for the whole process, and you will be good to go.
- Know Your Medical and Dental History
As a healthcare provider, your dentist will ask you about your medical and dental history. If you are on medications — over-the-counter or prescription — make sure your dentist knows this. If you have received any medical diagnoses, these are also important to share. Since some conditions tend to run in families, it’s a good idea to provide family medical history, as well. If you have any allergies, your dentist needs to know this.
- Brush and Floss Your Teeth
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth prior to visiting the dentist. You can also gargle with mouthwash to help ensure your breath is fresh. Having a clean mouth will help with the cleaning process, ensuring the hygienist and dentist will not have to deal with food residue between your teeth. It’s also more sanitary to visit the dentist with a clean and minty mouth.
- Avoid Eating Before Your Appointment
Another way to keep your mouth clean before the appointment is to avoid eating at least two hours before going to the dentist. If you can’t avoid eating before the appointment, do your best to stay away from strong-smelling foods such as garlic, onions or fish. If you don’t want to go to your appointment with an empty stomach, eat something light and healthy such as crackers or yogurt. You could also wait to treat yourself after the visit.
- Fill Out Paperwork Ahead of Time
If this is your first appointment with a particular dentist, you’ll have plenty of paperwork to fill out. Doing it ahead of time makes it easier to get all the information you need. If you must fill it out in the dentist’s office, get to your appointment early enough to ensure you have plenty of time.
- Be on Time
Dentist offices are busy and schedules are often packed tight with one patient after the other. If you are late for your appointment, you can cause subsequent appointments to be late, impacting other patients. Pay attention to your dentist’s appointment reminders, and arrive at your appointment about 15 minutes early.
- Have a List of Questions Ready
Don’t be afraid to ask questions at your dentist appointment. Ask about any specific concerns you might have about your oral health. You might also want to ask the following:
- Does it look like I am brushing and flossing correctly?
- How do my gums look?
- What kind of toothbrush should I be using?
- Are there any areas of concern?
Confronting Dental Anxiety
If the prospect of visiting the dentist sends you into panic mode, you are not alone. Dental anxiety is very common, and many adults put off visiting the dentist for years because of it. However, putting off dental visits for preventive care and routine treatments put you at risk of developing serious dental disease. One of the best ways of dealing with dental anxiety is to let your dentist know ahead of time so he or she can help ensure you have a comfortable experience while you are there.
Visit West Coast Dental for Your Next Appointment
At West Coast Dental, we have the dental expertise and training needed to help ensure you have a good experience while in the dentist chair. Our West Coast Dental professionals are always available to assist you, whether you are seeking a dentist in Lancaster CA, Orange, Hawthorne, or another one of our Southern California locations. Book an appointment with us today!