Millions of people are terrified to visit the dentist each year. In fact, dental phobias affect 15% of Americans. Yet it’s extremely important to maintain routine cleaning schedules. Routine cleanings can help you avoid cavities, curb gum disease and even catch more serious problems—like oral cancer—before they progress.
The good news is that visiting the dentist doesn’t need to be a scary event. Discover how to make a dental appointment just another item checked off your to-do list.
Why Make Routine Dental Appointments
The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist for a check-up every six months. It’s important to see your dentist for regular cleanings because a sticky film called plaque and plaque in its hardened form (tartar) can build up on your teeth.
Plaque can cause your gums to recede. When your gums recede, small pockets of air form between your gums and your teeth that can harbor bacteria. Your teeth can become more susceptible to cavities and decay.
It’s also important for your dentist to check your overall oral health at these appointments. Your dentist can spot problems with your gums and teeth. Your dentist may also recommend x-rays to spot possible cavities or tooth decay.
In worst-case scenarios, your dentist can also spot oddities, such as lesions that can attribute to oral cancer. Diagnosing issues as soon as possible can ensure you receive the best possible care.
How to Make a Dentist Appointment
Before you make a dentist appointment, you’ll want to gather some information. Visiting a new dentist can sometimes be stressful—but it doesn’t have to be. The more prepared you are before your appointment, the easier the process will be. Also, the folks at Main Street Dental Clinics are always willing to help you collect the necessary information you’ll need for your appointment.
Call your previous dentist to ensure your records are transferred over to your new dentist.
When searching for a new dentist, you may want to get a referral from friends or family members. Or, you can search for a dentist with exceptional online reviews. The more comfortable you feel before your appointment, the better.
Prepare for your visit by avoiding sugary foods and caffeine the day before your appointment. Don’t take pain medications that could counteract with your oral health.
Feel free to divulge your fears to your dentist’s receptionist before your visit. The more information you give your dentist, the more equipped your dentist will be on the day of your appointment. The staff at Main Street Dental Clinics will always have your comfort as their top priority.
What to Expect When Visiting a New Dentist
Not all dentists are the same, so try not to think about past dental appointments. If you had a bad experience with another dentist, don’t assume that the experience will be repeated with your new dentist.
Try to arrive to your appointment at least 10 minutes early to fill out any necessary paperwork. Answer questions as honestly as possible.
When you meet your new dentist, be as honest as possible. Dentists are used to patients feeling anxious before an appointment!
Your dentist should check the overall health of your teeth and gums, perform a cleaning and take x-rays if necessary. He or she will alert you to any oral health issues that may need your attention (such as gingivitis or cavities).
At the end of your appointment, you’ll leave with a plan to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. Your dentist should also set you up for success with a flossing and brushing plan to ensure your next appointment goes as smoothly as possible.