Preparing for your dental appointment can help ease some of the stress associated with seeing a dentist. A bit of preparation beforehand can help you get the most from your appointment and on your way to a healthy smile.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
If you are seeing a new dentist for a teeth cleaning or if your primary dentist has referred you to a specialist for gum disease treatment or oral surgery, you want to make sure to bring all of your relevant documents to your appointments. Ask your previous dentist to transfer your records, for example. Make a list of any medications you’re taking and any past dental or medical health problems.
Prepare Questions to Ask at Your Dental Appointment
You’ll get more out of your dental appointment if you bring along a list of questions. No question is too dumb to ask your dentist, so don’t feel shy. A few questions you might ask include:
- Are there any issues in my mouth? Do my teeth and gums look healthy?
- What treatments options are available? Which option makes the most sense for me?
- Will I need to have the full treatment all at once or do you stagger the process?
- What else can I do to improve my smile?
- What can I do at home to improve my oral health?
- Do you offer options for patients who have dental anxiety or are afraid of the dentist?
Keep Up Oral Hygiene At Home
In the weeks before your dental appointment, it’s important to keep up your usual oral hygiene habits. Brush twice a day and floss daily.
Sometimes, people get nervous about seeing the dentist and will try to improve their oral hygiene, in some cases going over board. Don’t start brushing with a lot of force in the days and weeks before your visit. Brushing your teeth forcefully won’t necessarily get them any cleaner. But, it does increase the risk of you irritating your gums and wearing away your enamel, which can do more harm than good before your appointment.
Calm Your Dental Fears
You might have avoided going to the dentist for a while because of anxiety about what will happen during your visit. Perhaps you had a bad experience with a dentist at some point in your life, and that has made you nervous about ever climbing into the dentist’s chair again.
Before your appointment, it helps to speak with the dentist or dental team to learn more about how the practice works with patients who have dental anxiety. Our practice offers sedation dentistry, for example. If you would rather not be sedated, make a plan with the dentist for your treatment. You might find that bringing music and headphones helps you tune out the sounds of the dental office and feel more at ease, for example.
Plan Your Route
Don’t forget the logistics when getting ready for your dental appointment. If it is the first time you’ll be visiting a dental practice, take a few minutes to plan out your route in advance. You might want to have a practice drive, if you’ve never been to the practice before and aren’t sure how long it will take to get there in traffic.
On the day of your visit, plan to get to the practice 10 to 15 minutes early. That will give you plenty of time to fill out any paperwork and get settled in. Getting to your appointment early helps your dentist’s office stay on time, as they won’t have to wait for you to arrive. Plus, if you’re early, there’s a chance you might be seen a few minutes early, so you can get back to your daily life sooner rather than later.
Have a meal or a snack before your dental visit, so that you don’t feel hungry or uncomfortable during your appointment. Eating before your visit is particularly important if you’re having a lot of work done and won’t be able to eat afterwards. Just check with the practice in advance to make sure you won’t be receiving anesthesia and that you’ll be able to eat and drink before the visit.
Pick out comfortable clothing to wear to your appointment, too. You’re likely to be sitting in the dentist’s chair for some time and don’t want to wear anything that will pinch or bind.
Dr. John Paul Gallardo and Dr. William P. Lamas are happy to answer any questions you might have, before, during or after your dental appointment. Whether you simply need your teeth cleaned or are looking for periodontal treatment or implants, call 305-447-1447 to schedule an appointment with the Miami periodontists today.