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It’s that time of year again! It’s time to go back to the clinic for your bi-annual dentist appointment. The thought of going to the dentist can stir anxiety in many people, especially if they’ve had a previous bad experience in dental clinics. Most people tend to become quite anxious as their appointment draws nearer, especially if they haven’t been preparing themselves for the check-up over the previous months.
A lot of people fear finding out that something has gone wrong with their teeth. They worry that their dentist might discover a cavity, or something worse. Nobody wants to have to undergo some sort of painstaking and expensive procedure to rectify this type of thing, especially after finding out last minute.
The good news is you can prepare your teeth for your appointment and detach yourself from this fear if you follow these 7 simple steps. They will help you be prepared before your appointment, mentally and practically.
1. Remember Your Last Appointment
Take a trip down memory lane and recall the last conversation you had with your dentist the last time you met. They probably told you to floss more and brush twice a day. Try and remember any specific care instructions that they told you about.
Did you follow their advice? If you haven’t, you can still start today! A dentist can tell by the look of your gums and teeth, whether or not you follow their dental advice, and maintain a routine of brushing and flossing. It is best to do as they say after each appointment to be sure your teeth and gums are in good health before the cleaning.
However you can still brush and floss your teeth well before your appointment, and remember to continue this practice daily!
2. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to maintain oral hygiene is to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth with mouthwash twice a day. This will help prevent plaque causing bacteria from forming and will keep your mouth feeling fresh.
Every time you feel like skipping brushing or flossing, think about the anxiety you feel before going to the dentist and use the anxiety as a motivator to get off the couch and get brushing. If you haven’t been committed to brushing and flossing daily, it is best that you start as soon as you remember.
Don’t use your bi-annual dentist appointment as your reminder to treat your body with care! Maintaining good oral hygiene should be part of your everyday heath routine.
Try to pick a date that suits you in terms of relaxation. If you know that you will be in a hurry or rushing to your appointment after work, try and schedule it for a different day if possible. If you get anxious before your appointment, it would be best to schedule it for when you can take a leave of absence from work and mentally prepare yourself for your dental cleaning.
Be sure that you are in general good health before your appointment, and let your dentist know if you aren’t feeling well, or have a cold. We want you to be comfortable and feel at home! If you feel like you can’t control your anxiety, try some deep breathing exercises to get yourself together and keep your heart rate under control.
Bring some water to sip on before your appointment to help you relax. Many dental clinics offer water and it will help you to ground your mind and gather yourself, effectively controlling your anxiety.
4. Have Your Dental Records In Order
The first thing dentists usually do is check on any previous medical records that you may have. Be sure to keep your dental records ready for the day of your appointment, along with any documentation you think your dentist may need. It is very important to keep your dentist up to date on your oral health, and your health in general. Many illnesses affect dental health and a dentist should be informed of any recent updates.
5. Be Honest And Upfront About Your Anxiety
Dentists usually understand that even older patients can sometimes face anxiety and nervousness when visiting for a checkup. Older patients especially, may have had bad experiences in childhood with their dentists. Dental technology is always evolving and dental procedures are now painless and more efficient than ever.
That wasn’t always the case however, and some older patients may have memories of pain associated with dentists. Be prepared to communicate your anxiety with your dentist and let them know what it is about the checkup that makes you feel so hesitant. Your dentist will listen and accommodate your specific needs to make you feel less afraid. Some dentists also offer sedatives to help ease the anxiety in more extreme cases.
6. Arrive Early At The Clinic
Getting to the clinic a little bit earlier than your appointment can help you compose yourself and prepare yourself for your meeting with your dentist. You can also sort out your documentation and get paperwork out of the way with ease.
The more time that you allow yourself to settle in, the better your appointment will go. Getting to the clinic early is helpful and practical for the dentist as well. Your dentist doesn’t want to wait around while you get your things in order. They may have multiple patients that they need to visit with that day.
It is important that you arrive early, or plan to do so incase you run into a setback. You don’t want to keep the whole office waiting, or risk setting the dentist back in their schedule for that day.
7. Stay Positive and Smile!
Remember that you are at this appointment for your own benefit and your own health. Be proud of yourself, you are caring for your body and making sure that you stay happy and healthy in the long run. Your teeth are a major priority and your dentist can make sure that all of your dental needs are met.
Keep a positive mindset about the appointment and remember that nothing bad will happen. If your dentist finds a cavity or other
It’s not like this your first appointment right? Remember all the times you made it out alive, that should help!
Before Your Next Visit:
- Brush twice a day and floss!
- Make self care a routine
- Stay calm
- Communicate with your dentist
- Be sure you have all of your dental records
- Arrive early
Keep Calm and Come on in!
Following these seven simple steps, you can overcome your anxieties and fears and prepare yourself 100% for your visit to the dentist and make sure things go smooth! Keep smiling! Don’t hesitate to book your dental cleaning appointment today if you haven’t already. Call us today!