Visiting the dentist is one of those things that you can easily push onto the backburner, especially if you have any anxiety around it. But there are a few ways you can prepare for a dental visit that might help it go smoother, and make it into your schedule twice a year!
Why to prepare for a dentist visit
If you’ve been seeing your dentist for a long time preparing for a visit might not be as imperative as if you’re starting with someone new, but there is still value in taking a few small steps to get ready for an impending check up or cleaning.
- Appointment will go faster
- You won’t forget anything
- Your dentist will be better able to treat you
- You can help reduce any anxiety you might feel
How to Prepare for Your Dentist Visit
At Reflections Dental Oakville, we love patient questions and discussing how they can improve their oral care between visits. Ask our amazing dentists or hygienists the questions you have on every visit or in between!
Do your research
Choosing a good dentist and communicating with them about what to expect at your appointment can help you prepare for your visit. When looking for a new dentist one of the best ways to get a feel for them is to contact the office and ask a few questions. Even a conversation about what sort of procedures you might need or whether they direct bill to your insurance can help give you an idea of whether you’d like to book an appointment.
Confirm your appointment time
The day before your appointment your dentist will likely contact you to confirm your appointment time but if they don’t, you’ll want to give them a call yourself. The last thing you want to do is show up an hour late or on the wrong day!
Bring all important documents
If you are visiting a new dentist, you should ensure that your dental history has already been sent to them or bring it along for your appointment. This history will help ensure that your dentist and hygienist have all the information needed to treat you effectively. Even medical conditions like diabetes or dry mouth can affect your oral care needs.
Your dentist might also need to know of any medications you are currently taking, especially if they are doing anything more in depth than a basic cleaning.
In addition to your dental history and current medications, you will need to make sure you bring any payment methods or insurance documents needed to pay for the treatments you’ll receive.
Skip the caffeine and get a good sleep to reduce anxiety
If you have any level of anxiety towards visiting the dentist, getting a good sleep the night before and not having a coffee before your appointment can help you reduce that anxiety a bit. Caffeine is a stimulate so can naturally make you more jittery and uncomfortable sitting still for an hour.
Talking to your dentist about your dental anxiety can also help quell some of your concerns. If your dentist knows that you are anxious about being in their chair, they are more likely to be able to help calm your nerves.
Brush your teeth before you go
Sure, your dentist is likely going to clean your teeth during your visit but there’s a good chance they’d like you to come in with a freshly cleaned mouth anyways. Getting a look at how clean your teeth are after you brush and floss can help give your dentist a good indication of how well you are doing the job. When you call to make the appointment, you can ask if they’d like you to brush before coming in.
Especially if you’re visiting this dentist for the first time or haven’t been in awhile, you may have paperwork to fill out or questions to answer. However, even if it’s a regular scheduled appointment with your usual dentist, arriving a few minutes early can help you not feel rushed and anxious right off the bat.
Make a list of any questions and concerns
When you’re sitting in that dentists chair it’s easy to forget some of the questions you may have wanted to ask before coming in. The best way to ensure you don’t miss anything is to make a list of any concerns you’d like to address.
Bring your oral appliance if you wear one
Just as your teeth experience plaque build up, so does your retainer or mouth guard. If you bring your mouth piece with you to your appointment your dentist may be able to give it a good cleaning for you while you are getting your check up.
Be ready to schedule your next appointment
Scheduling your next check up before you leave this one will help you remember to stay on top of your mouth health routine.
Ask about how you can improve your oral health care
Did you know that after a cleaning most patients don’t ask, “how did I do?”. Getting feedback from the dental hygienist or dentist can provide you valuable information from which only you stand to benefit! Often, you’ll get feedback that tartar build-up in the back molars is more pronounced, or that some areas are notably less or more clean than others.
As your appointment is finishing up it’s always a good idea to ask your dentist or hygienist what you can change or improve for your next appointment. Getting those tips now can help you better prepare for your next visit to the dentist’s chair!