Hygiene appointments aren’t easy for many people. Dental anxiety is a very real condition that affects many people, and in some cases, prevents them from actually booking and following through with their necessary appointments. Others may just find it difficult to work into their already tight schedules, and others simply don’t know how to get the most out of their biannual visit.
We’re going to provide you with all the right tools and tips for how to prepare for your hygiene appointment, and how to get the most out of it while you’re sitting in the chair! These hygiene appointments only occur once a year, and it’s best to be prepared for them to best maintain a high standard of oral health.
● Do Your Dentist a Favor, and Clean Your Teeth Thoroughly Before Bed
An important part of your hygiene appointment is the deep cleaning of your teeth. This is where your dentist has a chance to remove any hardened plaque and tartar from the surface of your smile, polish your teeth, and remove any and all debris that may be hindering the quality of your dental hygiene.
You can make your hygienists’ life a little easier by performing your cleaning routine very thoroughly either the night or the morning before your appointment. Brushing for at least two to three minutes, and flossing in between your teeth afterwards will help to prep your mouth, and maybe even impress your dentist! This will help you to feel much more confident and secure going into your appointment – your hygienist will also appreciate it!
● Write Down Any Questions or Concerns You Have
Have you noticed anything different or a little strange with your oral health lately? Have you found that your gums seem to be receding a little, your breath is worse than ever in the morning, or that there’s a dull ache in your mouth that you can’t seem to pinpoint? Remember to record anything and everything out of the ordinary that you notice, so you’re able to make your dentist aware of it!
A successful appointment involves communication between the dentist and patient, and if you have concerns, they’ll want to hear them!
It doesn’t have to just be about concerns, either – if you have any questions about your current hygiene routine, what you could be doing better, or even questions related to the future of your oral health such as orthodontic treatment, your dentist will be happy to guide you through the process of understanding. They can make recommendations to you, guide you in the right direction, and make sure that you’re completely comfortable with your dental health!
Open communication is key, so don’t hesitate to confide in your specialist about anything and everything. The peace of mind you’ll get will make you so happy you did!
● Make Sure You Confirm the Appointment, and Arrive Early
These two things go hand in hand to make for a successful treatment, and to ensure that the day runs smoothly.
Dental practices often have tight schedules with little room for guesswork, appointments that are left unconfirmed and late arrivals. When you schedule your appointment, make sure that you immediately mark it down in a calendar you frequently use to ensure that you won’t forget about where you need to be! Set alerts and reminders leading up to the day and on the day of if you need to. Many practices will also periodically remind their patients of their scheduled visit for extra insurance.
Confirm your appointment the night before so the practice knows they can maintain their current schedule for the day comfortably, and that they can expect you at the predetermined time. This helps operations run smoothly, and makes sure you’ll be seen in a timely manner.
This brings us to your actual arrival at the practice – make sure you get there early! Most dental practices prefer their patients sign themselves in roughly ten minutes before their scheduled appointment to avoid any delays, scheduling conflicts, or general confusion. Arriving right on time or a few minutes late doesn’t seem detrimental, but can greatly throw the practice’s day off course if you’re not the only one running late that day! Of course, if you can’t avoid being late, just make sure you give them a call – this gives them a heads up to accommodate you.
● Be Prepared to Fill Out a Little Information
If you’re a new patient, the practice may need a little background and current information on you in order to accurately treat you. This will include general contact information so you can be reached for appointments, medical history that will be necessary for safe and effective treatment, insurance provider and any applicable information, as well as any changes to your health. Once completed, this information will be updated as you go so they always have the most accurate records.
This step highlights the importance of being early to your appointments – being even ten minutes early can grant you extra time to have these forms filled out before you’re called, making for a smooth and easy process.
● If You’re Nervous, Let Them Know
It’s not childish or silly to be nervous about a visit to the dentist – in fact, it’s completely normal! Especially if you’re someone that hasn’t exactly been regular about your visits, you may be a little worried about the verdict – do you have one cavity? Do you have ten?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of dental anxiety, and especially if you feel they may take over the appointment, it’s important to let your specialist know. They’ll be able to work with you to determine your comfort level with what they’re performing, talk you through everything so you feel informed and involved, and understand what’s causing your concerns so they can reassure you.
Trust me, your specialists have seen it all – they’ll be much happier guiding you through the process and listening to your concerns than they would be with you neglecting to visit out of fear!
● Be 100% Honest With Your Dentist
This may be the most important takeaway from this blog. If your dentist is unaware of what you’re going through, they’ll be unable to help you! Make sure that if you’ve been experiencing any pain, discomfort, or anything that’s simply out of the ordinary, that your dentist is aware of it. You may not want to deal with the aftermath of it, but allowing the problem to persist with no treatment or examination is not the solution!
By not bringing attention to concerns and dental irregularities, you may be jeopardizing your oral health. In order to get relief from the problem, make sure the conversations you have with your dentist are open, honest, and productive.
Anything that will help you to properly prepare, achieve your oral health goals, and make the process easier for you is definitely something worth pursuing. If you have any questions prior to or during your appointment with us, please don’t hesitate to let us know – we’re more than happy to answer them and positively aid your experience with us!