The time you take and money you spend to visit the dentist is a wise investment in your oral health. As with any investment, you want to do all you can to maximize your return. Here are some steps you can take before and during your appointment to ensure you get all you can out of your time with the dentist and hygienist.
- Visit regularly. Staying on top of your cleanings makes each visit easier and more effective. You want to avoid the hygienist having to “play catch up” because you haven’t seen the dentist in years.
- Make a list of questions and concerns. Why are my gums bleeding more frequently? Does waking up with jaw pain mean I should consider a night guard? I brush and floss, but are there other steps I can take to improve my oral health? For best results, develop this list as the questions come to you, not five minutes before the appointment!
- Inform your dentist of any health changes. This includes both oral health and general physical health. It’s also a good idea to fill them in on any major life events you feel comfortable sharing, as those issues may explain some of the changes your dentist or hygienist notices in your mouth. For example a stressful period at work or at home can go hand-in-hand with an increase in clenching and grinding.
- Have a list of your medications and supplements. Some prescription drugs can create conditions in your mouth that increase tooth decay. Other medications or nutritional supplements can cause blood thinning and increased bleeding during a cleaning or procedure.
- Take notes. The great advice you get from your oral health team doesn’t help at all if you forget it after you leave their office. Whether they’ve encouraged you to pay more attention to a certain area when you brush, try a different kind of floss, or to be aware of the signs of a particular condition developing, you want to be sure you remember their suggestions.
- Give honest answers. When asked about your brushing and flossing habits, it’s OK to admit that you may be falling short in certain areas. Having that information can help your dentist better understand the state of your oral health. And, often they have tips for easy ways to improve your home care.
The team at University Dental Orlando is eager to provide you with the best possible oral health care, but they need your help. Work with them to make your visits informative and effective.