Children and adults with healthy teeth should visit their dentist every six months. Proper family dentistry can prevent cavities and decay. Going to the dentist doesn't need to be a nerve-wracking experience. Here are four tips that will help you prepare for your next trip to your family dentist.
Ask about changes in protocol
Most people use the same family dentist for years. Seeing the same dentist over a long period of time can provide a sense of comforting familiarity and rapport. However, things may have changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many dental practices have implemented changes in patient care protocol to accommodate current health and safety needs. If you haven't gone to the dentist since the pandemic started, it's a good idea to call ahead to ask about potential changes. Some dentists have decided to close their waiting rooms to promote social distancing. Others require that patients attend their dental appointments alone. Gather this information in advance so you know what to expect.
Clean your teeth before your appointment
Routine dental exams consist of professional cleaning, in addition to a dental examination. However, many patients feel more comfortable when they clean their teeth before their dental appointment. A little preliminary cleaning can help you manage feelings of embarrassment. If you brush your teeth before your exam, use a light touch to avoid irritating your gums. You may also want to cleanse your mouth with some antiseptic mouthwash.
Wear personal protective equipment
PPE has become very important due to COVID-19. Wearing protective gear can reduce your chance of contracting the coronavirus and spreading it to others. Wear PPE when you arrive at the dentist's office for your appointment. Most dentists currently ask that patients wear disposable or cloth masks until their exam begins. Some patients also choose to wear gloves for their own peace of mind.
Prepare a list of oral complaints
Regular dentist appointments are preventative. Your family dentist will examine your teeth and take X-rays to look for signs of decay. However, your regular dentist appointment is an ideal time to bring up the complaints you have. If you've been experiencing tooth or gum pain, alert your dentist. Knowing about your symptoms can prompt your dentist to diagnose problems they might have otherwise missed. Prepare a list of your oral complaints in advance, so you don't forget any of them while sitting in the dentist's chair.