When we hear a patient say, “I hate going to the dentist,” we assume it’s because, for some people, dental visits can include an element of discomfort, the most frequent of these being six-month check-ups and cleanings. If these are uncomfortable for you, it’s likely due to gums that are tender and plaque that must be scraped from tooth surfaces. Although your Hygienist takes every measure to ensure you are comfortable throughout your appointment, plaque removal when gums are tender or inflamed is not an easy process.
Want to make these visits more comfortable? Would you like to avoid the cost and time in treatment for repairs? Care to be among patients who say, “I love getting my teeth cleaned because it makes my mouth feel so great!”? Here are tips from our Hygienists so you’ll be among our patients with no dread when it comes to dental visits.
– Make sure you have a dental check-up and cleaning at least every six months. When your teeth are cleaned and all plaque is removed, you have a clean slate from which to work. This means that proper home care should keep your teeth and gums in good shape until your next visit. Thus, plaque removal around sore, tender gums is not necessary. When you miss these visits or come only once a year, gum inflammation and plaque removal is likely.
– Be committed to your home care regimen. Our hygiene team will advise you on steps to take between visits. This will include brushing a minimum of twice a day, flossing daily, and added measures such as tongue scraping or using an oral rinse. They’ll point out particular areas that require special attention so you can avoid problems before they begin or require treatment.
– Ask questions for a thorough understanding of your role. If you don’t know how to floss or would like advice on how to make it more comfortable, ask. If you aren’t sure your brushing technique is effective, ask how to make this better. If you want advice on reaching awkward angles in the mouth, ask how to get to them. Your Hygienist is trained to work WITH you so you’ll be able to do a good job between visits. Don’t be shy about asking for help so your home care routine is truly effective.
– Watch what and how often you eat. Keep in mind that every time you eat or drink something, an acid attack begins in the mouth. This acid is harmful to teeth and gums. If you sip sodas or suck on candy or mints during the day, these sugary and/or sticky substances, create a continual battleground of bacteria for your teeth and gums. Be conscious of what occurs from these treats and either brush or swish with water after consuming between-meals.
– Have treatment while problems are small. A cracked tooth that needs crowning (to prevent further damage or tooth loss) won’t repair itself. Plaque on teeth won’t go away without professional removal. A cavity won’t ever heal on its own. When problems are small, they can be repaired with the least amount of cost and time. When they are postponed, the problems become more costly and time-consuming to treat.
We want every visit to have you smiling from the time you walk in until the time you leave. Please know that we are always “in your corner” to help make your dental visits a positive and welcome part of your overall health commitment!