You might not think too much about your regular oral care routine until it comes time for your regular visit to the dentist. All of a sudden you start to worry about how well you’ve taken care of your teeth and what you should do to prepare before a dentist cleaning. Good news: here are some simple things you can do and some things you definitely shouldn’t do before your next cleaning.
Don’t Brush Like Crazy
There is nothing wrong with brushing as usual but when you brush like crazy right before a dentist cleaning, you actually make it harder for us to identify problem spots. When we see what areas house leftover food, we can better advise you on what to do when you’re brushing to avoid tooth decay in the future.
Do Take Ibuprofen If Cleanings Are Painful
If having your teeth cleaned has ever been painful, taking some Ibuprofen pills before the process begins can lessen the pain. You should absolutely tell your dentist or hygienist if you are in pain though, don’t just suck it up! We can often change our approach while cleaning your teeth so it hurts less for you. If you’re prone to inflamed gums after a cleaning, Ibuprofen will reduce that.
Don’t Whiten Your Teeth
Many people will feel insecure about their teeth before a dentist cleaning so they decide to whiten their teeth to make them look better. We’re not here to judge you, we’re here to help! The whitening process can make your teeth more sensitive which can result in a more uncomfortable and painful cleaning. If you want to whiten your teeth, ask your dentist to do it right after your cleaning. At this point, your teeth are their cleanest and will be most receptive to the whitening gel.
Do Eat A Protein-Filled Meal
When you eat a high-protein meal you give yourself fuel for longer than you would with a high-carb meal. If you have a long dental appointment ahead of you, you want to make sure you’re full so you don’t start feeling weak or cranky while you’re in the middle of it. Going to the dentist can be stressful for some people and feeling hangry makes that even worse.
Don’t Go If You’re Sick
I know you don’t want to cancel your appointment because you’re sick but we actually prefer that you do. We’d rather not catch whatever you have but in addition to that, a cleaning involves scraping below the gum line to remove tartar. That means your gums may become irritated and small amounts of bacteria can get into the bloodstream via your mouth. This is totally normal and isn’t an issue most of the time but if you’re sick, your immune system has already taken a hit so it’s wise not to throw more at it until you’re feeling better. Stay home, relax, and get better!
Do Make Notes To Refer To
How often do you think of something you should probably mention to your doctor or dentist and then totally forget when you see them? Make a point to make notes of these things so that you can let us know when we see you. Let’s say you noticed you had some bleeding when brushing but just with your bottom right teeth. That’s the kind of thing we definitely want to hear about!
We know that you might feel bad that you’re not flossing or brushing as often as you should but don’t let that get in the way of being honest with us. We need that information to perform the best cleaning possible and so we can make recommendations to you. Don’t lie about the actions you’re taking (or not taking) or any pain or other issues you’re facing no matter how small.
Do Bring Your Oral Appliance
Whether it’s a CPAP machine mask or a bite guard to prevent you from grinding your teeth, bring it in so we can give it a good scrub. Even if you’re cleaning your oral appliance at home as suggested, you don’t have access to some of the tools we have like ultrasonic cleaning machines. There’s no sense in putting a less than clean oral appliance in a freshly cleaned mouth!
Remember, we’re here to help you, not judge you and hurt you. If anything we do makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, let us know. We want to make your visit to the dentist as easy and relaxed as possible. No one is perfect so don’t feel ashamed about any issues you might be facing. I can promise you that we’ve seen it all at this point. If you’ve had a negative experience with a dentist, we welcome you to come try The Silverstrom Group. We have a dental spa that makes a trip to the dentist something to look forward to—even enjoy!