10 Steps to Take Before Seeing a General Dentist

Seeing a dentist is crucial for maintaining good oral health. That being said, it’s important to prepare properly before your visits to make the most of them. Consider taking the following steps before going to the dentist. 

1. Schedule an Appointment

First of all, if you need to see a general dentist, try to schedule an appointment either online or by phone. Your dentist understands that no one can plan ahead for accidents, sudden toothaches, broken teeth, and other unexpected mishaps. For non-emergency visits, though, booking an appointment will save time, frustration, and confusion for everyone involved. 

2. Know What You Need

Additionally, be sure to evaluate your own dental needs before your visit. Are you experiencing any pain, bleeding, or sores in your mouth? Have any of your teeth developed holes or rough spots since the last visit? Knowing what you need the dentist to address during your visit can help ensure nothing gets overlooked.  

3. Ask Questions

If you have any questions or concerns, consider writing them down before your visit. Those may include questions about certain treatment options or oral hygiene practices. Writing them down as you think about them will guarantee you don’t forget them during the visit. Don’t hesitate to ask them while you’re with the dentist, either.

4. Gather Your Medical Information

If this is your first visit with a dentist or something has changed since your last appointment, be sure to have pertinent information ready when you arrive. That includes medical history, previous dental treatments, X-rays, lists of medications you’re taking, and other relevant details. Even seemingly insignificant details could be important.

5. Check Your Insurance

Another important measure is verifying your insurance coverage to determine if your visit and treatments are covered. For first-time visits, be sure the dental office accepts your insurance. That’ll ensure you’re financially prepared for the visit and any procedures you may need.

6. Don’t Eat Beforehand

Many people don’t give this much thought, but it’s best not to eat anything immediately before a dental appointment. That helps ensure no food particles are left in your mouth for the dentist to contend with. It can also aid in avoiding embarrassing breath issues. At the same time, if you receive anesthetics during your visit, they could make you nauseous on a full stomach.

7. Brush and Floss

Be sure to brush and floss regularly as well, not only on the day of your appointment but all those leading up to it. Doing so will help keep dental issues at bay and give your dentist a clean canvas to work with. Don’t forgo brushing and flossing simply because you’re scheduled for a cleaning.

8. Remove Lipstick and Mouth Jewelry

Remember to remove lipstick and mouth jewelry too. Lipstick is sure to smear all over the dentist’s gloves and instruments as well as your face during check-ups and cleanings. Besides that, it can cover up lip sores or other issues the dentist needs to see and address. Lip and tongue rings can also cause problems. They get in the way during dental treatments, so be sure to take them out before your visit. 

9. Arrive Early

Arriving a few minutes before your scheduled appointment is always a good idea. That gives you plenty of time to fill out paperwork and calm your nerves before climbing into the dentist’s chair. It also shows that you respect your dentist’s time and that of other patients. 

10. Communicate Openly

As mentioned earlier, be ready to discuss questions and concerns with your dentist. Open communication is essential. The more you share and ask, the more information you and the dentist will have to work with. 

Making the Most of Your Dental Visits

Keep all these measures in mind when planning for your next dental appointment. They’ll enable your dentist to provide the best and most efficient care. They’ll also allow you to make the most of your visit so you can effectively maintain your oral health.