Studies show that roughly around only 50 percent of people show up to their dentist appointments. Different reasons such as a high levels of dental anxiety, lack of care for hygiene, and forgetting about appointments all contribute to that. No matter how old you get, or how many times you have gone, you should always continue to make and attend your dentist appointments because your dental health is a huge part of your overall health. And regularly visiting your dentist can help with early detection of any dental problems and could potentially prevent more serious complications that can come from them and spread to other parts of your body as well. So in order to help relieve some of the anxiety you may get about going to the dentist and to help you feel better prepared, here are a couple of things that you can do so you feel more at ease about attending your appointments at our dentist office in Centennial, CO.
Make sure to check your schedule.
Sometimes when you plan out your next dentist appointment it may be quite a way out. So it is always good as it gets closer to the date that you make sure nothing has come up that would conflict with making your appointment. If for some reason you cannot attend, it is best to notify and cancel or reschedule as soon as possible or at least 24 hours in advance to give your dentist proper notice.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Dental anxiety is a very real thing. And if you go to bed at a decent time and allow your brain and body the proper time it needs to rest, it will greatly help soothe your nerves and relieve anxiety you may be feeling. Because if you are not giving yourself enough time to sleep, not only may you have high levels of anxiety but also might not be in a good mood and can cause miscommunication or lack of judgement when it comes to talking to your dentist and letting them know of questions or concerns you may have.
When arriving at your appointment, it is best to show up early, allowing yourself time to fill out any necessary paperwork, whether it’s updating your information or confirming that it is the same. Depending on your reason for the visit whether its a cleaning or a different procedure, you may just want to check that it falls under your insurance coverage so you are aware of any costs if necessary.
Depending on the reason for your dentist appointment, whether it is a cleaning or another procedure, it is wise to eat before you go. This is because, going on an empty stomach may only increase any anxiety or stress you may be feeling. And a lot of times after a dentist visit you may not be able to eat or drink right after so you would have to go a long amount of time without consuming anything if you do not beforehand.
Practice good hygiene.
It is important that you are always taking good care of your teeth. Not just a day or two before your appointment but on a daily basis. If you are trying to “cram” in all the stuff you should always be doing to your teeth the day before your appointment, a dentist can tell the difference. At that point you are only risking your own health because neglecting to brush and floss your teeth can lead to cavities and decay. And being very rough on your teeth just the day before your appointment can dry out and irritate your gums and lead to gum abrasion. So get on a healthy daily routine of taking care of your mouth and always follow it! Click here for more information on how to brush and floss your teeth.
Have a list of questions or concerns.
As you get closer to your appointment, it is good to make a conscious effort to be aware of any pains, issues, or concerns you have with your teeth. And to write them down. When you visit your dentist you want to communicate with them and let them know so that they can help you. You need to be honest when they ask you questions so that they are able to resolve issues to the best of their ability. Open communication between the dentist and their patient are vital in helping your appointments go as smooth as possible. Here are a couple of question that are helpful to discuss with your dentist:
- Are there any issues in my mouth?
- Do my teeth and gums look healthy?
- If there are issues, what are the different treatment options and which do you think fits best for me?
- Is the treatment all done at once or do you stagger the process?
- What can I do to improve my oral health?
Avoid sugar or caffeine the day of.
A lot of times when people think about going to the dentist they tend to get very anxious and tense. Unsure of what’s going to happen, or nervous about what they might find out. In order to help reduce any unnecessary stress, it is best to avoid consuming sugar or caffeine the day of your appointment. Having these will only increase you anxiety and make you even more jittery, causing it to be harder for you to relax and be calm at your appointment.
Plan for follow up care.
After attending your appointment it is important that you still take your oral health just as serious as before. Make sure you continue to brush and floss your teeth. Some procedures may have been more extensive like a root canal and may require a more detailed follow up plan. For instance, you may not be able to drink or eat for a while after so plan accordingly and eat ahead of time if possible. If you are having a more advanced procedure done and need anesthesia you will want to have family or friends available to take you home after. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Dr. Kennelly and his staff!