Three Tips to Make Your Dental Visit Effective

dental_healthMost people make an appointment, put it on their calendar, then show up for their dental appointment. That’s a great first step. And of course, if you have to cancel an appointment, you’ll do that at least 24 hours ahead of time, so your appointment can be given to someone else. But there are a few other steps you can take to make the dental visit more effective for yourself.

“We like to be effective with our time when you come in for your appointment,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix dental office. “A few suggestions will help you feel more comfortable and spend the time well,” she adds.

1. Brush and floss before you come. Even if you’ve been at work. Especially if you are coming after a meal. (Watch MouthHealthy.org’s video on how best to brush your teeth).  “It’s not the type of food, like onions or garlic,” says Dr. Ford, “it’s the time we will spend removing food from between your teeth and gum line that slows down the rest of the work.”  It is not a good use of your time to have the  hygienist spend several minutes just getting food particles removed from your mouth so the oral inspection and cleaning can begin.

2. Bring your insurance card. Even if you have shown it once, it may be necessary to see it again, update information or change minor details. Bringing the insurance card reduces errors in false claims being sent and allows us to be as accurate as possible when quoting your coverage.

3. Know your medications, both the name and how often you take them. “Certain medications can cause tooth enamel to darken, or result in dry mouth,” says Dr. Ford. “If we know whether the medication is long- or short-term, we will know how to take care of your teeth and gums more effectively,” she continues. It’s time consuming to keep a list of your medication, so Dr. Ford suggests taking a close-up photograph of the medication bottles. “That will give us the name, the amount, how often you need to take it and the prescribing doctor, so we can ask the right questions,” she says.

“These simple steps allow us to respect your time and put our expertise in the right place—taking care of your oral health and allowing those bright teeth to be a smile you can keep!” says Dr. Ford.

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