Five Things You Can Do To Help Your Dentist Help You

1. Dont be embarrassed. “Many people are embarrassed to tell the truth about brushing or flossing, so they say what they think the dentist wants to hear instead of what is happening,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix cosmetic dentist office. “We can tell what’s going on in your mouth, and we can help more effectively if you tell us the truth.” Dr. Ford adds that dentists aren’t easily shocked and don’t lecture patients, and the truth helps you get help faster.

2. Brush and floss your teeth before your dental visit. When a client shows up and says, “I didn’t floss because you are going to clean my teeth anyway,” the hygienist has to spend time removing food particles instead of doing the more time-consuming work of plaque and calculus removal. Your mouth may not get as clean, and your gums may not be as protected as if you had brushed and flossed.  Your dentist also knows if  “regular flossing” has happened for just the last three days, too.

3. Make a list of all the medications you are taking. This includes herbals and vitamins. Bring it into the office with you on your visit. Type the date on the top, so when you update it, the most recent one will be in the file. The list should include the name of the medication, the amount you take, and how often you take it.  “The medication you take can make a difference in your dental health and your dental care,” says Dr. Ford. “The more you tell us, the better we can tailor your care,” she adds.

4. Ask questions. If you have a question about your care, the procedures, the dentist’s plan, ask. No question you ask is considered unimportant. Your dentist would rather you ask your question than leave confused, or uninformed.

dental_pain5. Don’t wait until you are in pain to make an appointment.” ?

Make at least two appointments a year to see your dentist, more if you are asked to come in again sooner. The more regularly your dentist sees you, the sooner potential problems can be caught and solved.

The Mayo Clinic has some excellent suggestions about cleaning your teeth and taking care of the equipment you need for dental health. They will not only help you, but your dentist, and the benefit of a bright smile is worth the effort.

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