Preparing for the Dentist

How Do You Prepare to See the Dentist?

You might be wondering if there are steps you can take before visiting your dentist for a regular cleaning. Practicing good oral hygiene before your checkup prepares your teeth to get the most benefit out of your checkup possible, and can really impress your dentist!

If you currently practice an excellent oral hygiene and flossing routine, it is important to keep in mind that even the most diligent flosser may forget every once in a while. This is no cause for concern.

Proper Brushing Before Your Regular Checkup

Brushing properly before your regular checkup means preparing your teeth to be in the best possible condition that they can be, for your dentist to perform a proper exam.

Setting aside a few extra minutes each day to follow the steps ensuring you’re practicing proper brushing will result in a better checkup overall. The ADA (American Dental Association) has outlined a list detailing the steps to take to brush your teeth according to recommended guidelines.

  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, squeeze a moderately sized strip of toothpaste onto the brush.

It is important to avoid hard bristled brushes as they may lead sensitivity and damage to enamel.

  • Beginning at the gumline, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush gums back and forth. Next, move just below the gumline to the surface of your teeth.
  • It’s best to focus on the outer sides of your teeth, using the same back and forth motion. Then, move to the backsides to ensure the brush reaches all inner and outer surfaces.
  • To target plaque, use a vertical brushing motion on your front teeth.

Flossing Before Your Checkup

Following a proper brushing routine will impress your dentist and help prepare you for the best checkup possible, but to ensure that your teeth are free from stuck food particles it is necessary to establish a proper flossing routine as well.

To properly grip dental floss, start by stretching the floss between your index fingers and holding it securely in place, forming a loop around each index finger.

You’ll find that it’s easiest to start at your back bottom two teeth and gently slide down between each space, then upward again to remove any stuck food particles.

Repeat this process until you have reached the teeth near the front of your mouth, then alternate and repeat this process between your upper teeth.

Choosing a Mouthwash to Use Before Your Checkup

Using an antiseptic mouthwash before your exam can prepare your teeth in a number of ways, and will really impress your dentist. Using a mouthwash with a cool, minty flavor will remove lingering bacteria and leave your breath cleansed and fresh.

It’s best to use a small, plastic cup measured specifically for mouthwash and swish it around in your mouth for about 60 seconds.

You may experience some burning or irritation from the sting of the alcohol, this is normal and to be expected. For sensitive teeth and gums, opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Taking these steps will help ease any anxiety you may be experiencing prior to your appointment. It’s normal to have fears about what your dentist may discover during your checkup, especially if your oral hygiene routine has been less than stellar.

It’s never too late to begin practicing the best brushing and flossing routine possible. Don’t hesitate to ask your Soft Touch dentist about steps you can take to further prepare before your checkup!