It may have been a while since you’ve been to the dentist. You may have also just graduated college and are still adjusting. Still, you need to make an appointment. Once you’ve made it, that leaves you wondering: What’s the best way to prepare for a dentist appointment?
After you’ve squared away your medical records and insurance information with the dentist over the phone, take a look at your toothbrush. Is it a manual one or an electric one? While manual ones can get the job done, there are some very inexpensive electric ones who take a lot of the work from you. Are the bristles on it hard or soft? You want soft bristles. Also, the bristles should be in good shape. If they are worn out or shredded, switch to a new brush, pronto. Otherwise you’re denying yourself a good tooth brushing experience.
One thing you don’t want to do is brush too hard. Many people tend to be too vigorous, especially if they are nearing their dental appointment. It’s basically the equivalent of trying to cram for a test the night before without having studied all semester. If you use too hard of a motion, you’ll irritate your gums and wear down the enamel. Plus it won’t fool the dentist or hygienist at all. Like the school test, you’ll likely wind up with a failing grade. Don’t do that. Use gentle circular strokes and be sure to get each tooth, both front and back. It’s ridiculously easy for plaque to build up behind the teeth in the gumline. Also, brush your tongue. That’s one place where bacteria for bad breath can form.
Another thing you don’t want to do is skimp on brushing time. Guidelines usually say that the right amount to spend is two minutes… or 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. Be conscientious of what you’re doing in each quadrant – this is not the time to zone out and miss areas even if you’re in the general vicinity. After a week or so of this at least twice a day, you should notice a big difference in how your mouth feels. It should feel cleaner.
Finally, you need to floss. Yes, the real thing, not that dance fad. Make sure that you use an easy motion, not see-saw up and down like you’re a logger. This will ensure that you get any food particles out from between your teeth or in your gum line. Do that twice a day as well. Your teeth and gums will thank you for doing that extra work.
If you’ve been doing all this, then you should be going to your dentist in a confident mood. If not, well, it’s never too late to start, since oral health is very important to your overall well-being.
Dr. Shaista Najmi and the staff at Ivory Dental Jacksonville will gladly help you learn the proper brushing and flossing methods if you still have any questions.