April 2, 2021
Has it been a while since you last visited your dentist? If you’re not entirely sure what to expect, you may feel nervous that your next dental checkup and cleaning will be painful. Fortunately, you can relax. Not only will your dentist do everything they can to make sure you’re comfortable, but there are also things you can do at home to avoid an unpleasant dental visit. Keep reading to learn about the importance of regular checkups and get tips to prevent discomfort during your next cleaning.
What Can You Do to Prevent Pain at the Dentist?
Even before stepping foot in your dentist’s office, there are steps you can take to ensure a more comfortable dental visit.
Improve Your Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene at home can lead to more painful dental checkups. The more plaque and tartar that build up in your mouth, the more work your dental hygienist will have to do to clean your teeth and around the gumline. It sounds simple, but brushing twice a day for a full two minutes each time and flossing daily can go a long way to making your dental checkups quicker and more agreeable.
If the bristles of your toothbrush look flat, you will want to ease up when brushing your teeth. Applying too much pressure can damage teeth and cause gum recession, both of which can lead to increased dental sensitivity. To avoid making your teeth more sensitive, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush using small, circular motions.
Dental anxiety can make even routine checkups uncomfortable. If you often feel nervous hopping into the dentist’s chair, try distracting yourself! You may be able to pull your mind away from a cleaning by listening through headphones to music, a podcast, or an audiobook. Or you could encourage your dental hygienist to talk with you about non-teeth-related subjects.
How Your Dental Team Can Help
Here are some ways you can help your dental team keep you nice and comfy during your next checkup.
Ask for Anesthesia
Before your dental hygienist begins cleaning your teeth, ask if they can numb your mouth. A simple topical anesthesia often works well to reduce discomfort during dental cleanings.
Communicate with Your Hygienist
Tell your hygienist about any sensitivities before they begin cleaning your teeth. Come up with some clear hand signals so they can know when to lighten up or stop.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Dental Checkups
Biannual dental checkups are a key part of maintaining a healthy smile. Only a dental professional using special tools can remove harmful tartar from teeth. Avoiding checkups because you are afraid they will hurt can allow small issues to grow into larger problems that may require more extensive treatment down the line.
The good news is that teeth cleanings do not have to hurt! Follow the guidance above to comfortably refresh your smile every six months.
About the Author
With over 30 years of experience, Dr. C.J. Landry understands the importance of preventive dentistry. In addition to dental checkups and cleanings, he also provides periodontal therapy and TMD therapy at his Marrero private practice. To learn more about what to expect during your next checkup, visit the Lapalco Family Dental website or call (504) 348-0080.
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