Dental hygiene plays a critical role in your body’s overall health. Its importance, however, is sometimes overlooked or neglected. If you are someone who has avoided a trip to the dentist, there are some things you should know when you finally return.
Have a Conversation
People often have different reasons for a lengthy hiatus between dentist appointments. Life and a busy schedule can get in the way. Or, it may have been insufficient dental handpiece maintenance that led to faulty equipment and an uncomfortable experience. Whatever the reason, the best place to begin is by having a conversation with the dentist.
Part of a dentist’s job is to make sure all of the patients are fully informed. This should include full disclosure about what a visit after many years will entail. The fear of sitting in the chair, unaware of what is going to happen next is often what prevents people from returning. The dentist will also discuss available options to alleviate your anxiety. This might include sedation or other medications that will relieve you of any potential pain. Some dentists also offer music or other distractions to help patients who are nervous about the appointment.
It is not a secret that, depending on how long it has been since your last visit to the dentist, your return appointment will be more of a time commitment than a standard cleaning. Your dentist is likely going to want to take X-rays in addition to other comprehensive exams. Although the list of tests and procedures can feel overwhelming, remember that it is all in the best interest of your oral health.
The impact that taking care of your teeth has does not end inside of your mouth. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream and lead to respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease. Some cancers can also be traced to poor oral hygiene. Regular flossing, brushing and dental exams are the best preventative measures to keep your body protected against such ailments.