How to Get the Most of Your Visit to the Dentist

How to Get the Most of Your Visit to the Dentist
Posted on 12/10/2019


Do you have a dental checkup on the calendar? Wondering about what you can and should be doing? Find out what you can do at home to get ready for your visit and how to get the most out of your visit to the dentist.



Focus on your at-home care routine


The best thing you can do between dental checkups, cleanings, and exams is to focus on creating (and sticking to) a great home care routine. Our dentists and hygienists recommend:

  • Brushing twice a day for two minutes. Modern electric brushes are powerful and offer many advantages over older manual brushes. They’re easy to use, have built-in timers that make it easy to track your brushing habits, and more. Just remember that no matter what type of brush you use, only use a soft-bristled brush. Medium and hard bristles can irritate the gums.
  • Flossing once a day. Flossing daily reduces your risk of gum disease and cavities. Make sure to gently work the floss above the gum line to remove trapped bits of food. If you have rough teeth or your teeth are very close together, dental tape may be easier to use than traditional floss which can snag or rip easily.
  • Eat and drink thoughtfully. A diet low in sugar and high in fiber and green vegetables is one of the best investments you can make in your health. If you’re worried about discolored teeth, avoid coffee, tea, and red wine. In between meals, limit snacking, especially on sugary and carb-heavy foods. Avoiding snacking allows your mouth to return to its proper pH balance, minimizing bacterial growth and tooth decay. Don’t chew on ice or other hard foods that can chip or crack your teeth.
  • Emphasize the mouth-body connection. The foods you eat can have a profound effect on your whole body health (and vice versa). People with diabetes, for example, are very likely to get gum disease. Gum disease may even lead to health problems like high blood pressure or stroke.


Take time to reflect

Before your visit, take inventory of your dental health. Have you noticed changes in how your teeth look or feel? Is anything about your smile making you feel self-conscious? Do any teeth feel rougher or sharper than they used to? Are you experiencing new tooth or gum sensitivity? Does pain come and go or is it constant? Have you ever had pain like this before?

Think about questions like these in the days and weeks before your dental appointment. This will help you explain any issues you’re experiencing to your dentist and how they’re affecting your quality of life.



Learn from your Hygienist

During a cleaning appointment, your hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth. They’ll use specialized instruments that remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-brush spots in your mouth. But they’ll also be happy to teach you how to take the best possible care of your teeth at home, too.

Don’t be afraid to ask for flossing and brushing tips. You can learn how to brush and floss with proper technique. Everyone can always become a better brusher! For example, do you use an electric toothbrush? One common mistake people make is holding an electric brush too tightly. Because electric toothbrushes are so powerful, they can actually be too hard on your teeth and sensitive gums. Instead, try holding your electric brush between your thumb and forefinger. This light grip will keep you from brushing too vigorously.

Our hygienists are just full of great tips like that. Take the time to learn and you’ll be glad you did.



Remember that your health is your dental


As we talked about earlier, your whole-body health and your dental health are directly connected. There’s tons of research showing the link between poor dental health and diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, and other ailments. If you already suffer from one of these conditions, it’s extra important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Talk to your dentist about your health and find out what you can do to take control.

If you’re at high risk of diabetes or heart disease, let your dentist know. In some cases, signs of gum disease can be an early warning sign of diabetes or other health problems. 

In addition to chronic conditions, your dentist can help diagnose other health issues too, like oral cancer. As part of your exam and checkup, your dentist will check your tongue and gums for signs of oral cancer. It’s a quick exam and can provide you with peace of mind.



Think ahead

When you’re talking to your dentist about any needed follow-up care or if you’re just planning your next checkup, start thinking ahead. Ask questions about anything you should be doing before your next visit like:

  • Changing your diet
  • Adjusting your brushing and flossing habits
  • Aftercare instructions following a procedure
  • Being on the lookout for specific changes in your health
  • What to do if a tooth starts to hurt or if anything feels “funny”



Explore financing options


Even people who have dental insurance worry about the cost of their care. Helping our patients understand their financing options is something we take seriously at Towson Smile Care. 

If you do have insurance, our office can file claims on your behalf and even check pre-authorization for a specific treatment or procedure.

If you don’t have dental insurance, don’t worry. We offer a variety of options for uninsured patients. CareCredit is one option that works like a credit card specifically for your health expenses. The best part is that many people qualify for 0% interest financing for up to 24 months. Financing for treatments is also available through Wells Fargo.

Many of our patients find our in-office dental health savings plan to be an excellent value. For as little as $249 a year, our patients get 2 exams, 2 regular cleanings, x-rays, fluoride, and a 20% discount on all needed treatments. This savings plan helps patients plan for the cost of their dental treatments and

Remember, if you ever have questions to ask your dentist about insurance or finances, just call our office at (410) 296-7599.

Don’t forget: Are you uninsured? Get your first appointment for just $69 as part of our new patient special. Get more info.

Schedule your appointment today

At Towson Smile Care, we’re here to help you have a great dental checkup, each and every time. Schedule your appointment today.