Dental cleaning is one of the most common dental services. It’s also one of the least invasive cosmetic dental care procedures. All you need to do is schedule an appointment, get in the chair, open your mouth wide, and let the dentist do his/her thing. Then, after about six months, you go back and do it again. Planning for something that simple might seem unnecessary. But there’s more to dental cleaning than just that.
For instance, a lot of people suffer from dental anxiety. This can make it difficult to visit the general dentist or and that’s one of the reasons you need to prepare properly. Proper preparation can make your dental visit more productive and comfortable. Here are some tips you can use to prepare for your next dental cleaning appointment.
Take Care of the Logistics
When it comes to how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning, there are a lot of logistics to deal with. For instance, while the majority of dental offices will contact you the day before to confirm your appointment, some may not. If they don’t, you should take it upon yourself to call and confirm that you will be coming in. It’s crucial to verify the date and time of the appointment. This will help ensure that there has not been any lapse in communication or missed messages.
Apart from confirming the appointment, it’s also important to ensure that your dental records are up to date. This is especially important if you are visiting a new family dentist. You will want to make sure that they get all of your currently applicable records. This includes treatment notes and any diagnostic tests like X-rays made by the patient’s previous dentists. Patient history is an important part of examination and treatment. You may also want to verify things like how much your dental insurance company will cover so you can budget accordingly. This may require you to contact Medicaid planners. Logistics like these are a huge part of how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning.
Know What to Expect During the Cleaning
It’s very important to know what to expect before you go in for your cleaning. This is a huge part of how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning. Having enough information is important so that you can plan your day accordingly. One of the things you need to know is how long it might take. Typically, root scaling and planing can take about four hours. In most instances, the treatment will be broken up into several sessions. This helps to reduce pain. The process can be a bit uncomfortable, so the dentist will numb the section of your mouth they will be working on at that time, then move on to the next and do the same.
Before the treatment starts, the dentist will inject a local anesthetic. This will prevent you from feeling pain during the procedure. Once that’s done, they will use tools like ultrasonic devices and a scaler to eliminate tartar and plaque deposits from your teeth and roots. The dentist will also polish the roots of your teeth to smooth out any rough areas. This will reduce the risk of ending up with bacteria stuck on the roots of your teeth.
The pain and discomfort that results from dental scaling can last for a few days. During that time, you may also experience increased sensitivity of teeth. This is because your roots will be cleaner than usual. It’s also because of the handling of your gum tissues. Fortunately, this sensitivity usually wears off in a few days. It can also be managed using over-the-counter medications.
As mentioned before, dental cleaning is non-invasive. You may also get some flossing with it. Once everything is done, the dentist will apply fluoride and sealant to your teeth. These two act as a protective barrier that reinforces the enamel. The dentist will also use this time to screen you for different dental problems. Knowing what to expect can go a long way in helping to ease dental anxiety. It will also help you plan your day properly.
How to Deal With Dental Anxiety
A lot of people are not too fond of visiting the dentist. Memories, smells, and sounds can make you dread the appointment, especially if you have had a terrible time before. This is why finding ways to deal with dental anxiety is an important part of how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning. If you are feeling uneasy about your visit, it’s important to deal with dental anxiety beforehand. The first thing you might want to do is talk to the dentist. They can make some arrangements to help you with dental anxiety. There’s not much to worry about. When you visit the dentist, all the people who will help you out, even those provided by healthcare staffing agencies, is professionally trained to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
Studies show that about 45% of adults in the United States have at least a minimum level of dental fear. On the other hand, about 20% admit to being highly fearful. Apart from talking to the dentist, taking deep, slow breaths can also help you deal with dental anxiety. Relaxing your muscles has also been shown to make you calmer. Try to avoid holding on to the chair. You can practice these tips at home so you can use them easily when you finally visit the dentist.
There are several videos with instructions for diaphragmatic breathing online. This can help you figure out breathing exercises. Apart from that, you can also find something to listen to during your cleaning, so you don’t hear the sounds of teeth-scraping. Some people do quite well with music and headphones. This can be a good distraction.
Brush and Floss Your Teeth Before the Visit
This one might seem a bit unnecessary when it comes to how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning. After all, you are going to get a deep clean anyway, so why would you bother cleaning your teeth at home? Well, your dentist will appreciate a patient who comes in after brushing and flossing their teeth. This makes things more comfortable for them, and it also saves time. Instead of starting with basic cleaning, they can get straight into the more important procedures. However, because you are getting your teeth cleaned, you don’t need to go overboard. All you need to do is regular day-to-day cleaning.
When you brush your teeth before the dental cleaning session, you should consider using toothpaste for sensitive teeth. If you have gone for a dental cleaning before, you know how vigorous it can be. It’s way more vigorous than the brushing you do on your own. Scraping, polishing, and flossing can result in sensitivity that lasts anywhere from a few hours to several days. This is why you need to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth. This will make your teeth a bit less sensitive during the cleaning session.
Ask Your Dentist About Over-the-Counter Pain Meds
If you are afraid of the pain and discomfort associated with dental cleaning, it might be a good idea to talk to your dentist and find out what they recommend when it comes to over-the-counter medications. This is important as part of how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning. While most dentists will use topical anesthetics to improve your experience during a dental cleaning, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few extra measures. This can even help you get rid of a bit of anxiety. At least you won’t experience a lot of discomfort.
Should You Eat Before the Appointment?
Is it necessary to fast before your dental appointment as part of how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning? Well, skipping food before a dental appointment seems to be something that a lot of people do. However, science proves that there is no benefit to doing so. In fact, you should get some food before you visit the dentist. If you go without eating anything, it can cause you to feel lightheaded and even anxious. If you ensure that you are adequately nourished before going on the dental chair, it can enable you to relax and feel less anxious. However, make sure you eat at home so you can brush and floss before heading out.
Pay Attention to How You are Feeling
This is an important part of how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning. You must pay attention to how you are feeling. If you are feeling a bit under the weather or coming down with the flu, it might be a good idea to reschedule the appointment. During the dental cleaning process, it’s possible that bacteria might find their way into your bloodstream. This won’t be a problem for you if you are healthy and well. However, if you are already not feeling way, your body might not be able to handle the sudden invasion of mouth bacteria.
Avoid Whitening Treatments
A lot of people think it’s a good idea to whiten their teeth before they go for dental cleaning. However, the opposite is true. You should stay away from whitening treatments if you are going for deep cleaning. Whitening treatments will definitely make your teeth highly sensitive, and this will be a problem considering how dental cleaning is done. You never want your teeth to be sensitive before a dental cleaning. If you want your teeth to be whiter, all you need to do is ask the dentist to have them brightened immediately after the cleaning. This is the best time since they would have been scraped clean of tartar and will be more responsive to whitening treatments. The gel will be able to penetrate the tooth a lot quicker.
Make Notes on the Questions You Want to Ask
It’s common for people to see the white coat and go blank. This means there’s a high chance that you’ll forget everything you wanted to ask when you see the dentist. Rather than take chances and think you’ll remember the questions you want to ask, jot the questions down on a piece of paper. You can also use the notes app on your phone. This will help you remember during your appointment. For instance, let’s say you are experiencing some discomfort when using toothpaste. Make a note on it. That way, you can simply look it up and tell the dentist.
Consider Bringing Your Oral Appliances
A lot of dental offices now give patients oral appliances that help with sleep apnea. These are worn at night, and their purpose is to open the airways. Apart from the ones for sleep apnea, there are other appliances like retainers that are worn following dental work. Some also wear guards that prevent clenching and grinding. It’s crucial to bring your appliance with you when you come in for dental cleaning. It’s possible for bacteria and tartar to stick to these appliances the same way they stick to teeth. It, therefore, makes a lot of sense to have the dentist give these appliances a thorough scrub too. Dentists can also place these appliances in ultrasonic cleaning machines, so they are ready by the time the cleaning is done.
Arrive Early so You Can Fill Out Paper Work
If it’s your first time visiting a particular practice, you should be aware that there are certain forms you will need to fill out. For instance, they will want information like previous dental procedures, any allergies to specific medications, or even things as simple as forms of payment and insurance. If you are visiting a dentist you have never seen before; you should get there at least thirty minutes before so you can have time to deal with the logistics. This is an important part of how to prepare for deep teeth cleaning.
Discuss Existing Dental Problems With Your Dentist
Do you have any existing dental health problems? If so, it might be wise to discuss teeth care issues with your dentist before the appointment. That way, they can check the problem out and find out if you are a good fit for the cleaning or if you need some dental repair first. Being proactive like this helps to prevent small dental problems from turning into big ones. This is also a good way to ensure continued optimal dental health.
If you have never gone for teeth cleaning, it may take a while to do away with all the plaque and tartar. This is because there will be a lot to remove. This is why it’s important to go for regular cleanings so that there is less to do each time you go in. Most dentists recommend dental cleaning every six months.