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How to Prepare Yourself for a Dental Cleaning

Most people don’t overthink about their oral care and hygiene until they schedule a dental cleaning with their dentist. This is when they start to worry about their routine, and whether they’ve been keen on observing it properly. Moreover, they get on the internet to search what they should do to prepare for their dental cleaning. 

To others, it seems completely unnecessary to prepare for their dental cleaning. However, it’s important to note that dental cleaning can turn out to be a bad experience if you don’t make the necessary preparations. So this brings one question—how do you prepare for your dental cleaning if you want to have a good experience? 

Below are some tips to help you. 

Choose an experienced dentist or hygienist

Your hygienist or dentist must have exceptional communication skills. Moreover, they must be capable of managing the anxieties that come with dental cleaning appointments. Dentists with good communication skills can improve your confidence, and assist in creating a long-term and professional relationship. 

Discuss any dental problems with your dentist

Let your dentist or dental hygienist know any concerns or questions that you might have in regards to your oral health. Discussing these issues before your dental cleaning will assist you, dentist, to come up with the best solution. Moreover, it will also help your dentist determine the best preventive treatment procedure to prevent these issues from worsening. 

Avoid whitening your teeth

When scheduling dental cleaning, you can feel insecure if you have stained teeth. Such insecurities can make you whiten your teeth, just to give them a better appearance. However, you should understand that your dentist is there to help you improve your oral health, not to judge you. 

San Diego dentists at Bajars&Bajars say that teeth whitening can increase the sensitivity of your teeth, leading to a more painful and uncomfortable cleaning process. So, if you would like to whiten your teeth, request your dentist to assist you in doing it after your dental cleaning. You should note that teeth whitening works better for clean teeth—therefore, you should hold on until you undergo your dental cleaning.

Avoid pre-cleaning your teeth if possible

Most people tend to brush and floss their teeth the morning before their scheduled dental cleaning. Well, there’s nothing wrong with this. However, some dentists argue that avoiding to pre-clean your teeth can work to your advantage. 

When cleaning your teeth, your dentist will need to identify the areas with issues. Which areas do food particles get stuck often? These are the areas where tooth decay can start. Although you can clean your teeth if you want to, avoiding it will make your dental cleaning effective. So, take your breakfast or lunch, and then proceed to your dental cleaning. If you brush your teeth, your dentist will not see the problematic areas. 

Reschedule your appointment if unwell

Some patients will still insist on proceeding to their scheduled dental cleaning. However, if you are feeling unwell, let your dentist know and cancel your appointment. Proceeding to your dental cleaning when feeling sick puts the health of the dentist, together with their staff at risk.  

Moreover, your dentist will scrap below your gum line when cleaning your teeth to get rid of tartar. This process can irritate your gums, and this can be an avenue for bacteria to access your bloodstream through your mouth. You don’t need to worry about this, as it’s very common when it comes to a dental cleaning. However, if you are unwell, your immune system is already weak, making you vulnerable to bacterial infection. Therefore, wait until you feel better before proceeding to your dental cleaning. 

Don’t forget to carry your oral appliances

Today, we have dentists offering sleep apnea treatment—and this involves an appliance that’s worn while sleeping to keep your airway open. Other people wear dental retainers after an orthodontic procedure, or dental guards to prevent teeth clenching and grinding. 

So, if you wear any oral appliance, for whatever reason, don’t forget to carry it when going for your dental cleaning. Your dentist will need to clean these appliances too. Tartar can form on these appliances, just as it can form on your teeth. Failing to clean these devices increases the chances of tartar developing on your teeth again after a dental cleaning. 

If needed, take pain medication to reduce the chances of a painful cleaning process

Most people complain of very painful experiences during dental cleaning. If you’ve ever had such an experience, consider taking painkillers, like Ibuprofen before your dental cleaning to reduce pain. Also, don’t hesitate to notify your hygienist or dentist in case you feel pain during the cleaning process. Don’t just bear with the pain. 

There are different ways that dentists use during dental cleaning. So, your dentist can change their approach to make the process less painful. Ibuprofen can also assist you if you are susceptible to gum inflammation after a dental cleaning. 

Take a meal with high proteins

At times, dental appointments can take too long. It’s not uncommon for people to feel weak in the middle of their dental appointment. So, taking a meal with lots of proteins can give you the energy you need compared to high-carb food. Dental appointments can be very stressful, and feeling hungry can make the situation worse.

Be honest with your dentist

Your hygienist or dentist cannot provide the necessary assistance if you are not honest with them. If you’ve not been observing good oral hygiene, let your dentist know. Your dentist or hygienist is in a better position to do a thorough cleaning when you are honest with them about your oral care, together with any other dental issues.

Never panic

When going for a dental cleaning process, remember that your dentist is there to assist you, not hurt you, or judge you. If your dentist or hygienist does anything that makes you uncomfortable, don’t fear to let them know. At the end of the day, you should have a good experience with your dentist.

Nobody is perfect—therefore, don’t feel afraid or ashamed of any problem that you might be experiencing. So, if you realize that you have had negative experiences with your dentist, consider searching for another one. 

So, how can you calm your nerves?

Here are a few ways to assist you in calming your dental fear and anxiety:

  • Let your dentist know how you are feeling – if you are tense or nervous, inform your dentist. This is important as it assists them to adjust the cleaning process to suit your needs. 
  • Take slow and regular breaths during the procedure – being nervous reduces your oxygen levels, making the situation even worse. Therefore, you should focus on taking regular and slow breaths, like when meditating. This can assist in reducing your anxiety. 
  • Use hand gestures – before the cleaning process starts, agree with your dentist on the hand signals that you shall use to inform them in case you are feeling pain. 
  • Listen to music – at times, the cleaning equipment can make you nervous. Therefore, consider carrying your earphones to listen to some music. This can help in masking the sound made by these tools. 
  • Take things slowly – ask your dentist or hygienist to take things slow in case you are anxious. 

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