Kate's Fear of TMJ

Haven't Been To The Dentist In Years? Here's How To Prepare For Your Appointment

If you haven't been to the dentist in a long time, you might be dealing with a lot of emotions. You could be afraid of the dentist and your upcoming appointment, which could be one reason why you haven't been in so long. You might be a bit embarrassed about the condition of your teeth, and you could be worried about the cost and what the dentist will find. All of these emotions are certainly understandable, but following these tips can help you prepare for your first appointment in a long time.

Mention it When Setting Your Appointment

When calling to set your appointment, let the receptionist know that you haven't been to the dentist in a long time. Your dentist should not mind being patient with you and your situation, but it will be helpful if he or she has a head's up before the appointment. Then, your dentist can clear a little more time to see you. This could be necessary, since your cleaning might take longer than it normally would, and your dentist may need to be a bit more patient with you if you are feeling nervous.

Gather Your Medical Information

If you haven't been to the dentist in years, you'll probably need to fill out new paperwork. This means that you should be prepared to jot down any medical issues that you have and any medications that you might be taking. Gather up this information before you go so that you can fill out your paperwork quickly, thoroughly and accurately.

Write Down Your Questions and Issues

Don't be afraid to write down any questions that you might have, any pain or other issues that you might be dealing with in regards to your teeth and anything else that you want to talk to your dentist about. It can be easy to forget all of these things while you're in the dental clinic, especially if you are dealing with a case of bad nerves, so taking notes before your appointment can make things a little bit easier. By communicating effectively with your dentist, you'll be able to get better dental care, and you may be able to alleviate some of your fears and concerns.

Don't Over-Prepare Your Teeth

You might be tempted to really scrub your teeth or to floss vigorously before your appointment. However, doing so can inflame your gums and mouth and can cause issues. Instead, follow your normal dental hygiene routine, even if you are feeling nervous or like you have been slacking off on taking good care of your teeth.

Going to the dentist for the first time in years can be a pretty big deal. Luckily, if you follow these tips to prepare, things should go quite smoothly, and you might find that going to the dentist isn't that bad, after all.