Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

Three Things Your Dentist Wishes You Did (And One They Wish You Didn't)

According to the Huffington Post, only 1 in 10 people brush their teeth properly—and the Oral Health Foundation says that one in three people have never flossed. If you're looking to take better care of your teeth, it's worth asking yourself one simple question: what would my dentist want me to start or stop doing?

#1: Visit the dentist as often as they recommend.

The data suggests that almost half of all Australians aren't attending their annual dental checkups. There are many reasons you might not be making yours, but it's important for your future health that you make it a priority: if you reserve visits to the dentist for times when you think there's a problem, you're missing out on the opportunity to stop those problems in their tracks before they become more than you can cope with.

#2: Clean in between your teeth as thoroughly as possible.

Brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day is a vital part of your oral healthcare, but it's not the only thing you need to do. Food and other debris loves to live between your teeth, and it's important to get it cleared out on a daily basis. What you might not realise is that a traditional reel of dental floss isn't the only way to do this: you can also purchase floss 'harps' pre-strung on sticks to make it easier or a set of interdental brushes to help you get the job done.

#3: Tell them the truth about your habits rather than what you think they want to hear.

People lie to their dentists all the time—but it's a pointless habit, and your dentist almost certainly knows the truth regardless. If you're bad at flossing, you smoke, you're considering an oral piercing or you do something else you think a dentist would disapprove of, you need to be honest with them even if it makes you a little uncomfortable. They're actually very unlikely to react badly, and it will help them give you the care that you need in a tailored way.

BONUS TIP: Stop brushing immediately after eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages!

Foods and drinks with high acidity and sugar content—like soda, fruit and many sweets—can seriously damage your tooth enamel. If you consume these things and then brush right away, you can further compound that damage. The best thing to do is rinse your mouth out with water after consuming such things, and then wait an hour before you brush.