Unknowns can be scary. Going into situations that are inconsistent with your day-to-day routine can cramp your style, causing extra stress that we know you don’t need. We all know that going to your dentist frequently is a great investment in your oral health and your general well-being, but what can you expect from the time you get to the office to the time you leave? Here is our quick guide and checklist with everything you need to know and bring to your next dental appointment.

How Often You Should Go

For most, it’s recommended that people visit their dentist twice a year. However, if you’re in what’s known as the “high risk” group—smokers, diabetics, people with gum disease or immune system issues—should be seeing their dentist more frequently. After your checkup, ask your dentist when they think you should come in again for a cleaning.

First Things First: Check-In

Try to give yourself 10 to 15 minutes of time between your scheduled appointment and when you arrive. That way, when you get to the office, you will have enough time to fill out any forms from the dental receptionist. Remember to bring with you any necessary medical information you may need, such as any prescriptions you are currently taking or your dental insurance information. After all of the necessary forms are filled out, it will be time for you to head to your examination room.

Meet the Dental Hygienist

Once you’re brought back into the examination room, your dental hygienist will begin scraping and cleaning your teeth. When scraping, hygienists will use tools to remove plaque and tartar that’s built up on your teeth, which if left untreated can cause gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. Next, the hygienist will rinse out your mouth before beginning to polish and floss your teeth, making them sparkly and clean for your dentist to look at.

Finishing the Check-Up

The last part of your check-up will involve the dentist coming in to thoroughly examining your teeth. Often, at this point, the dentist will also take X-Rays. These x-rays can show problems that are otherwise hard to detect, such as abscesses, decay, cysts or tumors. As the dentist is waiting for the x-ray results, they will also be examining your teeth and gums, often doing some extra cleaning and asking some follow-up questions about your oral health and cleaning habits. When the x-ray results have been evaluated and the examination is finished, the dentist will offer suggestions on how you can keep your mouth healthy, and will suggest when you should come to see them again.

Last But Not Least, Check-Out

With your pearly whites cleaned, now it’s up to you to keep them that way. Before leaving the office, talk to the receptionist about when you should make your next dental appointment. He or she will help you find a date that’s convenient with your schedule and will give you an appointment card or follow up with you via email or text.

If it’s been a long time since your last appointment and you know you need to schedule a dental check-up, give the Creason, Weber & Mountford office a call at (616) 842-0822, we’d love to meet you! We always welcome new patients, and you can even get in touch with us online!