Our Top Tips to Help You Visit the Dentist Less (And Why That’s Our Goal)
Every day, we speak to patients that have let their oral health get out of sorts due to their fear of visiting the dentist. Ultimately, they end up seeing the dentist much more often due to the state of their oral health.
If you want to visit the dentist less, you need to take care of your teeth properly – which sometimes means taking advantage of the resources your dentist can offer. Keep reading to learn how to take the best care of your teeth and minimise your visits to the Maroubra dentist.
Why Don’t People Like Visiting The Dentist?
There are many valid reasons why people prefer not to visit the dentist. Visiting the dentist can help you to avoid complex dental issues that require many appointments to resolve – so why don’t people simply have their regular checkups and cleaning?
Here are some of the primary reasons why people do not like visiting the dentist:
- The procedures are invasive – some people don’t like having anyone ‘in their grill’, particularly a stranger. Our mouths are delicate parts of our bodies, and having someone so close to your face rooting around in your mouth can be pretty uncomfortable.
- Vulnerability – many of us are control freaks. We like to apply our sunscreen and makeup and take control of our care. So, sitting in a chair at the mercy of your dentist can leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable – which can be scary for some.
- Fear of judgement – many people, particularly smokers, fear visiting the dentist because their practitioner may be judgmental about their personal choices and oral hygiene. However, your dentist will usually take a solutions-based approach to your oral care – there’s no need for judgment, and any occurrence of this would be highly unprofessional!
- Needles – sometimes, your dentist must inject you with a local anaesthetic to perform a dental procedure. For those who fear needles, this can cause them to avoid the dentist altogether.
Many of these fears are valid and justified. However, neglecting to visit your dentist for checkups and cleaning may only be counterproductive. If your teeth become rotten, decayed, or loose, your visits to the dentist will only increase. So, you need to know how to take the best care of your teeth and minimise your need for dental appointments.
How Can You Practice Preventative Care And Visit The Dentist Less?
Here are our top tips for practising preventative care and minimising your need for dental appointments.
Visit The Dentist For Checkups And Cleaning
It’s important to understand that visiting your dentist regularly for non-invasive checkups and cleaning can help you to avoid needing complex procedures down the line. When you see your dentist for a regular checkup, they will check for any signs of early gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities and advise you on the best course of action to prevent progression.
If you visit your dentist for routine cleaning, they can scrape the tooth’s surface in a process called ‘scaling’ and remove any plaque or tartar buildup that could later lead to more complex issues. They will also polish the teeth with gritty toothpaste to remove any staining on the teeth and excess plaque. Your dentist will clean any areas in the mouth you miss with your regular brushing, preventing any sneaky tooth decay on those under-brushed areas.
Taking these steps can help you to reduce the number of dental visits you require in your lifetime – and can also help you to overcome your fear of the dentist!
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Perhaps the most simple way to avoid needing dental treatments is to brush your teeth twice daily. You should brush for two minutes every morning and before you sleep at night. When you’ve finished brushing your teeth, you should spit out the excess toothpaste foam, but don’t rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water. Doing so will remove the fluoride left behind on your teeth, which can help brighten the teeth and reduce plaque.
Brushing won’t help you to clean all of your teeth – you’ll need to use floss to clean in between your teeth. By flossing between the teeth, you remove any sneaky plaque that builds up in the cracks that you couldn’t possibly reach with a toothbrush.
Avoid Sugar And Foods That Are Bad For Oral Health
An essential part of practising good oral hygiene is reducing sugar intake – sugar can feed the bacteria in your mouth. You should also avoid staining foods like red wine that will cause yellowing and discolouration of the teeth. Smoking is also highly detrimental to your oral health, as it reduces the oxygen in your gums, and tar can stick to the teeth, causing blackening.
Although you shouldn’t use mouthwash right after brushing, you should use it to clean your whole mouth, not just your teeth. Mouthwash in the middle of the day can help you to clear your mouth of bacteria – not just on the teeth but on the gums too. Because if there are bacteria on your gums and tongue, this could spread to your teeth. Most importantly, mouthwash helps keep your breath smelling fresh throughout the day.
Brush Your Tongue
In addition to mouth washing, you can also reduce the bacteria in the mouth by brushing your tongue. Sugars from the food you’ve eaten can remain on the tongue, even after a rinse with mouthwash. You should brush your tongue after brushing your teeth every morning and night to reduce the bacteria and sugar in your mouth – particularly if it’s going to remain stagnant in your mouth all night while you sleep.
Many people don’t like visiting the dentist and avoid it when they can. However, visiting your dentist for checkups and cleaning can reduce the number of visits you must make to the dentist in your lifetime. You should also follow the above steps for oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and serious dental issues that it will take many dentist trips to resolve. To learn more about preventative care, reach out to our friendly team at Maroubra dental clinic.