If you have dental anxiety, even a simple teeth cleaning can make you panic. You know you need to get your teeth professionally cleaned, but you are stressed out. Fortunately, you can make the process stress-free and enjoyable. Find out what you can do to turn your next trip to the dentist into a success.
Tips for making teeth cleaning more pleasant
Patients can make each trip to the dentist more pleasant by following an oral hygiene routine at home. Brushing and flossing daily remove bacteria and plaque. When less plaque is on the teeth, the cleaning is much faster. Patients can also follow additional tips to make the cleaning more enjoyable.
Ask for a numbing cream
Dentists have access to topical anesthetics that numb the gums. The anesthetics are rubbed along the gumline and do not require needles to administer. Patients who are concerned about discomfort should ask the dentist to apply a numbing agent before the cleaning. It is easier to relax when the gums are numb.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
Patients with extreme sensitivity can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever before the cleaning. Patients should take the pain reliever in ample time, so it is in full effect during the treatment. Most pain relievers take effect within an hour. Patients also might want to take an additional pain reliever after the cleaning. It is important to follow the directions on the bottle to avoid taking the medication too soon following the cleaning.
Listen to music
Music helps people take their minds off the teeth cleaning. Most dentists allow patients to listen to music with earbuds. Consider creating a playlist before the trip to the dentist. The playlist should contain calming music that promotes relaxation.
Ask the dentist to explain the steps
Many people feel calmer when they know what to expect at the dentist. Patients should ask dentists to talk them through the process. Every time a new instrument is picked up, the dentist can explain the purpose. Simply knowing what is happening reduces anxiety.
Use a desensitizing toothpaste beforehand
Patients with sensitive teeth should consider using a desensitizing toothpaste prior to the cleaning. The toothpaste reduces sensitivity, so patients are less likely to feel anything during the cleaning. The toothpaste can also be used after the treatment. This will help patients who experience discomfort after a cleaning.
Have a signal in place
It is difficult to talk during a dental cleaning. Patients with dental anxiety should have a signal to use in case they need a break during the cleaning. Patients should agree to a signal with the dentist or hygienist beforehand. If the signal is used, the dentist or hygienist will stop the cleaning and will not resume until the patient is ready.
Do you need a dental cleaning?
These tips will help you have a much better experience at the dentist. Ask for a numbing gel, listen to music and go over the cleaning process with the dentist. Also, use a desensitizing toothpaste and work out a signal to use in case you need a break. These tips, along with following a proper oral hygiene at home, will make your next teeth cleaning a breeze.
Request an appointment here: https://familydentistrypeoria.com or call Peoria Family Dentistry at 623-552-4665 for an appointment in our Peoria office.
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