Is your anxiety about a dental experience keeping you away from the dentist?  If so, you aren’t alone. Several market research surveys done show that about 60 percent of people said they suffer from some level of dental appointment fear. Perhaps some of those fears can be eased by simply knowing what, exactly, happens during a dental check-up.

First things first: when you make your appt, don’t be afraid to ask how long it will take so you can plan accordingly. Maybe you want to make an early appointment so you have less time to worry about it. If not, an end of the day appt can be helpful, so you can go home right after and breathe a big sigh of relief.

Now on with the show. Once you are in the chair, usually, a dental hygienist will scrape off plaque and tartar build up with a small, metal tool.  They usually follow up with flossing your teeth and then give you a chance to rinse your mouth out with water. Having tartar removed can be uncomfortable, but the clean, smooth feel of your teeth after is well worth it. Then, using a tool with a spinning head, the hygienist polishes your teeth. You might even get to choose the flavor of cleaning paste. And you’ll rinse again. Typically, you’ll get X-rays every year or so to help find problems that are just starting or are hard to see. These aren’t painful, just a little awkward for your stretched-out mouth. Afterward, the dentist will check your teeth and talk to you about how things are looking.  He(or she) will make a game plan to get your teeth in the best shape possible.

Just making it to the chair is an accomplishment and puts you closer to oral health and a beautiful smile you can be confident wearing. That being said, you should get a cleaning and exam every 6 months to maintain your optimal treatment plan! Come visit our friendly staff and let us put you at ease in the chair.