Many people find dental cleanings to be a bit uncomfortable, either mentally or physically (or both). Since regular dental cleanings are important for good gum health and to detect problems such as tooth decay and loose fillings, it's important to see your dentist or hygienist for a cleaning at least twice per year. If you put off your appointments due to discomfort, here are some tips on making the whole experience more pleasant.
Deal With Anxiety
In many cases, discomfort in the dental chair is more about anxiety and less about physical pain. In fact, up to 75% of patients have at least some fear or anxiety about going to the dentist, and up to 10% have an actual phobia. Since anxiety can make you tense up and feel pain more acutely, it makes sense to take the steps necessary to reduce your fear.
Some things you can do to reduce anxiety include talking to the dentist about your feelings, coming up with a signal to let the dentist know you need a break, and, in severe cases, taking medications to relax you. Aromatherapy or music might help, too. Talk to your dental staff in advance of your appointment so you and the dentist can come up with a plan. It might help you to remember that you are by no means the first patient who has had anxiety in the dental chair, so your dentist undoubtedly has ideas that may help.
Keep Up With Home Care
If it's the actual scraping under your gums that you find uncomfortable, the cure for that is often more brushing and flossing. When you neglect your gums, they tend to swell, which makes them more susceptible to pain and bleeding. Not only can this cause physical discomfort, but you might feel a bit mentally uncomfortable when the hygienist points out that you need to floss more frequently, which he or she most likely will.
Get into a good regimen of brushing at least twice daily and flossing every night before bed, and you will find that your gums are more comfortable during your cleanings.
Timing Is Important
If you are a woman, timing your dental cleanings to fall in the days shortly after your menstrual period can make things more comfortable for you. Because gum tissues tend to swell as a result of heightened estrogen levels, going in for dental work during the week before your period can lead to increased discomfort during the procedure. If you are pregnant, talk to your dentist about how you can minimize any swelling-related discomfort, but please do not neglect your oral health during this time.
Making your dental cleanings more comfortable, both mentally and physically, can lead to better oral health, since you won't be dreading or putting off your appointments. Keep up with your oral hygiene, and remember that if something hurts, you should let the dentist know so that steps can be taken to minimize discomfort. To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Preferred Family Dental.