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It’s Been a While Since I’ve Last Seen a Dentist; Will My Cleaning Hurt?

September 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — secondlinefamilydentistry @ 10:21 pm
Woman has curious expression

If you’ve been away from the dentist for a while, you might be concerned about whether your upcoming appointment will hurt. While cleaning healthy teeth should cause the patient no pain, there can be factors that complicate the process. Tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues can make your mouth more sensitive, causing a cleaning to be more uncomfortable than it should be. Here are some tips to help you stay comfortable in the dentist’s chair after some time away.

Proper Oral Hygiene Will Keep the Process Smooth and Uneventful

If you’re keeping your teeth clean at home, your dentist will have less to clean at the office. This simple logic is the key to preventing most of this discomfort in the dentist’s chair. While dentists say that you should ideally brush after every meal while taking care to wait thirty minutes after eating, brushing at least twice a day should remove most plaque and food debris.

You should also floss daily to remove this nasty stuff from between your teeth. Just like a professional dental cleaning, flossing can be uncomfortable when your gums are inflamed, but they aren’t going to get better without this necessary care. Using desensitizing toothpaste can help mitigate this discomfort until your gums are healthy enough to be flossed comfortably.

What Should I Do About Anxiety in the Chair?

Many people feel unease over seeing the dentist, but this anxiety can be managed. You might try bringing a book for the waiting room or headphones for the chair to keep your mind off the procedure. If you’re concerned about discomfort, using an over-the-counter pain reliever can be a great way to take the edge off the experience.

What Happens if I Skip the Dentist?

Skipping your dentist’s appointment might spare you an uncomfortable hour, but the consequences of neglecting proper oral care will be quite dire. Toothaches involve an extended period of miserable, throbbing pain. Gum disease leads to the swelling, tenderness, and discomfort that you might mistakenly associate with the dentist’s office. Both of these issues can lead to tooth loss, bad breath, and even serious secondary infections like sepsis.

When you consider the risks, even the most unpleasant dental appointment is a picnic when compared to the oral diseases it can prevent. Your dentist is your smile’s best friend, and you should make sure that the two of them stay well acquainted.

About the Author

Dr. Mayda Ferguson earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in New Orleans before completing a General Practice Residency at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center. She has earned a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry and proudly serves as a member of the American Dental Association and the Louisiana Dental Association. Her office in Metairie, LA offers preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry. To schedule a dental appointment, contact her office online or dial (504) 833-2220.

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