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Tips straight from the dentist

Dental patient header

I admit it. When I’m off to the dentist, I brush my teeth extra well and even may floss an extra time, just for good measure.

I’m sure I’m not alone. But I also realize I’m not fooling anyone – especially my dental hygienist, who always seems to know if I’ve been flossing or wearing my bite guard when sleeping.

When sliding into the exam chair at my most recent dental visit, I wondered: does everyone try to impress their dental professionals? According to my dentist and hygienist: yes.

So I asked, instead of grabbing floss for the first time in months, how should people actually be good dental patients? Here’s what they said:
  • Be open. Your dentist approaches you as a whole person, not just teeth and gums. Be open to conversations about comprehensive care.
  • Ask questions. Your dentist wants you to be involved with decisions about your care. If there’s something you don’t understand, ask.
  • Be honest. There’s no need to pretend to have healthy habits if you don’t. With your mouth open, your dentist sees the truth anyway.
And hygienist Heather threw in a couple bonus tips for caring for your mouth every day:
  • Brush your gums. Avoid gum disease by paying as much attention to your gums as you do to your teeth.
  • Use a rechargeable electric toothbrush. They can make a huge difference in plaque removal.
I know I appreciated these tips, and I’ll keep them in mind next time I’m headed to the dentist. Maybe it’s time for you to make your next dental appointment, too!

Barbara Chovanec bio Barbara Sutherland Chovanec is our senior communications administrator who loves the intricacies of language. She enjoys celebrating obscure holidays like National Ice Cream Day (in July) and National Punctuation Day (in September). And she is a wife and the mom of two feisty chocolate labs who adore walking, swimming, sleeping and watching squirrels.