Oral health is one of the key indicators of your overall health and should be taken very seriously—you’ve probably been told this repeatedly. But maybe life has gotten in the way for a couple of years. Maybe you’ve been too busy or have not had the funds. Maybe you have a bad memory. Regardless the reason you haven’t been in to see a dentist, now is definitely the time. Here are some things to consider if you haven’t been to a dentist in years.
What to Expect
Dental health hasn’t changed much in the past few years, but it’s possible that your mouth has. Even with consistent, good care there can be a lot of buildup or other serious problems. That takes time to get rid of and investigate. That’s why it may be a good idea to expect a longer appointment the first visit.
There are other factors that can contribute to a longer visit. Yes, there is new technology that will help your appointment go faster, but there are some extra steps. Your dentist will want new x-rays to see the current state of your teeth. The checkup will also be more extensive. You may also need some extra time to figure out insurance or how to move your dental records over from a different dentist.
Find a Dentist
Finding a dentist that is right for you can be quite the process. Of course it’s best if they are located close to you and have good hours so that you can make it to your appointments. It’s also important to find a dentist that takes your insurance so you can have affordable care. It can also be important to consider their emergency protocol outside of office hours.
Don’t be shy about visiting the dentist’s office to learn more about them. It’s a great place to learn more directly. As you search for a dentist, find extra credentials they might have. Membership in professional organizations stands out as indicators your dentist is the right fit.
Planning for the Future
Now that you’ve gotten the ball rolling by going back to the dentist, it’s important to keep planning to go back. This can include follow up treatments like getting cavities filled or others. But it’s important to go back even when there isn’t a problem, preferably twice a year. Schedule your next appointment at each appointment you go to.
Depending on your insurance and current financial situation, a dental visit may be financially stressful to you. But your dentist’s office will have many people who can help you find affordable options, and there are resources online that can help you find ways to get the dental care you need without being strained financially.
If you happen to be someone who is a little nervous about the dentist, you are not alone. This is common. Many Americans have at least some fear of the dentist. And it’s true that your mouth may be more irritated after. But here is the thing—it is so worth it to take care of your oral health. Not to mention, your dentist is a skilled professional and probably a really cool person. They aren’t going to judge you, no matter the state of your mouth. They only want to help you have a healthier mouth moving forward. Make an investment in yourself by going to the dentist.
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