The Do's & Don'ts when visiting the dentist.
Updated: Dec 28, 2020
I thought I would try and create an insightful yet entertaining blog post highlighting some dental etiquette when visiting your clinic.
1) Do brush your teeth and floss - this is an especially good idea if you have just eaten a lunch with lots of bits and pieces in it. It just makes it easier for us to see what is happening in your mouth. Also we would rather avoid removing large chunks of food between your teeth where possible. On the other hand if you have not brushed it gives us a fair representation of what your teeth are going through on a day to day basis. Sometimes people just give their teeth a really good clean just before they come but we can tell that they normally do not do this because the gums are heavily bleeding. We can normally tell a lot about your lifestyle by just examining your teeth and gums.
2) Avoid dragging lots of mud and dirt in - dental clinics are incredibly clean environments due to the amount of disinfection we have to go through. So we would appreciate where possible people wipe their shoes at the door or even take them off. If you've just been painting the house please make sure you're not covered in wet paint (it's happened!).
3) Remove lip stick and heavy make up - We appreciate you want to look nice but at the same time some lipsticks stick to our gloves and if you do not want pink fillings or restorations we normally ask you to remove this. Dentistry can be a mildly invasive process so we may end up smudging your make up a little, so be prepared at the end of the appointment that you may need to re apply it.
4) Avoid clothes or fake tanning cream that leave marks on chairs - Our dental chairs our incredibly expensive (each one above £30K), so we would appreciate it that if you are wearing clothes ie. dyed jeans or tanning creams that could potentially stain our chairs you let us know so we can put a disposable cover down to make it more comfortable for you.
5) Try not to say "nothing personal but I hate dentists" - To be fair there is nothing wrong with this statement. The problem is that we hear it so often from every new patient that after a while we just laugh it off awkwardly and say something like "that's totally understandable".
6) Do tell us if you're nervous or something is sensitive because we want you to be a comfortable and as relaxed as possible. If we have a jumpy patient it makes us a bit on edge so the more relaxed you can make yourself the better your experience will be.
7) Try to not bite down or clamp on our fingers... we need them! lol
8) The statement "the last dentist had their knees on my chest when removing a tooth" is a common one but it is highly unlikely. After many years of doing dentistry I've never ever seen or have needed to do this.
9) Avoid coming to the dentist if you have a bad cold or flu. Although we wear masks and disinfect everything it is still best to stay at home recover and reschedule your appointment. If in doubt give your clinic a ring and ask.
10) Do try and come to your appointments on time. We understand you have a busy life but if you are running late just let us know. We get a lot of emergencies requests and if you do not attend it means that there is one less person we can help.
We know we are not perfect either (see our blog on 'are dentists annoying?'). Nonetheless all the above points may help your dental clinic team and you have a great relationship.