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Dos and Don’ts Before a Dentist Appointment

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Hazel Caingcoy · Updated Feb 11, 2023

    Dos and Don’ts Before a Dentist Appointment

    A visit to the dentist can be stressful for some people, but it does not have to be. When you are preparing for a dentist appointment, it is very important that you prepare properly.

    Before Your Dentist Appointment

    Because of the pandemic, walk-ins are highly discouraged, which is why it is important to set up a dentist appointment online or through the phone. 

    Because establishments need to limit the number of people that enter offices, you will have to either go to the appointment alone or ask your companion to stay outside the dentist’s office. You may also have to leave your children at home. If your child is scheduled for an appointment, you may have to wait outside while your child goes into the clinic exam area alone.

    Dos Before a Dentist Appointment

    Arrive On Time

    Make sure that you keep your appointments with your dentist. A slight delay can cause a great deal of trouble for dentists, and it can also potentially throw off the schedule of other clients. 

    Ensure that you have the correct clinic address and double-check your schedule in order to avoid being late. Plan ahead and arrive a few minutes early.

    Prepare Your Medical and Dental History

    You must provide a medical history before undergoing any procedure. Your regular dentist should know your history, but if you’re going to a new dentist, you will be asked to recount everything you have been through medically. This includes any previous diagnosis, allergies, medications, and even possible hereditary illnesses. 

    The dentist needs to know your medical history because it helps them determine whether a particular medication will be okay to administer or if there are any risks in performing certain procedures. 

    Prepare Questions

    The internet does not always have the right answers to our dental questions. If you have experienced unusual sensations or have any inquiries about dental procedures, please don’t hesitate to ask your dentist.

    Before your next appointment, write down any questions or concerns you have and let your dentist ease your mind.

    Don’ts Before a Dentist Appointment

    Don’t Brush or Floss Excessively

    Brushing and flossing before a dentist appointment is a good idea, but make sure not to overdo it. Do not excessively floss your teeth, especially if you’re not used to flossing regularly. Brushing and flossing too much in preparation for a dentist appointment can cause acute gum tissue damage. 

    Don’t Drink Alcohol 

    A dentist appointment can, at times, be nerve-wracking. Drinking alcohol might be a way to get over the anxiety, but it will definitely not help with your dental appointment. 

    Anesthetics can react with substances such as alcohol and interfere with your blood’s ability to clot after extraction. Drinking excessively can also make you throw up and change the way you respond to an anesthetic.

    Don’t Eat Before Your Dentist Appointment

    In addition to not eating for at least two hours before the dentist appointment, you can also keep your mouth clean by not eating before the appointment. 

    It is best to avoid strong-smelling foods such as garlic, onion, or fish before your appointment. If you really have to eat to avoid feeling famished, eat something light, such as crackers or nuts. 

    Ideally, you should avoid eating anything at all. There’s always time to treat yourself to your favorite dish after the dental appointment. 

    Don’t Forget To Bring Your Dental Appliances

    Do not forget to bring your mouthguard or any dental appliances you may have to your dentist appointment. Regardless of why you are wearing it, it is important to give it a deep clean. Your dentist will be able to sanitize it thoroughly and check if its condition is still acceptable. 

    What To Expect During Your Dental Appointment

    Make sure you wear a mask to your dentist’s appointment if your dentist’s clinic or local government requires you to wear one. There may be a need for you to wait outside for your dentist appointment when you arrive. Because of the pandemic, the number of people who can enter an office is limited. By waiting outside, you will spend less time with others. Upon entry, staff will also need to take your temperature to ensure you do not have a fever.

    It is highly possible that you will be asked to bring your own personal protective equipment, which may include a gown and goggles. You may also be charged for this extra equipment during your visit. 

    Because your dentist needs to be extra careful, they will be wearing their own personal protective equipment. You will see them wearing a mask, a face shield, a gown, goggles, or other protective gear that could be used. By taking these precautions, you and the dentist are both protected.

    Key Takeaway

    When going to a dentist appointment, there are things that you need to prepare such as medical records and any questions you have in mind. There are also some things you must not do before a visit to your dentist such as drinking alcohol, eating, and flossing or brushing excessively. 

    Going to the dentist can be a daunting task especially during the pandemic. But oral care is a necessity and we must make sure to still visit our dentist whenever it is needed. 

    Learn more about Oral Care here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


    Written by Hazel Caingcoy · Updated Feb 11, 2023

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