woman getting her teeth checked by a dentist

Scheduling routine dental cleanings twice a year is an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. While cleanings are one of the least invasive treatments performed by dentists, many patients still experience dental anxiety when the time comes to have their teeth cleaned by a hygienist.

We’ve rounded up the best ways to make your next dental cleaning a more comfortable experience with these anxiety-eliminating tricks.

Communicate Your Anxiety With the Staff

The best way to ensure your dentist understands that you are a bit anxious about your appointment is to open the lines of communication. Patients should always express any fears they are having before treatment, as well as any underlying issues they think might be relevant to the procedure. If you have sensitive teeth, a tooth that is bothering you, or any anxiety, we want to know so we can help!

Ask For Topical Numbing Cream For Your Gums

We offer a variety of numbing gels that can be used to make your cleanings more comfortable. Some topical anesthesia goes a long way during dental cleanings to ensure you are relaxed and not experiencing pain. Patients that suffer from dental anxiety can also ask for sedatives, such as nitrous oxide, to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Walk Through the Steps Before They Happen

Ask your dentist or hygienist to explain what they are about to do before they do it. Having the process and procedures explained to you before they happen can help to calm your nerves and lessen the fear of not knowing what is about to happen next.

Tune Out the Noise With Music

Music can be a great distraction while having any treatments performed. Listening to music during your appointment will help you to be able to think about something other than having dental tools in your mouth. Noise-canceling headphones can be especially helpful in blocking out any sounds of scraping or drilling.

Listen to a Book or Podcast

Much like listening to music, getting lost in an audiobook or podcast while having your teeth cleaned is a great way to distract yourself from unwanted noises. If your dentist needs your attention, they can simply tap you on your shoulders if they need to communicate with you.

Take Pain Medication

Taking an over-the-counter pain medication prior to your dental cleaning can help with experiencing sensitivity and discomfort during treatment. This preventative measure can also help to reduce the inflammation that is typically associated with the cleaning process.

Plan a Post-Cleaning Reward For Yourself

Do you remember when you were rewarded with a toy as a child after teeth cleaning appointments? Your dentist may not offer an adult-version, but you can treat yourself in the same way! Creating anticipation of doing something great after a trip to the dentist can help ease anxiety. See a movie, plan a shopping trip, or simply take the day off from work to turn going to the dentist into a positive day.

Get Your Teeth Cleaned Regularly

The more often you have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist, the less likely that there will be an excessive amount of plaque and tartar buildup to remove. The longer a patient puts off dental cleanings, the more buildup and discoloration there will be on a person’s teeth. Ultimately, the more often you have your teeth cleaned, the less your teeth will need to be scraped. Your teeth and gums will also feel healthier once tartar and plaque buildup has been removed.

Call Hoffman Dental Care today to schedule your next cleaning and try out these tips for yourself.