A lot of us don’t particularly enjoy going to the dentist— especially those of us who don’t take the best care of your teeth. Even if you have perfect dental hygiene practices, some things you do during your appointment still drive your dentist crazy.
These are the things that annoy dentists the most — and why you should really listen to their instructions next time you go to an appointment.
1. Talking too much
It’s not that your dentist isn’t interested in hearing your life story in a span of 30 minutes or less. It’s just hard for them to do their jobs when you can’t stop talking long enough for them to do a full, in-depth examination of your mouth.
2. Not knowing (or admitting) which medications you’re on
Certain medications can interfere with a number of Dental procedures, so it’s just as important to tell your dentist which ones you’re taking as it is to inform your doctor. Some medications can cause symptoms like dry mouth, and it helps your dentist to know the underlying causes of things like this.
3. Not brushing before your appointment
One of the most important things you can do before heading to your next dentist appointment is to clean your teeth before you get there. This makes it much easier (and faster) to get your teeth cleaned, X-rayed, and checked out.
4. Lying about when you last saw a dentist
A dentist can tell when you haven’t gotten your teeth checked in awhile, so don’t bother lying about how long you’ve been avoiding an appointment. You could get away with going up to two years without seeing a dentist as an adult unless you’re instructed otherwise, but try not to wait too much longer than that.
5. Not brushing correctly
Many people “brush their teeth” multiple times per day without actually brushing every possible surface of every tooth as they do it. Here’s how you can tell if you’ve been brushing your teeth the wrong way your whole life.
6. Not brushing as often as you’re told
If you aren’t brushing your teeth at least twice a day, you’re not doing yourself, or your dentist, any favors. In addition to brushing correctly, twice, you also need to remember to replace your brush every three months, at the very least.
7. Waiting to get a cavity filled
A cavity, like any bacterial infection, will get worse over time if it isn’t treated. Filling a cavity as soon as possible after it’s detected will prevent many painful (and expensive) procedures down the line. Compared to a root canal, getting a filling is really no big deal.
8. Drinking energy drinks and soda every day
Some drinks, like coffee, stain your teeth over time. Others, like soda and energy drinks, contain large amounts of sugar that can cause tooth decay (especially if you don’t floss!). Highly acidic drinks, like orange juice, can also help destroy your teeth.
9. Expecting your appointment to be free
Unless you have dental insurance coverage, you’re going to have to pay out-of-pocket every time you visit a dentist’s office — even for a routine cleaning. Make sure you come prepared either to share your insurance information or to pay for the service.
10. Complaining about how much you hate going to the dentist
Unless you’re trapped in a Little Shop of Horrors nightmare, going to the dentist isn’t that bad. It’s possible that if you show up to the dentist every one to two years having done everything you’re supposed to do — flossing, replacing your toothbrush, and all that — you’d have less of a terrible time.