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How to make your next trip to the Dentist bearable

by Chloe Baird

It’s that time again.

You’ve received a letter in the mail reminding you that it’s time for your check-up at the Dentist.

Your hands begin to shake. You break out in a cold sweat. And then you unleash an anguished cry that seems to boil up from the very depths of your soul.

OK, so maybe that’s kind of an extreme reaction to have. But if going to the Dentist fills you with a sense of dread then you’re not alone.

The Guardian reported in 2019 that around 2 million Aussies avoid or delay going to the Dentist every year.¹ While we all know that it’s important to visit the Dentist at least once a year, the truth is that many of us put off this visit until something serious forces us to go in.

So, how can you make visiting the Dentist a more bearable experience?

Dental Assistant

Top 5 ways to make your next Dentist visit easier

1. Avoid rushing

Make sure you book in a time that will mean you’re not feeling panicked about arriving late. Avoid making appointments during times where you know you’ll be rushing – like straight after work, or after picking the kids up from school.

2. Let your Dentist know your concerns

It’s ok for you to let your Dentist and their assistants know that you’re a little anxious. They’ll be more than happy to do what they can to help you feel at ease. You can even ask them to walk you through the steps they’ll be taking, so you’re fully aware of what they’ll be doing while you’re in the chair.

3. Listen to music

While you’re in the chair, why not put some relaxing music on? Whatever your go-to jam is, pop your headphones in and play some music to help you relax.

4. Find a reputable Dentist

If you don’t have a regular Dentist that you visit, or are just thinking of changing, ask your friends and family if there’s anyone they can suggest. Knowing that you’re booked in with a Dentist you can trust will go a long way to helping alleviate any nerves.

5. Don’t be embarrassed

To make sure you get the most out of your visit, you need to be totally open and honest with your Dentist about your cleaning habits. Avoiding telling your Dentist about your habits will only add to your sense of anxiety. Remember – they are professionals in their field. They’re used to seeing the insides of peoples’ mouths, and they’re there to help, not judge.

How to keep your teeth and gums healthy between trips to the Dentist

To keep your teeth and gums healthy between check-ups at the Dentist, here are some easy rules to follow:

1. Brush twice a day

Do you need to brush twice a day? The simple answer is: Yes. But only 50% of Australians do.²

Brushing helps to remove plaque. Plaque can begin to form on your teeth within 4 hours of brushing, which is why it’s important that you brush twice a day. Otherwise, the bacteria from plaque can build up and destroy the enamel on your teeth, causing decay.

Then you’ve got tartar, which is a crusty build-up that is formed when your saliva combines with plaque. This build-up of tartar can trap stains, making your teeth appear discoloured. It can also contribute to bad breath, decay and even gum disease.

Also, brushing your tongue regularly can help eliminate bacteria and fight bad breath.

2. Floss at least once a day

Flossing helps to remove plaque build-up between your teeth, where your toothbrush doesn’t always reach. Flossing can be fiddly and, let’s face it, kind of annoying. But it’s incredibly important in fighting plaque build-up. The good news is, there are now plenty of products on the market that can help make flossing easier, such as electric water flossers.

3. Use mouthwash

This should be the final step in your oral hygiene routine, because using mouthwash can help remove the last of the stubborn bacteria that brushing and flossing missed.

Are you passionate about dental hygiene?

Open Colleges offers the HLT35015 Certificate III in Dental Assisting, which will help you learn the skills and knowledge you need to become a Dental Assistant.

This course is offered online, which means that you can fit your study around your life’s other commitments. You’ll also gain access to OpenSpace, which is our world-class online learning platform.

In addition, this course also involves 300 hours of work placement. This will give you first-hand experience working in a dental surgery, so you can get a clear idea of exactly what it’s like to work as a Dental Assistant. OC always encourage you to source your own work placement, but our student support team are here to help out if you need a hand.

Are you ready to begin a rewarding career in dentistry? Find out more about our nationally recognised Certificate III in Dental Assisting here.


Source: 1. The Guardian. Martin, Lisa. 18 March, 2019. ‘Two million Australians avoid or delay going to the dentist each year’.

Source: 2. Medical Life Sciences. Dr Mandal, Ananya. 19 March, 2018. ‘50% of Australians do not brush teeth twice a day.’,brush%20twice%20a%20day%20regularly.

4 Responses

  1. Most dentists have a way that calms patients, even those with dental phobia. As long as your dentist is like that, every visit will be more than bearable.

  2. Derek Swain says:

    I didn’t know that failing to brush your teeth twice every day can cause bacteria to accumulate and damage the enamel on your teeth. My son has mentioned that his front teeth have started to hurt recently, and I think that he has stopped brushing his teeth in the morning ever since he started school last year. Maybe I should find a dentist that can make sure that his teeth are okay.

  3. I simply wanted to write down a quick word to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips and hints you are showing on this site.

  4. Chris A says:

    Well if you let familiar with the environment of the oral clinic, the anxiety you’re feeling might lessen. and most dentist is helping their patients calm down so it will help you relaxed during your visit.

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