Is it necessary to brush your teeth before a dentist appointment?

Is it necessary to brush your teeth before dentist appointment?Recently a patient came in and explained an exchange he had with their co-workers. The patient remarked that he wanted to brush and floss properly before his visit. One of his co-workers replied that it wasn’t necessary to brush your teeth before visiting your dentist for several reasons.

The co-workers argument was:

The patient seemed uncomfortable explaining it because he clearly understood it was inconsiderate, but he wanted a definitive answer as to why it’s necessary to brush & floss before your dental visit. I started to explain all the reasons why the co-workers argument was not only inconsiderate but making a mistake that could affect a patient’s treatment.
  • 1

    The hygienist will do a better job because they are using specialized tools and material to get your teeth as clean as possible. That being said, they are going to have to spend more time cleaning your teeth. This means more time spent at the dentist’s office.

Patients may enjoy staff, but they typically don’t enjoy their gums being tugged on to dislodge food from your last meal. We all have more productive and enjoyable things we would rather do than be at a dentist’s office. Brush & floss before you come and you can save a bunch of time. 

 

Forgetting to brush and floss happens to everyone. Perhaps you ate before you arrived and haven’t had a chance to go home. When you arrive at the dental clinic, feel free to explain your situation to them. We will be happy to accommodate you and will even appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  • 2

    If you’re paying someone to do a job doesn't mean one should make their job more difficult. This was disconcerting to say the least. That’s similar to littering and expecting someone else to clean up after you.

Oral hygienists worked very hard to reach their position (training required to become dental hygienist) and to genuinely care for patients’ oral health.

 

The oral hygienist will then explain to the dentist that the patient does not properly care for their teeth. This makes it almost impossible for your dentist to determine if you’re taking proper care of your teeth. 

 

Next, if a patient doesn’t know how to brush, the oral hygienist will spend more time explaining fundamentals, rather than explaining a more useful oral hygiene regimen.

 

If you need a filling, and based on your oral hygiene your dentist will choose which type of material to use. This may not be the best choice, but based on a patient’s poor oral hygiene, the patient would be considered a higher risk of cavities.

  • 3

    Dentist’s do not judge a person's character based on oral hygiene. Our job is to provide the best possible care and what is necessary to accomplish optimal oral health. When a patient comes in with food on their teeth, your dentist will assume you didn't have time that day. However, as mentioned before, we use this information when making choices on your health.

Dentists are busy individuals. We will remember your case once we see your name on the patient list.

 

For these reasons, it is necessary to brush your teeth before visiting your dentist. Your dentist or oral hygienist will not embarrass you if you didn’t have time or forgot to brush, but you will be spending more time in their chairs. Which will be more uncomfortable for a patient than your dental staff.