Many people associate dental care with feelings of anxiety and pain. A stereotypical fear of the dentist can lead many people searching for natural cures for toothaches and cavities, but what happens when an oral emergency leaves you in the dentist’s chair? What you may not know is that even in the dental office, you hold all the cards. Here are three secrets to taking control of your own dental health.

Ask Questions

Ask your dentist about the quality of handpiece parts and products that will be used in your oral care, and what kind of fillings they use. Also, ask for a play-by-play of the upcoming procedure. Being informed about their tools, methods, and personality can give you insight into whether this dentist is the right fit for you.

Make Educated Requests

When it comes to dental care, you might not realize that responsible professionals are open to reasonable requests to improve your comfort level. Here are a few sample requests:

  • Discuss available options for local or general anesthesia
  • When getting an X-ray, ask for added lead protection around your neck and thyroid
  • Determine a signal for when you feel pain or panic during an awake procedure

Overall, your oral health is dependent upon your own choices. Going into your appointment prepared with reasonable requests can mean the difference between putting off an anxiety-ridden experience and feeling prepared to face the dental drill.

Take Care of Your Teeth

The number one thing that you can do to take control of your dental health is to keep up with your daily oral maintenance. Proper brushing and regular flossing are simple ways to improve overall oral health, and cutting down on sugar, tobacco, and alcohol intake can make a huge difference in your oral care.

When it comes to your oral health, remember that you are in charge. Holding your dentist accountable for a safe, professional service while playing an active role in caring for your dental hygiene will make a difference in the control you feel over your care.