A senior woman visiting the dentist prepared with her dentist checklist

Preparing For Your Next Dental Appointment: What Seniors Should Bring to the Dentist

Creating a dentist checklist for appointments is one way to eliminate fear or anxiety and help you come prepared for your next dental appointment.

Having excellent dental hygiene is critical to one’s overall health and well-being, but seniors who have medications that worsen oral health or who have lost insurance coverage due to a lack of employment may find it complicated to go to the dentist.  When these challenges are combined with cognitive decline, fear, or mobility issues, getting oneself to a dental appointment may be near impossible.

To help with this, creating a dentist checklist for appointments is one way to eliminate fear or anxiety and help you come prepared for your next dental appointment.

Your Dentist Checklist Should Contain a List of Oral Health Questions

The best way to take control of your oral health is to create a dentist checklist that contains any questions you have about your teeth or procedures that you may need to go through in the near future. Great questions to ask:

  • What can I do to improve my oral health routine?
  • Is there a particular flossing method that would work better for me?
  • What type of mouthwash would I benefit from?
  • What can I do to prevent staining?
  • Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
  • What are your options for sedation dentistry?
  • Are there any dental treatments that would benefit me?
  • Do I have any dental health conditions I do not know about?
  • Are there any dietary changes I should make?
  • What financing/payment options do you offer?
  • Do you have any procedures that will strengthen my teeth?
  • Am I at risk for certain dental issues in the future?
  • How is my overall oral health?
  • How often should I use mouthwash?
  • When should I start thinking about oral cancer screenings?

Place Reminders on Your Dentist Checklist for Must-Bring Items

Your dentist checklist should also contain a section that reminds you to bring certain items with you to your dental appointment.

  • A list of all medications you are currently taking including the dosage and brand. Include all prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
  • A list of emergency contacts who can make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of an emergency.
  • A list of phone numbers for all health care providers, doctors, and other dentists you have seen in the near past.
  • Bring your dental insurance cards/paperwork.
  • Bring any dental apparatus that you have, even if you are not currently wearing them. This includes things like full and partial dentures.
  • A list of all allergies that you have.
  • A list of all medical conditions that you have even if they are not related to your oral hygiene.
  • A list of any recent health changes that you’ve undergone. For example, the occurrence of dry mouth or a diagnosis for diabetes, hypertension, etc.

Make a Section in Your Dentist Checklist for Concerns

While it is important to make a dentist checklist that includes specific questions about future procedures, payment options, and oral health routine, you should also ask about specific concerns you have.

Common concerns to ask about include gums that bleed, sensitivity or pain in your teeth, sores that do not heal, jaw clenching or teeth grinding, or any problems with brushing and flossing.

If you’d like to check the condition of your teeth, or maybe even make some cosmetic enhancements, feel free to get in touch today.

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