Visiting the dentist can be far from fun for many Americans. In fact, research shows that nearly 75% of U.S. adults have some level of fear with regards to visiting the dentist. While our Shelton and Bridgeport dental teams love seeing our patients, we know most would rather avoid unnecessary visits to the family dentist. Dental checkups should be a part of your family’s dental hygiene care, but if you want to avoid the dentist any other time, here’s how to do it. Routine dental checkups Taking proper steps to care for your teeth and gums will help most people stay out of the dentist chair. Part of keeping your dental hygiene in check is scheduling dental checkups twice a year with your Shelton dentist. The checkup not only offers a professional cleaning and examination, but it also allows your family dentist to detect any minor issues before they become big dental pains. Floss daily Plaque can quickly build up on your teeth, and when left for long periods of time, it will harden into tartar. Flossing once a day removes that plaque. Flossing prevents tooth decay by removing the food particles left from chewing and helps avoid gum disease by preventing tartar buildup. Your family dentist can instruct you on the best ways to floss if you have sensitive gums. Choose the best dental care tools Depending on your dental care needs, your family dentist will recommend different tools. What works for teens with traditional braces may not be suited for patients with sensitive teeth. Ask your family dentist in Bridgeport which toothpaste, toothbrush and mouth rinse style is best for your needs. Using the wrong dental care tools may cause you to miss hard-to-reach areas or even damage your teeth. Skip the sugar In most cases, the condition of your teeth, at least concerning gum disease and tooth decay, is within your control. Just by limiting the amount of sugar you include in your diet, you help decrease your risk of tooth decay. It’s also important to brush as soon as possible after eating any meal or snack, floss daily, and use the appropriate mouth rinse to help control bacteria. Wear a nightguard Teeth grinding and clenching can cause significant damage to your teeth. Bruxism affects about 10% of adults and 15% of children in the U.S. For those who suffer from constant jaw movement when they sleep, wearing a nightguard can protect their teeth and help ward off TMJ pain. Wearing a nightguard isn’t nearly as stressful as visiting the family dentist for extensive tooth repair. Dental issues detected when they’re still minor can often be treated with non-invasive methods. However, skipping out on your dental checkups leaves you at risk for oral complications that can lead to extensive treatment and recovery. Set your family up with a Shelton dentist prepared to treat a variety of conditions and help you stay out of the dental exam chair if at all possible.