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August 10, 2023

Back-to-School: How to Ace Your Next Dental Exam!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_pate @ 7:28 am
Child talking to their dentist

With the hustle of back-to-school shopping, meeting new classmates, and acclimating to fresh schedules, it’s easy to overlook another essential check-up: the dental exam. Just as you’d prepare for school exams, there’s a way to ace your dental check-ups, ensuring that sparkling smile lasts all year long!

The Pre-Exam Prep

Daily Maintenance: Brushing your teeth might seem as rudimentary as reading a textbook, but doing it right can make all the difference. Ensure you’re brushing twice daily, flossing, and rounding off with a good mouthwash. For added protection, a fluoride toothpaste can be your secret weapon against cavities.

Proper Tools: Remember that worn-out pencil from last year? Just as it needs replacing, so does your toothbrush. Swap it out every 3-4 months or when bristles show signs of wear. And for those aiming for valedictorian-level cleanliness, an electric toothbrush can elevate your dental game.

Diet’s Role: Those sugary sodas and candies might seem tempting, especially during late-night study sessions, but they’re no friends to your teeth. Try to minimize sugar intake and wash down meals with water to keep your teeth cavity-free.

A Week Before the Exam

Mindful Brushing and Flossing: This is your revision week. Pay extra attention to each tooth, ensuring no corner is left untouched. This meticulous approach will help identify any potential problem areas.

Avoid Excessive Sugary Foods and Drinks: Treat this as a dietary ‘exam silence period.’ Curtail sugars to give your teeth the best fighting chance against cavities.

Hydrate: Ample water intake not only helps with concentration but also cleanses the mouth of lingering food particles and bacteria.

The Night Before

Stick to the Routine: Now’s not the time for last-minute cramming—or in this case, aggressive brushing or flossing. Such actions might injure your gums. Instead, maintain your regular, gentle routine.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Rest plays an underrated role in dental health. Adequate sleep can help reduce potential gum inflammation and boost overall health.

Day of the Exam

Morning Cleaning: Begin your day by brushing and flossing away breakfast remnants gently.

Stay Relaxed: Just as with any exam, being relaxed is key. Excessive nervousness can sometimes induce gum swelling.

Honesty with the Dentist: Like a teacher, your dentist is there to help. Be transparent about any concerns or issues.


Follow Through with Recommendations: Should your dentist offer advice or prescribe treatment, ensure you stick to it.

Set a Follow-Up: To keep your dental health A-grade, schedule the next visit.

In conclusion, acing a dental exam isn’t so different from school exams. With consistent care, preparation, and a proactive approach, you’ll ensure your smile remains radiant throughout the school year!

About the Author

Dr. Peter Pate, a distinguished graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Dentistry (1982), boasts a rich dental career, including esteemed positions at The Pentagon and the Walter Reed Army Hospital during his service in the Army. Now rooted in our community, he ardently welcomes families to experience his expertise.

Dr. Pate’s dedication to continual learning has led him to complete myriad courses with notable institutions, including the American Dental Association and the Pankey Institute. A proud member of several dental associations, he excels in both general dentistry and advanced treatments like porcelain veneers and implant restorations. His core philosophy hinges on merging optimal oral health with cutting-edge cosmetic and restorative care.

If you have any questions about your next dental exam, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (404) 266-9424.