You don’t need to brush right before the dentist
It may seem like a good idea to freshen up your mouth right before your appointment, but some dentists file this under “dentist don’t.” “This is what we do for a living so we understand there are some things that can’t be avoided, bad breath being one of them. Sometimes it’s best not to try to camouflage things going on in your mouth before visiting the dentist,” says Ada Cooper, DDS, a New York City-based dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. The odor of your breath can be an indication of other dental or systemic health problems, so it’s important for your dentist to smell it in its natural state. But, if you have a mouth of leftovers from lunch still hanging on, a quick brush or rinse might be in order.
Being sick isn’t a deal breaker
If you’re coughing and sneezing or laid up with the flu, your best bet is to reschedule; but if you’re only a little under the weather, it’s probably OK for you to keep your appointment. “Dentists have very carefully placed hygiene measures in the office to ensure that disease isn’t transmitted between patient-to-patient or patient-to-doctor,” says Dr. Cooper.