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I was sitting at home, just recently after lockdown when I blurted out, “I haven’t gone to the dentist in two years”. My housemate and partner sat up and looked at me, bewildered, at the statement I had made. For them, it was a twice yearly visit. Travel, work and lockdowns had prevented me from going (at least that is what I told myself).

In truth, I found the entire experience daunting and well, a little annoying. I was also terrified they’d find a million different things wrong and I’d be whacked with an unexpected (and costly) payment. Ironically, it was the exact reason why I needed a check up.

“The minimum we should be going to the dentist is every six months, but most patients would benefit from a hygiene appointment every three months,” Dr Fadi Yassmin, founder and owner of boutique dental clinic FY Smile told GRAZIA.

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Dr Yassmin is a leading Australian dentist who founded his practice in the trendy inner-city Sydney suburb of Double Bay to create a “holistic smile centre”. The result is a dentist office that feels more like a spa, with calming surgery spaces and attentive, caring staff at every step. For someone like me, it is this kind of personal treatment that I find comforting.

“Ensuring customer experience and comfort means that even the most apprehensive of patients are then able to become life long patients that have lost their fear of attending the dentist,” Dr Yassmin added. “Nervous patients need to be experience what dentistry and patient care can be today to help ease their nerves.”

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Nowadays, many practices also carry state-of-the-art technology that makes the process more streamline, quick and increasingly more comfortable. According to Dr Yassmin, it allows dentists to “understand patient needs” and deliver services with “predictable results”.

The best way to maintain good oral health is to adopt and follow good practices at home – brushing and flossing correctly, and using antibacterial mouthwash – but unfortunately, I am told by Dr Yassmin that there is no way around food stains (like coffee, red wine and berries) without regular hygiene appointments.

Even if you’re not able to attend FY Smile (if you can, you should), there is comfort in knowing that the process of a check up is more efficient and this kind of approach to dentistry is leading the way for more like it. Plus, what better motivator than a sparkling white smile. It’s one of the only accessories you can’t take off.