Visiting your dentist isn’t just a chance for them to check on your teeth and oral health. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask questions and learn more about caring for your teeth. Dentists and other dental professionals (such as hygienists and dental nurses) are experts in dental and oral health. Their job isn’t just to care for your teeth, but also to help you care for them too.
When you next visit your dentist, why not aim to make the most of your appointment? Take the opportunity to ask questions so you can gain the knowledge you need to care for your oral health. Here are some of the questions that could get you useful answers about your individual dental care.
How often should I get a checkup?
It’s generally recommended that you see a dentist every 6-12 months. However, some people might have reasons to make appointments more often. Ask your dentist how often they recommend you schedule your visits. If there is a particular issue that needs to be monitored, you might need more regular appointments. Or if you have braces, you will need to see your dentist more often too.
Can I improve my oral hygiene routine?
Dentists can give you excellent advice about how to care for your teeth and oral health at home. Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental nurses can all give you tips. You can ask your dentist if there’s anything they recommend for you to improve your oral hygiene routine. This could include brushing and flossing after every meal, buying a certain toothbrush or toothpaste, using mouthwash, and more. Their recommendations will be tailored to you and your individual needs.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Gum disease affects almost half of all Americans. It can be mild but when it progresses it can lead to further issues, including tooth loss. It affects both the gum tissue and the bone supporting your teeth. You might not have gum disease now (your dentist can help treat it if you do), but it’s important to know how to prevent it too. Your dentist can talk to you about what gum disease is, possible signs to watch out for, and what you can do to avoid it.
What can I do about sensitive teeth?
Many people have one or more sensitive teeth. You might feel it especially when eating or drinking hot or cold things. People often accept sensitive teeth as normal, but it’s not something you should ignore. Your dentist can provide insights into why it might be happening and the best ways to treat it. You can experience tooth sensitivity when the enamel wears away, from receding gums, if you grind your teeth, if you have a chipped or fractured tooth and more.
If you’re experiencing sensitive teeth, bring it up to your dentist. Some dental products can help to reduce tooth sensitivity, but there might be an underlying reason that needs to be addressed.
What products should I be using?
With so many options for toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and more, choosing the right products can be confusing. Your dentist can offer you advice and recommend certain products that might be useful to add to your dental hygiene routine. They might recommend specific brands, but they can also tell you what types of products to look for or which active ingredients might be useful for you.
Are there any foods or habits I should avoid?
Your dentist can also talk to you about things you should avoid if you want to protect your teeth. There are certain foods that can damage or stain your teeth, as well as habits that might have a negative effect on your dental health. This can include eating lots of sugary or starchy foods, drinking things like tea, coffee, or red wine that could stain your teeth, or smoking.
How can I whiten my teeth?
Teeth whitening is a popular treatment for anyone who wants the perfect smile. There are a few options for whitening your teeth, from whitening toothpaste and at-home kits to professional teeth whitening from a dentist. Your dentist can give you advice on which methods are most effective, as well as which ones are safest. Many dentists will recommend professional treatment from a dentist for the best results. Some can also provide effective and safe at-home whitening treatments that are tailored to your needs.
What’s the best way to replace a tooth?
If you have a missing tooth or are expecting to have one extracted, your dentist can provide you with advice on which options are available. You might consider a crown or bridge, a denture, or perhaps a dental implant. All of these have certain pros and cons, and your dentist can discuss them with you and make a recommendation.
Is there anything I should talk about with my primary physician?
The health of your teeth and oral health can be a good indicator of other potential health issues. Some dental problems are linked to an increased risk of certain health issues, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them. You can ask your dentist if there is anything that you might need to raise with your family doctor or PCP. They will let you know if you should discuss any topics with your doctor or let them know about any relevant dental health information.
When should my child see a dentist?
If you have children, take your appointment as a chance to raise any questions you might have about your child’s dental health. For example, when should your baby see a dentist for the first time? How often should your children see a dentist? Your dentist can also give you advice on how to care for your child’s teeth, whether they have one or two, or a full set.
Get more from your next visit to your dentist by preparing some questions to take with you. Your dentist will be more than willing to answer your questions and give you advice.
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Looking for a pediatric dentist in Elkhart County for your entire family? Contact any one of our three offices today to schedule your next appointment.