8 Important Questions To Ask Your Dentist At Your Next Appointment

When you have the right dentist, your dental treatments and regular checkups will be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. More importantly, these visits will be a great opportunity to take control of your dental health and set yourself up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Your entire dental team–dental assistants, hygienist, and your dentist–has valuable advice to offer. So make sure you’re maximizing your time in the dentist chair by asking lots of questions.

If you’re not sure where to start or what to ask, this article will help! We’ve compiled a list of all the best questions our dental team regularly hears, as well as a few things we wish more patients would ask.

So let’s get started! Here are 8 questions to ask at your next dentist appointment.

1. How is My Overall Dental Health?

It’s your dentist’s responsibility to accurately explain any severe dental issues. However, you should also aim to learn about the less urgent things going on in your mouth and what that means for your dental health.

Asking your dentist to give you a summary of your overall dental health will help you better manage your day-to-day dental care. Here’s what you should aim to learn from this overview:

  • Whether or not you’re brushing and flossing correctly
  • How your gums look
  • If there are any areas you need to keep an eye on (like weak teeth, potential for cavities, etc.)

Your goal should be to walk away from your appointment knowing the exact state of your dental health and what you need to focus on in the coming months.

2. How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?

Did you know that as many as 64.7 million American adults (47.2%) have mild, moderate, or severe gum disease? Gum disease is a serious issue affecting your gum tissue and the bone supporting your teeth. Left untreated, this disease can lead to tooth loss and have negative effects on your overall wellbeing.

Taking time to talk to your dentist about how to prevent gum disease is important. Not only can
your dentist show you examples of healthy vs unhealthy gums, she can also explain your risk level for the disease.

It’s important to know what you’re up against so you can be prepared to catch any problems before they turn into larger, health-threatening issues.

3. What Does This {pain, sensation, discoloration} Mean?

Make sure to bring up any issues or concerns you have about your dental health. For instance, if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, are worried about the color or look of a tooth, or have any sort of dental pain.
Don’t make the mistake of dismissing warning signs. Bring dental issues up with your dentist so you can outline a treatment plan.

4. What Type of Toothbrush and Toothpaste Should I Be Using?

It may seem like a small thing, but the dental tools you use on a daily basis can have a big effect on your dental health. For instance, did you know that, even though hard bristled toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque and stains, they can damage your teeth and gums if you’re not careful?

With so many kinds of toothbrushes available today– electric, hard and soft bristles, deep cleaning, angled heads, bristle patterns, and more– it’s best to get a recommendation from your dentist for what’s right for you. Make sure you’re using the right product for your teeth by bringing up the topic during your appointment.

The same goes for the brand of toothpaste you use. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can recommend a good toothpaste to help. Or if you’re looking to brighten your smile, your dentist can provide you with some safe options for that, too.

5. What Foods Are Bad for My Teeth?

The saying “you are what you eat” rings true when it comes to your dental health! Certain foods can cause big problems for your mouth, so make sure you understand which items you need to pay attention to based on your unique dental health.

Though it may be impossible to completely eliminate all the dangerous foods and drinks from your diet, it’s important to know what you should watch out for to minimize your risk.

6. Should I Use a Mouthwash?

Although mouthwash does not replace good brushing and flossing habits, it can be beneficial for your dental health. Using mouthwash helps freshen your breath, control bacteria, and strength your teeth. However, it’s very important for you to use the right type of mouthwash and you need to use it as directed.

Talk to your dentist about whether or not mouthwash is right for you and, if so, what kind you should be using. Your dentist can explain how you can benefit most from your mouthwash and give you instructions for use.

Your dentist can also help you understand what potential negative side effects to be aware of. For instance, mouth sores, root sensitivity, or numbness.

7. What’s the Best Way to Whiten My Teeth?

Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits can cause tooth sensitivity and damage to the roots of your teeth. So if you are interested in whitening your teeth, or are currently using an over-the-counter treatment, make sure to bring it up with your dentist.

Your dentist can provide information about how to keep your teeth white and outline the best teeth whitening treatment options. 

8. Is There Anything I Should Discuss with My Family Doctor?

Your mouth is the window to your overall health. Problems in your mouth can be a sign of a variety of health conditions, including vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes. Talk to your dentist to learn about any symptoms that should be discussed with your general practitioner.

Make the Most of Your Next Dentist Appointment

Asking questions during your dentist appointments will help you stay in control of your dental health. When you make practicing good dental hygiene a priority, you set yourself up for a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth.

At Radiance Dental, we offer world-class dental care right here in Camas and East Vancouver. We are always accepting new patients and allow plenty of time during your visit for questions. Your dental health goals are our priority and we want to make sure you leave our office with the answers and information you need to maintain your beautiful smile.

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