Did you know that less than half of Americans visit their local dentist every year? Many people let their dental health fall by the wayside. Make sure that you're not one of them!
While you're getting ready for your next dentist visit, why not list a few questions that you can ask during your appointment? You want to get the most out of it!
Not sure what to ask? No problem. Read on to learn a few questions that you should be asking your dentist.
1. Do You Notice Any Potential Issues?
Sometimes dentists won't mention anything during the exam unless it's a current and obvious issue. Many dentists prefer to treat patients with a gentle hand, meaning that they'd rather not over-treat if something could heal on its own.
This doesn't mean that they don't notice those problems, however. Your dentist will likely take note of any "warning signs" that they see on your teeth, even if they don't mention them to you.
Open up that conversation. Ask your dentists about any potential issues that they see and what they would recommend for prevention or treatment. Your dentist should be happy to discuss this with you because it means that you're committed to your dental health.
2. Why Are My Teeth Sensitive or Painful?
If your teeth are feeling different, make sure to bring that up during your next dentist visit, even if the pain or sensitivity isn't substantial.
Sometimes pain and sensitivity are normal. If the pain or sensitivity is short-term or if it only occurs under extreme conditions, your dentist will be able to tell you that it's not a cause for concern.
If the pain persists or if it stops you from eating or drinking, your dentist can perform a more thorough investigation. The problem could be any fillings that you have, current cavities, gum problems, or a variety of other issues.
You won't know unless you ask!
3. How Should I Change My Dental Hygiene Routine?
Is your dental hygiene routine as good as it could be? Sure, you brush at least twice per day and (hopefully) floss, but what else should you be doing if you want to keep your pearly whites in tip-top condition?
Make a list of all of the dental care products that you use at home (including the brands). Most of the time what you have at home will be more than adequate, but depending on your specific dental health, your dentist may have some recommendations.
Some dentists will prescribe you a special high-fluoride toothpaste if you ask for it. This is great to use once per night to protect your teeth.
Your dentist may also make recommendations about the type of toothbrush you should be using and how long you should use it.
4. Should I Be Worried About Gum Disease?
Over 47% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. You may not be part of this percentage yet, but it's not unlikely that you are. Talk to your dentist about your gums.
Your dentist can tell you about your current gum health and how you can either maintain your health or reverse some of the damage. You cannot cure gum disease, but you can stop it in its tracks so you never have to worry about serious complications down the line.
Keep in mind that gum disease is nothing to be embarrassed about, so if your dentist informs you that you have it, don't worry. As long as you catch it early enough, it's completely manageable.
5. Would You Recommend Orthodontic Treatment?
Some dentists offer minor cosmetic orthodontic work, but if you have more intense orthodontic needs, they may have to refer you to an actual orthodontist.
When you're at your appointment, ask your dentist if they think that braces would be right for you (and way). Many people think that braces or clear aligners are only for aesthetics, but this isn't true.
Severe crowding and bite issues can be dangerous for the rest of your teeth. You may end up with cracked or broken teeth or even excess cavities because you're unable to clean between them.
You can get Invisalign as a cosmetic dental treatment, but for anyone with severe crowding or bite problems, visiting an orthodontist is a good idea. Your dentist will be able to assess your situation to see if you're suitable for in-house aligners or if you're better off with an orthodontist.
They may even be able to refer you to a local orthodontist.
6. Would You Recommend Cosmetic Dentistry?
Speaking of cosmetic dentistry, while you're at your appointment, why not ask about the cosmetic options that your dentist offers and whether or not they would recommend them.
For example, some people who have significant dark staining on their teeth may want to get veneers if there's no standard dental care option that could remove those stains.
7. Do My Wisdom Teeth Need to Come Out?
If you still have your wisdom teeth, this is a great question to ask your dentist.
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs to get their wisdom teeth removed. Many people have wisdom teeth that either come in straight or never come in at all. As long as they're not causing pain or making it hard for you to brush your teeth, they're not an issue.
A dentist can check for inflammation or abnormalities in your x-ray to see if you need a wisdom tooth removal.
Ask Your Local Dentist These Questions
Next time you're visiting your local dentist, ask some of these questions! Any good dentist will be happy to discuss any of your concerns. Remember, they want to keep your teeth healthy and clean!
Are you looking for a new "dentist near me?" We want to meet you! Contact us to set up an appointment today.