5 Questions to Ask Your Dentist

To get the most out of your visit to the dentist and maximize your oral health, it is important to develop effective communication with your dentist.

In order to get things going and start a dialogue, here are five questions to ask your dentist:

1. Is there anything that I can do to improve my overall dental health and hygiene?

You’re only human — when it comes to oral health and hygiene, you’re probably not perfect. Whether you sometimes forget to brush after a meal or you skip out on flossing a few times a week, there are likely habits that you can improve. Dentists can help you to figure out what you’re doing right and what needs a bit more work.

And remember, no two mouths are the same.

Some people might need to floss more regularly than is recommended to prevent cavities, while others might benefit from a specific kind of toothbrush or extra fluoride. Dentists are here to provide you with specific, individualized information that can help you to maximize your overall dental health.

2. What is the overall status of my dental health?

Ask your dentist for a comprehensive overview of your overall dental health. And this doesn’t just include looking for cavities. Your dentist can also do a general exam of your mouth area, which includes checking for any unusual lumps or bumps, measuring bone density, and checking for inadvertent teeth grinding.

Remember, your dentist’s job is to make sure that your smile is as healthy as it is beautiful, and that is more than just cleaning teeth and filling in cavities.

3. Would you recommend any specific treatments or dental work?

Whether you need night guards to prevent nocturnal teeth grinding or a treatment for your bad breath, dentists can help you to figure out what kind of treatments or dental work can improve your oral health and hygiene. Keep in mind that the more information your dentist has to work with, the better. Always be sure to keep him or her abreast of any problems or issues that may have arisen.

4. Are there any specific products you would recommend?

In today’s world of hyper consumerism, you’re probably bombarded with ads for all sorts of different products — from organic toothpastes to high-power whitening strips. It can be daunting to figure out which of those products are reputable, and which aren’t.

So don’t hesitate to ask your dentist.

Whether you want a recommendation for great whitening toothpaste or the most effective toothbrush, your dentist can help you figure out which type of products will actually improve your oral health and hygiene and which are just a waste of money.

Please note, it is against proper dental policy to either recommend or condemn particular brands (despite what you hear in commercials). Your dentist can, however, advise you about which type of toothbrush or paste or whitener to look for, based upon structure or ingredients.

5. Do you need any information from my family practitioner?

Remember, dentists need to be up to date on your overall health and wellness. That means they need to be up to date on what is going on across your whole body, not just inside of your mouth. Be sure to ask if he or she needs any information from your family doctor regarding medications or changes in health.

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