People are often advised that the only stupid question is the one that doesn’t get asked. When it comes to questions to ask your dentist, failing to ask for the answers that you need could have serious consequences for both your dental and your overall health. Do you know what questions you should be asking at your next dental appointment?
Questions to Ask Your Dentist
While it can be a bit difficult to chat with your dentist during certain portions of your checkup, there are things worth inquiring about. Of course the most important questions to ask your dentist are the ones that have been plaguing you, but if you simply want to learn more about your oral health, consider posing the following queries:
Is My Mouth Healthy?
A visit to the dentist can help you maintain a beautiful smile, but it’s also an opportunity to evaluate the state of your oral health. Taking care of your mouth now can prevent problems in the future. In addition to reviewing the state of your teeth and gums and checking for any signs of tooth grinding, your dental visit should include a screening for any lumps, bumps, or sores that might indicate the presence of oral cancer.
What Should My Oral Health Care Schedule Be?
Typically, people are encouraged to see their dentist for a checkup every six months or so, but what is typical might not be what is right for you. Depending on your oral health, your overall health, and your habits, you may be able to spread your visits out a bit. Alternately, you may be advised that more frequent exams are required to monitor your health.
How Can I Improve My Oral Health?
Typically, dentists advise their patients about their daily oral health care routine and encourage them to use products with fluoride, eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar, and avoid tobacco use.
Every mouth is different, however, and your dentist has the expertise to provide customized recommendations about what might work best for you. For example, your dentist may recommend a specific toothpaste for sensitive teeth or urge you to wear a night guard to prevent the damage bruxism can cause. Be sure to discuss any pain, sensitivity, or changes that you notice with your dentist. He or she can work with you to identify strategies and solutions that can improve your comfort and appearance. As a bonus, many of these efforts can also help prevent future problems.
What Should My Personal Dental Priorities Be?
Untreated tooth decay and gum disease can lead to cavities, pain, and tooth loss. Failure to address issues of dental health can even put your overall health at risk by providing an opportunity for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. However, dentists understand that it may not be possible to correct everything at once. If you are in need of multiple procedures, your dentist can help you identify what needs to be addressed immediately and what can wait. In fact, many dental offices are willing to help patients figure out what their insurance will cover and to create payment plans when necessary.
Is There Anything I Should Discuss With My Doctor?
Did you know that inflamed gums can be a red flag for diabetes? Changes inside the mouth hint at osteoporosis, vitamin deficiencies, worrisome side effects from medications, and various other health concerns. Detecting these problems sooner rather than later means that you can begin treatment faster. After your exam, ask your dentist if there are any issues you should bring to the attention of your doctor.
Is There Anything About My Overall Health I Should Discuss With You?
It’s generally a good idea to talk with your dentist about any changes in your overall health or in the prescriptions that you are taking. For example, a patient on blood thinners may require extra care during certain procedures in order to limit bleeding issues. Typically your dentist or dental hygienist will ask about your allergies, prescriptions, and health conditions near the start of your appointment, but if you aren’t sure what your dentist needs to know about your health history, ask.
Do you have questions to ask your dentist? Answering them would be our pleasure. At Wilkinson Dental, we provide an array of general and cosmetic dental services, including regular cleanings, crowns, dentures, teeth whitening services, and more. Call us today at 417-708-0556 to schedule your next appointment.