Are you taking full advantage of your biannual dental visits? These appointments are a good opportunity to have your teeth thoroughly cleaned and have developing dental issues caught early. However, they also give you a chance to learn more about the best ways to take care of your smile. The next time you’re in the dentist’s office, don’t forget to ask these 4 questions.
1. What’s the Current State of My Dental Health?
Just because there aren’t currently any urgent problems with your oral health doesn’t mean you can ignore what’s going on in your mouth. If you don’t pay attention to the small things, sooner or later they can turn into severe issues.
You can ask your dentist for some insight into the state of your grin. Are there any spots you need to focus on while brushing? Are your gums showing signs of gum disease? Are there any developing issues you should be aware of? Get as much information as possible about your oral health so that you know what areas to focus on.
2. Should I Change the Type of Toothbrush and Toothpaste I’m Using?
You might be surprised at just how much of a difference your choice of toothbrush or toothpaste can make. For example, a toothbrush with hard bristles has the potential to seriously damage your enamel if you brush too hard; that’s why dentists generally recommend choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles.
If you bring your toothbrush and toothpaste (along with any other oral hygiene products you use) to your appointment, your dentist can help you determine whether you’re using the right tools for the job of keeping your smile clean and healthy.
3. Do I Need to Change My Diet?
There are plenty of foods that can lead to issues with your teeth and gums, and some might be more problematic than others depending on the state of your mouth. For instance, if the enamel protecting your teeth has been weakened, you should stay away from anything acidic. Talk to your dentist about what your regular diet looks like and whether there’s any room for improvement. This can help you get a better idea of the kinds of foods you need to be wary of.
4. What Do These Unusual Symptoms Mean?
Do your teeth seem to hurt whenever you eat something hot or cold? Is there a specific tooth that seems to have changed color recently? Have you been experiencing some kind of dental pain? You should let your dentist know right away about any concerning symptoms you’ve noticed in your mouth recently. That way, when they begin their examination, they already have an idea of what they’re checking for and are better prepared to make an accurate diagnosis.
About the Author
Dr. Sheri McIntosh graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which is regarded as one of the United States’ top dental schools. At Distinguished Dental in Fort Worth, she brings her patients high-quality care built on the three principles of quality, honesty, and trust. She’s always happy to answer oral health questions during routine dental appointments. To schedule a consultation with Dr. McIntosh, visit her website or call (817) 337-8300.