During your biannual dental visits, what do you say before the hygienist begins cleaning your teeth or after the dentist examines your mouth? Are there any concerns that you’re leaving unvoiced? It’s important to be proactive in protecting your oral health, and oftentimes that means asking the right questions. Here are 5 examples that you’ll definitely want answered at your next appointment.
1. How Can My Oral Health Be Improved?
Of course, the hygienist and the dentist will always inform you of any major issues such as cavities and what treatment will be required. That said, even if no immediate problems are found, there’s probably room for improvement. Ask what you can do to better maintain your oral hygiene; you may learn about new products or cleaning techniques that can make a big difference in protecting your smile.
2. Is My Medical Information Current?
If you’ve been taking a new medication, it’s important that your dentist and your hygienist know about it. Keeping your medical information up to date makes it easier to provide quality care while avoiding potential complications. It may be helpful to make a list of any medicines you’ve started or stopped taking before you leave your house for your appointment.
3. Why Does My Mouth Hurt?
You may be tempted to ignore minute mouth pains, but oftentimes they can be a warning sign of major health issues such as gingivitis, cavities, and teeth-grinding. Sensitive teeth can also be a potentially worrisome symptom. Tell your hygienist and dentist about any pains or sensitivity near the beginning of your visit so that they can search for the cause.
Similarly, ask about any bleeding or sores that have appeared on your gums or the roof of your mouth; a variety of diseases can manifest this way. Oral cancer, for example, can create sores and red patches.
4. Should I Worry About Dry Mouth or Bad Breath?
Dry mouth could be a sign of problems with the salivary glands or a side effect of certain medicines; it can even be caused by diabetes. Bad breath may be caused by some form of infection. Even if you don’t think these symptoms are a big deal, you should let your dentist know so they can make sure that there’s not a bigger underlying problem.
5. When Can I Schedule My Next Appointment?
Every trip to the dentist should be concluded by planning for the next one. In most cases, it’s recommended that you have an appointment twice a year, or once every six months, though some patients may benefit from more frequent visits. Making sure that you stay up to date with your checkups and cleanings is one of the best things you can do to make sure your oral hygiene is well-monitored.
About the Author
Dr. Benjamin Naylor has helped a wide variety of patients at his practice, Mountain Stream Dental; he enjoys performing different procedures and handling tough cases. He offers many options for preventive dentistry including dental sealants, nightguards for teeth-grinding, and oral cancer screenings. To schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (541) 345-5363.