For many, a dentist's appointment is an unpleasant visit that should get done with as soon as possible. We all know the importance of getting your teeth cleaned twice a year, but you should also try to view the dentist's appointment as a time to maximize your dental health.
Spend some time getting to know your dentist and oral hygienist, as they can offer you plenty of great advice that will keep your teeth and mouth in healthy shape for years to come. Below are some questions that you should be asking during your dentist appointment.
#1: Discuss your overall mouth health
The first question you should ask is about the overall health of your mouth. Your dentist should inform you if anything is severely wrong, but it may be that you can do extra to improve your mouth health. Most people underestimate the impact that foods can have on their dental health, and a good dentist will give you the advice you need to address any potential issues that can arise.
#2: Types of implements you should be using
The range of toothbrushes, toothpastes and dental floss on the market can be intimidating and it can be difficult to know which one to choose. The choice of toothbrush can vary depending on how hard you brush your teeth, with some people needing softer brushes than others. Speak to your dentist to find out what products they would recommend specifically for you.
#3: Questions about procedures
If your dentist or oral hygienist recommends some procedures during your dentist appointment, try and get much more information about them. Which of the treatments are really necessary, which are optional and which are purely cosmetic. Also discuss which of the treatments are extremely urgent and which ones are less so. This gives you a good idea of your priorities and what you should be spending your money on. Your dentist may strongly recommend vanity treatments, but these may not be necessary for your general mouth health.
#4: Grinding teeth
Many people grind their teeth and may not even know it. A good dentist will pick up on this and inform you, but if you notice symptoms of teeth-grinding such as headaches in the morning or clicking and popping of your jawline, mention it during your dentist appointment. Your dentist will be able to verify whether you do grind your teeth or not and recommend various treatments depending on the severity of the condition, such as mouth guards in mild cases to Botox in severe ones.
#5: Find out about oral cancer
Nobody considers oral cancer, and it is very difficult to detect in the early stages, even for experienced dentists. Talk to your dentist during your appointment to find out about ways that you can be screened for oral cancer, even if you don't think you have it. Early detection is key to successful treatment and many dentists recommend screens at least once a year to detect any abnormal cells in your mouth, throat or tongue. This allows for a rapid response and early detection that may be the difference between successful or unsuccessful treatment.
Prevention is much better than cure, and this is also true for your oral health. Talk to your dentist about any concerns that you have during your dentist appointment and make sure that you have a checklist of questions that you feel you need to ask on hand. Good communication shows that you have a vested interest in your health, and any good dentist will respond positively to it, ensuring that you have great mouth health for years to come.