For many, a dentist’s appointment is an unpleasant visit that you want to be 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.
Prevention is much better than cure, and this is especially 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 oral health for years to come. Below are some questions that you should be asking during your dentist appointment.
Question #1: What can I do to improve my dental health?
Dentists love when you ask this question, because it shows you’re taking accountability for your own oral health. Because tooth cleanings are only intended to support at-home dental hygiene practices, staying educated on the best way to improve your oral health is critical for keeping your teeth healthy over the long term. Everyone’s mouth is different, and you might need to do more than the general guidelines of brushing after meals and flossing daily. Dentists can give you this customized information. They can advise you on whether you need to brush more often or switch to a different toothbrush, or if you need a refresher in flossing. They can tell you whether you need to increase or decrease your fluoride intake, and how often you need to come in for a visit.
Question #2: How do I prevent tooth decay, gingivitis and other dental problems?
Nobody, regardless of their age, likes to hear that they have cavities, gum disease, or worse – oral cancer. The best way to protect your mouth (and get praise at your next dental visit) is to prevent these dental health issues from occurring in the first place. Your dentist will know what you should do to stay tooth decay, gum disease, and cancer-free.
Question #3: What should my dental health care plan look like?
No two mouths are the same. Just like physical health, everyone has unique dental health risks, concerns and needs. Going in to see the dentist twice a year might not be frequent enough for your specific oral health needs. Ask your dentist about your own, personal dental health schedule.
If you’re switching dentists, be sure to ask about the insurance they take and what their prices are for services. Patients with small children or those expecting should ask their dentist questions about a child’s first dental cleaning and exam, how to teach good dental hygiene practices to their kids and how to make their kids feel comfortable at the dentist.
Question #4: What is your area of expertise?
Many dentists specialize in certain fields, ranging from cosmetics to implants to family dentistry. Look for an Asheville dentist with extensive experience in the areas that concern you most. If you’re looking for a generalist who can manage most every dental issue, consider their length of practice and any special certifications they carry. Ask about their associations and referral networks, in case you need a specialist in the future.