Common Questions To Ask Your Dentist

 

Are regular dentist visits important?

YES! This may sound extremely basic, but regular oral health maintenance by a professional is necessary to keep your mouth healthy and cavities to a minimum.  Let’s face it.  Most people do not to a good job of cleaning their teeth.  Most people don’t clean their teeth often enough, and they don’t use proper technique.  And only a tiny percent of the population actually flosses their teeth regularly, which is probably the most important thing to do to prevent cavities from forming.

It’s also super important to catch problems, like cavities, earlier, rather than letting them grow and get out of control.  Because of this it is important to go to get a dentist cleaning on a regular basis.  Basically, you need to go to the dentist every six months.

By maintaining regular visits, you will save yourself a lot of money over decades, by not needing to have as much major work done on your teeth.

What are the best practices for home dental health?

It is obviously really important to regularly brush your teeth, and to floss between your gums.  Here are a few ideas of to keep you on the right path.

-brush your teeth in the morning, and right before you go to bed

-floss your teeth daily.  And if you can’t do it daily, try to floss at least 5 days out of 7

-use mouthwash daily, after brushing your teeth

-use fluoride in your toothpaste

-limit your intake of sweet sugary foodies like cookies and ice cream.  This is good not only for your teeth, but for your overall health as well.

-eliminate or severely limit sugary drinks!  Most people have no idea of the massive amount of sugar that is in their favorite sodas, sports drinks, teas, and flavored coffees.  The grams of sugars in these drinks are massive.  Simply by eliminating sugary drinks, you will be taking a massive step in the right direction to maintaining good oral health for the long run.

Should I have digital dental x-rays?

You should have your dentist take digital x-rays of your mouth every 12 to 16 months.  As great as it is to get regular checkups, you still need the x-rays.  The reason is because the x-rays can see the insides of your teeth and gums.

They can spot the smallest problems, such as cavities, and they can be fixed before they become bigger problems.  And with digital x-rays you get a minimal amount of radiation, basically the same amount of radiation that you would get watching TV.  X-rays are so valuable because they can see, where your dentist’s eyes can not.

Should I see the dentist, even if I don’t have any problems like toothaches?

Yes.  You should have your regularly schedule appointments twice a year, weather you are feeling any pains or having any problems or not.  The reasons why are stated above.  Your dentistry team will be able to spot and diagnose any problems before they become big problems.

What is the saying?  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?  Something like that.

Why are my teeth so sensitive?

A lot of people feel pain or discomfort when they eat certain foods or when they eat foods that are a bit hotter or colder than room temperature.  This is also more likely to occur as a person gets older.  The reason why is because of the depth or thickness of the enamel that covers the tooth.

You can think of the enamel as a force field that protects the fragile insides of the tooth such as the pulp and dentin, the same way that a heavy winter coat protects your body from the cold.  As you get older, you enamel can get worn down and it begins to provide less protect to your teeth, and so they get more sensitive.  Just like an old coat will gradually begin to wear out and will not do as good a job protecting you from the winter winds and you will get chilly.

Some reason that your teeth become more sensitive are:

-you haven’t been flossing, so your gums start receding

-you had an injury of some sort and your teeth became chipped or cracked

-many patients complain that their teeth whitening products make their teeth more sensitive.  That is because the harsh chemicals in these products actually erode the enamel on your teeth to make them white.  Don’t use teeth whitening products!!

What age is should I start taking my kid in to see the dentist?

When your baby is a year old, you should take them in to their first dentist visit.  You will want to start your baby off with a visit to a pediatric dentist that is experienced in dealing with baby teeth.  The pediatric dentist can be helpful explaining some problems with oral health that are specific to babies.  Some of these issues are:

-impact of baby’s teeth on the baby bottle

-the best practices for breastfeeding an infant

-the best way to regularly clean a baby’s teeth and gums

-how to prevent bad pacific habits and finger sucking habits

In general, on the baby’s first visit, the dentist is going to check for any teeth not coming in properly, and inspect the jaw, bite and baby gums to make sure the development is coming along safely.  You can find more in depth advice on oral health care for babies here: https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/policies_guidelines/bp_perinataloralhealthcare.pdf

These are just a few questions that you will want to ask your dentist.  The best thing is to find a dentist that is responsive to your needs, so that you never hesitate to ask questions.

It’s even ok if the hygienist or the front desk staff can follow up with you if the dentist is too busy.  The point is to find a practice that you feel comfortable with to ask any questions you may have and get an answer as soon as possible.