Going to the dentist isn’t something you should be worried about, but it is something to be dilligent about. The questions you ask, and the level of interest you show can have direct input on how successful your oral health plan is. While it’s easy to become stressed or overwhelmed by a dentist’s appointment, the friendly team at Primary Care Dental, a family dentist in Garden Grove CA recommend asking a few simple questions to helptake ownership and control of your oral health.
Making sure you ask these questions ensures that you don’t simply coast through your next dentist’s appointment, leaving to realize later, “What was that she said?” With the following questions, you’ll get far more from your dentist’s appointments than if you’d simply gone in on “cruise control”.
- “How am I looking? What’s my overall dental health?”
This one’s easy. If you haven’t had a general dental checkup for a while, you might be worried about the answer you’re going to hear. However, remember one thing: addressing problem areas now ensures they don’t get worse. If you’re aware of any bumps or lumps inside your mouth that you feel don’t belong there — now is the best time for your dentist to take a look at them. Other areas your dentist will make you knowledge about include common problems like teeth grinding, over-brushing (leading to receding gums), and potential causes of yellowing or bad breath.
- How can you help me improve my dental health?
Needless to say, if your dentist doesn’t offer solutions to the problems she might identify after taking a look at your mouth, you might want to find a new dentist. However, if you ask your dentist what she might do to go about improving your dental health, a few answers you can expect range from something as simple as a softer toothbrush — for preventing receeding gums — to a night guard to eliminate the damage from grinding. This goes right back to how important it is to remember that your dentist is not a psychic. If you’re experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort — even if they seem like something small — your dentist will be able to recommend the right kind of treatment.
- What can I do on my own to improve my dental health?
Sometimes, not every issue in your mouth needs the dilligent care of your dentist. In fact, more often than not some of the most common problems only require good habits and dedicated home-care. But it’s important to remember that no two mouths are the same. While your best friend with perfect teeth might only brush his teeth twice a day and never seems to floss, the same probably isn’t true for you. Chances are, you may need to do more than just “basic care” when it comes to your own oral health. Asking this question makes sure your dentist gives you customized information geared towards you and you alone. Whether your dentist suggests brushing more, brushing differently, using more fluoride to protect your teeth, or avoiding certain products, taking ownership of your dental health starts at home and your dentist will jump at the opportunity to equip you with the knowledge that will help make both of your jobs easier.
- Should I be telling my family doctor anything?
Yes! There are quite a few serious health problems that can start in your mouth. Because your mouth is such a sensitive part of your body, changes inside it can often provide telltale warning signs that can help you take early preventative action. For example, if your gums are inflamed — it can be a signal for diabetes. Bone and tooth loss in your mouth can be an early sign of osteoporosis, and cracks at the corners of your mouth can help warn you of a vitamin deficiency. In many cases, it’s not at all uncommon that your dentist will notice these warning signs before your family doctor. For this reason, it’s always important to relay information from your dentist to your doctor. Many dentists will even take care of it for you.
Do you have more specific questions? The team of dentists at Primary Dental Care have the answers you’re looking for. As long-time experts in the field, they are family dentists in the Anaheim and Fountain Valley area that have encountered dental concerns of every variety.