You spend just a little bit of time with your dentist twice a year – if you only receive exams and don’t have fillings or other dental work, that’s maybe 30 minutes total. How can you make those 30 minutes really count? Learning more about what you should be asking your dentist during those crucial moments will give you a leg up. Determine how effective your oral hygiene really is, ideal long-term goals for your health, and what your teeth might be missing – it’s as simple as speaking up.
But unfortunately, it’s common for patients to clam up when they’re in the dental chair (and not just because there are dental instruments in their mouth). The office can be an anxiety-inducing atmosphere, and cause your mind to go blank. Plan out or write out your questions ahead of time so that you’re ready to chat and you can be sure to get all the answers you need. Some common questions are listed below; brainstorm and come up with others you’d like to discuss before your next appointment!
What to Ask Your Dentist at Your Next Exam
- How well am I brushing and flossing? It can be a little stressful to confront your hygiene habits, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to improve and prevent cavities, long-term.
- Do I have any problem spots? When there’s an area of your mouth that’s becoming exposed to plaque, your gums will flare up and your enamel will show signs of etching. We’ll point that out so that you can give it a little more attention while cleaning.
- Does any dental work need to be replaced? Crowns, veneers, bonding, and fillings have set lifespans – if time for replacement is coming around, you can avoid a dental emergency by taking care of that ahead of time.
- Should I make any changes to my diet or habits? If you’re a big snacker or typically consume sugary or starchy meals, you’re probably going to see more frequent cavities. Tobacco use, grinding your teeth, and other bad habits will also have an impact.
- Am I at risk for gum disease? Certain gum disease risk factors will make it more likely for you to see infected gums in your lifetime. Being aware will keep you in control.
- Am I at risk for oral cancer? As with gum disease, you should be aware of oral cancer risk factors so that you can stay vigilant.
- Will my insurance cover x procedure? If you’re considering cosmetic or restorative treatment, check in with your dentist’s office to see if they can help you navigate the insurance conversation.
- Could my medications cause dental problems? We’d always like to know about any medications that you’re taking, as some can impact your oral health – let us know if you start a new medication, and ask about its potential impact.