Unfortunately, many patients approach their six-month dental checkups and cleanings with one goal: get in and out of the treatment chair as quickly as possible. In reality, these appointments are crucial; they allow you to talk with your dentist one-on-one about how to maintain and enhance your oral health. If you’re unsure where to start the conversation, then keep reading to learn four questions you should ask at your dental checkup.
1. How Is My Overall Dental Health?
Naturally, one of the best questions you can ask during your checkup is “How is my overall dental health?” At this point, your dentist can share their findings with you, from how your gums are looking to how your existing restorations are doing. This is also a great way to learn more about what you can do to improve your oral health between now and your next visit.
2. What Type of Toothbrush and Toothpaste Should I Be Using?
Nowadays, there is a multitude of different types of toothbrushes and toothpastes, and each of them is tailored to a specific dental need. For example, if you struggle with tooth sensitivity, then you may benefit from using a desensitizing toothpaste! If you are prone to cavities, then your dentist may recommend upgrading to an electric toothbrush. If you have trouble gripping your floss, then an oral irrigator may be a great addition to your oral hygiene products.
3. How Can I Help Prevent Gum Disease?
Teeth often steal the oral health spotlight. However, the health of your gums is equally as important! After all, roughly 50% of American adults struggle with gum disease. To avoid becoming one of them, ask your dentist about specific steps you can take to help prevent gingivitis. Depending on your dental needs, they may recommend preventive measures like coming in for a cleaning every three months instead of every six.
4. Is There Anything I Should Discuss with My Primary Care Physician?
During your oral exam, your dentist checks for non-dental issues as well, such as oral cancer. Furthermore, vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other health conditions can manifest as problems in your mouth. So, if your dentist notices anything concerning, it’s important that it gets communicated to your primary care physician.
With these questions, you’ll be able to start an open and informative discussion with your dentist!
About the Author
Dr. Kamlesh Makwana’s dentist in high school was always upbeat, passionate, and joyful. Not only did this make him look forward to his visits; it inspired him to pursue the same career and provide others with the same wonderful experience! He attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before studying at Marquette University, and he’s been helping patients smile ever since. If you have a question about your oral health or would like to schedule your next checkup and cleaning, don’t hesitate to visit his website or call (636) 928-9693.