Five More Questions You Should Ask Your Dentist

By now we realize how dental health can impact your overall health and well-being. Asking your dentist the right questions can be the key to starting a conversation that benefits not only your mouth, but your overall health.

If you’re excited about the progress you’ve made so far, but are ready to take your dental health to the next level, here are five more questions you should ask your dentist:

1. What advice do you have for parents to keep kids’ teeth healthy? The benefits of a regular schedule for children extends past their emotional and mental well-being and into their physical health. Just as you teach your children the good that regular exercise and a balanced diet do for their bodies, show your kids that regularly cleaning and flossing their teeth is an integral part of their morning get-up routine, evening go-to-bed time--and for their overall health. Biannual cleanings and fluoride treatments can be fun for kids if you coach them ahead of time and model proactive dental healthcare. Also, just like for adults, kids should avoid sugary snacks, floss regularly, and get new toothbrushes three to four times each year.

2. How do I pick the right toothpaste? Now more than ever, there are more brands of toothpaste to choose from than ever before. Selecting one tube of toothpaste out of hundreds of options can feel daunting! When selecting your toothpaste, consider what aspects of dental care are most important to you and your family: plaque control, cavity protection, tooth sensitivity, fluoride, and whitening are all factors that play into toothpaste selection. Your dentist can help you decide which factors are most important for you and your family to address, and guide your decision to selecting the right toothpaste.

3. What is the best toothbrush for me? A thorough cleaning is most important in toothbrush selection. Can your toothbrush reach those difficult to hit spots in the back of your mouth and behind your teeth? To get the best, deepest clean on a daily basis, your dentist will probably recommend an electric toothbrush like the Philips Sonicare to effectively yet gently clean your whole mouth and remove plaque.

4. What recent technological advances have most benefitted your patients? It is an exciting time to be in the dentistry field. The medical and dental technological landscape is evolving rapidly, providing additional options for patients to have access to dental care. Ask your dentist what technologies could help you personally and find out what options might be available in the near future.

5. How do you keep up with research and innovations in dentistry? A good dentist is a life-long learner. Ask your dentist if s/he is a member of a professional organization, if s/he subscribes to any digital or print medical/dental journals, or if sh/e has any new certifications. Staying current in the field is the mark of truly dedicated dentists--those interested in bettering themselves and their patients. Don’t settle for a dentist who can’t keep up!

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