Asking dental questions is an important part of your long-term healthcare. From a very early age, you’re encouraged to ask questions – questions of your parents, teachers, doctors and especially in the dentist’s office. Just as you talk and share health concerns with your doctor, it’s important to maintain a dialogue with your dentist. After all, dentists are doctors, too. Make a list of questions before your next appointment so that you’re prepared and not relying on memory, which usually fails when you’re in the dentist’s chair.
Here are a few of the dental questions that should be at the top of your list:
How Often Should I Get a Dental Checkup?
Dental health varies from person to person, but the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you visit a dentist twice a year even if your mouth is in excellent condition. This enables you to get your teeth cleaned professionally on a regular basis and ensure that any potential problems are identified early. In some cases, you may need to be seen more often. Ask Dr. Ashley Niles, of Niles Family Dentistry, what she recommends for your personal situation.
What Can I Do to Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home?
Brushing and flossing your teeth are the foundation of a healthy mouth. There is a proper way to brush your teeth that is effective and beneficial to your teeth and gums. Other tips for practicing good oral hygiene are:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush using an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss between teeth daily, preferably at night.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
- Eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.
- Limit sugary beverages and snacks.
- Avoid tobacco in any form.
How Do I Prevent Cavities, Gingivitis and Other Problems?
The best way to ensure a healthy mouth is to follow a balanced diet and visit Dr. Niles regularly while maintaining your oral care routine twice a day. Conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, as well as medications and certain types of chemotherapy can affect your dental health. Protect yourself against problems that can advance quickly by discussing these dental questions with Dr. Niles.
Does My Mouth Look Healthy?
Dr. Niles can determine whether your mouth is showing signs of disease through a routine exam, which includes looking for any lumps or bumps that don’t belong. There is a range of health problems that begins in the mouth and changes inside your mouth can signal certain conditions, such as vitamin deficiencies or osteoporosis; inflamed gums can be an indicator of diabetes.
Harken back to the advice of seeing Dr. Niles twice a year and don’t wait for an obvious problem before you make an appointment. Decay, as well as tiny cracks or other issues with teeth and restorations may not always be visible to the naked eye. Dental x-rays and a thorough exam may help detect issues before they become painful and often more difficult to treat. Indicators of a healthy mouth are as follows:
- Gums that are pink and firm to the touch, not red or white, and not swollen or tender. Healthy gums are a leading indicator of a healthy body.
- Gums that sit flush with the teeth, with no flaps, pockets, or places where they appear to be receding from the tooth.
- Teeth that are firmly seated and not wiggly or loose.
- Pleasant or neutral breath.
- Your tongue should be pink, firm and moist.
Dr. Niles should be advised about any changes in your overall health status. For instance, sudden complications in your mouth could be due to medications you’re taking or related to health changes or conditions elsewhere in your body.
Am I a Good Candidate for Teeth Whitening?
A beautiful smile with clean white teeth gives a boost to your self-esteem. Most people experience some discoloration of their teeth over the years. Stains caused by coffee, wine, tobacco and pigmented foods have the tendency to dull your smile. Niles Family Dentistry uses a customized tray whitening treatment system that you can use at home. It is less costly than other treatments and gets the same brilliant results. Customized clear whitening trays are made for you to wear 30-60 minutes up to twice a day for two weeks. At the end of this period, you will see maximum whitening results that will give you the beautiful smile you are looking for!
For inner tooth discoloration that cannot be treated with surface whiteners, you may need to consider composite bonding or the application of veneers to the affected teeth, which provides a more permanent solution.
Dental Questions to Ask if You Are Having a Procedure
- Will you be using anesthesia and what type?
- How do I prepare in advance for the procedure and how can I expect to feel afterward?
- Will I need assistance in getting home?
- How long will it take and will there be any pain afterward?
- Is there any special care needed for my teeth after the procedure and, if so, for how long?
- Will there be any follow-up procedures, and how many appointments should I plan on?
Make an Appointment
In order to provide you with the best oral care, Dr. Niles needs to know about any problems you’re experiencing, even if they seem minor at the time. Any tooth pain, discomfort or abnormalities means that she can come up with solutions to improve your daily comfort and even prevent bigger problems from occurring later on.
Make an appointment online or call (720) 744-0001. Niles Family Dentistry is located in Niwot, Colorado at 136 2nd Ave. Suite 101 where Dr. Niles provides dental care for the whole family and serves patients in Boulder, Longmont and other areas of northern Colorado.
Don’t feel silly asking Dr. Niles about the things that concern you regarding your oral health. Set your mind at ease as you ask the questions that are pertinent to your own dental health.