While the percentage of young people with dental cavities in the United States dropped from 50% in 2012 to just over 43% in 2016, dental cavities are still the most...
Just trying to zip through your dental exam as quickly as possible? We get it – the dentist’s office isn’t really anyone’s favorite place, and you’ve got plenty to do elsewhere. There are groceries to buy, kids to pick up, and work to finish before tomorrow.
But we’ve got a proposal.
At your next dental exam, why not take your time?
Ask Dr. Baudean a few questions, relax in the dental chair, and really take this opportunity to engage with your dental health. This is going to accomplish a few big benefits – which we go into below, along with the questions that we recommend all patients ask.
Keep reading to learn more about how this new approach will transform your dental care & dental health – and then get in touch to book your next exam.
Why Are These Questions So Important?
We know that we might sound like we’re exaggerating, but asking your dentist about these really will make a difference. When you stop and take advantage of your exam, you accomplish all of the following –
- Reduce dental anxiety – We know that the dentist’s office can be a scary place – for patients of all ages. But learning more about your dental care and oral health will help dispel some of the uncertainty, and eventually reduce your anxiety. It also helps to get to know your dentist and form a personal connection with them. Dentists and dental offices shouldn’t be scary – they should be your allies and supporters.
- Learn more about your personal dental health – Every mouth is incredibly different – but a lot of dental advice can feel pretty cookie-cutter. Learn more about exactly what you should be doing to best boost your health, and you’ll be able to reduce cavities and your risk of gum disease along the way.
- Destress – The office really can be a pleasant place! We do everything possible to make our practice soothing and comfortable. If you’re not in a big rush to jump out of the chair, you might find yourself letting go of some of the day’s stresses.
Great Dental Exam Questions
Your hygienist will go over the answers to some of these during and after your cleaning, but it never hurts to get more information.
- Am I missing any spots brushing and flossing? We learn how to brush and floss as kids, and many of us never really have a refresher on the proper techniques. As a result, many of us end up missing spots when we’re cleaning. This leads to plaque buildup and a risk of developing cavities or gingivitis in tucked-away areas of the mouth. Ask about whether there’s etching on any teeth, or particular areas of plaque buildup. This will help you retrain yourself and really clean your teeth as well as possible.
- Are there dental products you’d recommend for me? We all have our unique dental needs. If you have sensitive teeth, you’ll benefit from using fluoride toothpaste to remineralize and strengthen your enamel. If you have issues with hand mobility due to arthritis or other problems, you should try a water flosser or an option that won’t require traditional flossing motions. Make your oral hygiene as simple as you can to make it more pleasant and more effective. Plus, you’ll be less likely to skip brushing/flossing if they’re easy to do.
- Does it seem like I’m grinding my teeth? Chronic teeth grinding is a common problem. Many of us take out our stress on our teeth, with our jaw muscles clenching throughout the night. This leads to worn enamel and short-looking teeth, tooth sensitivity, receding gums, and potential jaw problems. Long-term grinding can cause a TMJ disorder. If you’re waking up with facial pain, jaw pain, headaches and feeling exhausted, you could be grinding. Ask Dr. Baudean about whether he notices signs of potential grinding, and he will fit you for a custom mouth guard.
- How often should I be visiting? Every patient benefits from their own exam schedule. While the ADA’s recommendation is that patients see their dentist twice yearly, this isn’t necessarily the case for all patients. If you have a higher risk of developing gum disease (more on that below), your dentist may want to see you more often. If you rarely or never have dental problems, once a year might be just fine.
- Am I at a heightened risk for gum disease? There are certain genetic and lifestyle factors that might increase your risk of developing gum disease. If you are in a high risk category, it’s important to be vigilant and know the symptoms of periodontal disease. See your dentist right away if you notice your gums changing.
- Now ask yourself: has anything else about your teeth been on your mind? This is your chance to get expert advice – learn more about cosmetic dentistry, get an estimate on how much longer existing dental work is likely to last, or anything else. Ask away!
Ready for your next exam? We look forward to seeing you – contact us today to schedule!