3 Questions to Ask Your General Dentist

Your oral health is incredibly important, and while you do most of the work, your dentist can help. Regular dental visits prevent many complications. If you would like to know more, check out these three questions to ask your general dentist.

1. How Often Do You Need an Exam and Cleaning?

Most patients do well with dental checkups every six months. In fact, your dental insurance may only cover visits every six months. During the checkup, the dentist may:

  • Look for signs of enamel damage
  • Look for signs of decay and tooth infection
  • Monitor gum health
  • Screen for signs of oral cancer
  • Clean teeth
  • Take X-rays

For children, the dentist also looks for complications with future permanent teeth and possible orthodontic issues.

If you have special concerns, such as severe oral decay or gum disease, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. Pregnant patients, those with diabetes/immune disorders, and those who smoke should also schedule more frequent visits.

2. What Habits Can You Change to Boost Oral Health?

Your oral health largely depends on your habits. For example, if you neglect to floss, you may be more prone to decay and infection, especially between teeth. Other habits that can increase your risk of tooth decay include:

  • Eating a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates
  • Consuming acidic foods/beverages
  • Eating/chewing hard candy, ice, etc.
  • Brushing too hard, which can damage enamel
  • Leaving plaque to harden into tartar

Besides your teeth, bad habits can increase your risk of gum issues like gum disease. Using tobacco is a major risk factor for gum disease because it interferes with blood flow and healing. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption may also interfere with gum health.  However, plaque and debris can also irritate gums, increasing the risk of infection.

Finally, some habits don't harm your teeth but can cause discoloration. If you want a white bright smile, you should avoid:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Red wines
  • Dark sodas

3. What Cosmetic Treatments Should You Consider?

More and more general dentists are offering cosmetic treatments, so if you want to improve the beauty of your smile, ask your dentist about cosmetic dentistry. Common cosmetic treatments include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental bonding
  • Veneers

If you have weak teeth and want to boost the appearance of your smile, ask your dentist about dental crowns.

Your general dentist helps keep your smile healthy. Even if you take great care of your teeth and limit bad habits, regular exams and cleanings are a must. For more information, contact a general dentistry in your area today.