questions to ask dentist

5 Important Questions to Ask a Dentist at Your First Appointment

When you choose a new dentist, asking the right questions at your first appointment can help you feel more confident in your decision. Asking questions is also a good way to learn more about your oral health and how to take better care of your teeth. If you’re not sure where to start or how to talk to your dentist, Lifetime Family Dental can help. We put together this list of the best questions to ask your dentist at your first (or next) appointment. 

Five Questions You Should Ask Your Dentist at a First Appointment

1: How Can I Improve My Oral Health at Home?

Whether it’s your first appointment or a routine checkup, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. They’ll let you know about any problems they find and explain your treatment options. This is a good opportunity to ask your dentist how to improve your overall oral health at home in addition to professional treatments.  

Your dentist may suggest changes to your diet, as there are many types of foods and drinks that can significantly weaken your teeth. You may need to limit things like coffee, candy, soda, and citrus fruits in your diet. Other ways to improve your overall oral health may include quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, curbing habits like nail biting, etc. The things your dentist suggests will depend on the state of your oral health and whether you have a higher risk for certain problems. 

2: How Can I Improve My Oral Hygiene Routine?

Asking your dentist how to improve your daily routine can also help you improve your oral health. Brushing and flossing too hard or too infrequently could make your mouth more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease—you should be gently brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Share your current routine with your dentist and ask them to show you the proper techniques for brushing and flossing.

3: Which Toothbrush and Toothpaste Are Right for Me?

Using the wrong toothbrush or toothpaste can make your oral hygiene routine less effective. Ask your dentist which toothbrush and toothpaste pairing is right for you. A soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste are typically the best combination, but you may still need a specific size of toothbrush or a different toothpaste. For example, if you have a smaller mouth, a toothbrush with a smaller head will help you brush more effectively and comfortably. Or, if you suffer from tooth sensitivity, your dentist may prescribe a sensitive toothpaste. 

4: Should I Use Mouthwash?

Over-the-counter (OTC) mouthwashes aren’t right for everyone. Some mouthwashes can actually cause dry mouth or irritate your gums, leading to more dental problems. Your dentist can let you know which type of mouthwash is best for you and whether the one you currently use is worsening your symptoms. Your dentist may suggest an alcohol-free OTC fluoride mouthwash or prescribe a dental rinse specifically formulated for dry mouth. 

5: Which Treatments Can Improve My Smile?

Your dentist can help you find the best solution to transform your smile. If you’re interested in a smile makeover for any reason, don’t be afraid to ask your dentist what they recommend. For instance, OTC teeth whitening kits aren’t always as effective or as safe as professional at-home or in-office treatments, so it’s important to discuss your whitening options with your dentist first. Your dentist can also determine if you’re a good candidate for Invisalign treatment to straighten your teeth. 

Family Dentist in Gilbert, Arizona

The best ways to stay proactive about your dental health are to ask your dentist lots of questions, attend twice-a-year dental checkups, brush your teeth twice a day, and floss daily. At Lifetime Family Dental, we provide a wide range of professional services to help keep your smile clean, bright, and healthy. If you’re due for a cleaning and exam or have any questions about our services, please give us a call at 480-558-4331 today.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/1/2022). Photo by Caroline LM on Unsplash