Questions to Ask About Your Oral Health During Your Next Dental Visit

Posted on: 21 December 2015

When you visit your dentist, you may be in the habit of just sitting in the chair and letting him or her perform their work without much dialogue before or after the exam. This isn't always a good choice, because your dentist should be your partner in your overall oral health and not someone who just cleans your teeth and sends you on your way. You also may not realize that you're having problems with your oral health and may miss the opportunity to get good advice for how to avoid serious problems down the road. Note a few questions to discuss with your dentist during your next visit.

1. Always ask if there are signs of enamel erosion

Enamel is the protective coating over your teeth and, while many dentists look for signs of erosion along with other signs of decay or cavities, they may not always do a thorough check. Enamel is often eroded by acidic foods including colas, tea, and the like, so if you drink a lot of soda or eat a lot of citrus fruit or anything else with a high acid content, ask your dentist about this. You may need to change your diet or consider some type of sealant or other treatment to protect your teeth from more damage.

2. Discuss any changes to the taste in your mouth

Having a metallic or unpleasant taste doesn't always signal a problem with your oral health, but it may mean that you're not brushing and flossing enough. When film sticks to your teeth because you're not brushing it away properly, you may then notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth. You may also not be producing enough saliva, and saliva is needed to rinse away bacteria, food particles, and so on. There are products to address dry mouth, or you may simply be dehydrated overall and need more fluids in your daily diet.

3. Discuss options if you want to change the shape of your teeth

Changing the shape of your teeth or your overall smile doesn't always mean expensive braces or cosmetic procedures. In some cases, your dentist may be able to use a type of putty or bonding that is dabbed onto your teeth and shaped and which dries and hardens. Your teeth are then reshaped accordingly. Partial braces or tray braces may be able to move your teeth into alignment without taking the years required for standard braces and without being as unsightly. Rather than assuming that you're just stuck with your teeth as they are, discuss your options with your dentist.

Your dentist can do more for you than just make sure your teeth are clean, so be sure to ask them about the above points next time you visit.