Have you ever considered preparing for a visit to the dentist?
Don’t feel bad. Most people haven’t. But, interestingly, preparing ahead of time can help you and your dental team get the most benefit from the visit, so it’s worth taking the time to give the following five questions some thought, and be prepared to discuss them when you’re at the dentist next.
How have I been brushing?
Brushing your teeth is such a seemingly simple and standard habit, most of us hardly give it a thought. But it’s just that kind of nonchalance that can allow us to accidentally fall into bad brushing habits.
During or after your semiannual professional cleaning is a great opportunity to ask your hygienist for comments and advice regarding how well you’re brushing your teeth. After all, he or she has a front row ticket to the results, and any problem areas they need to focus on while cleaning could very well be problem areas you can focus on when brushing.
Am I flossing enough?
Your dental hygienist may laugh at this one, as a big part of their job is to ask their patients this question and encourage more regular flossing. So, when you ask, it should get an interesting conversation started.
Beyond common signs of sensitivity due to lack of flossing, such as bleeding gums, he or she may also see other signs that you’re either not flossing enough or that you can use some pointers on doing it more effectively.
Additionally, many people have a difficult time properly reaching between every tooth, especially near the back of the mouth. If that’s true in your case, your hygienist can likely recommend a flossing tool that can make it easier for you to floss effectively.
I’ve been concerned about…
Hopefully, you’re not dealing with any kind of unexplained pain, irritation, or discomfort in your mouth, or any other symptoms that aren’t readily explained. But, if you are, your dental visit is the perfect time to bring them up.
Even if you’re not sure it’s a problem, it’s better to err on the side of caution and bring up any oral health concerns you’re dealing with so your dentist and hygienist can pay it special attention. Either they’ll be able to identify the issue and recommend appropriate treatment, or just put your mind at ease that there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong.
How’s my breath?
"Beyond common signs of sensitivity due to lack of flossing, such as bleeding gums, your dentist may also see other signs that you’re either not flossing enough or that you can use some pointers on doing it more effectively."
Granted, this one can be awkward. But keep in mind, oral health professionals are trained to diagnose and treat various causes of chronic halitosis (bad breath), and there’s very little doubt they’ve noticed if it really is a problem. However, since bad breath is rarely a life- or health-threatening concern, many dentists and hygienists will hesitate to broach the subject to not risk offending their patients.
Of course, if you bring it up yourself, they may very well have a solution for you.
What’s this going to cost?
It may be a little late to inquire about the cost of services once you’re already sitting in the chair with tools in your mouth. So, this is probably one question you should ask during the period before the appointment.
If you have dental insurance, this question will also include making sure you understand what the plan does and does not cover and whether or not the office you’re visiting participates with it. If you don’t have dental insurance, you can use a dental discount card and verify their participation, or just call around to different offices and inquire about prices so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.
Likewise, if you’re at your semi-annual cleaning and exam and the dentist recommends some sort of additional procedure or treatment, you’re better off broaching the subject of cost earlier rather than later. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount or take advantage of discounts available through a plan you use. Your dentist would prefer to keep you as a patient and care for your oral health needs over separating you from every last nickel and dime.
So, are you prepared for your next dental visit? Keep these five questions in mind beforehand, and you should have the most productive visit ever next time you visit the dentist. Looking for more ways to save on dental care? Click the button below to learn more about Dental Solutions discount dental plan.