After years of conscientious dental health care, you know what to expect during your twice-a-year dental cleaning. You likely have a set routine from how much time you take off from work, how you prepare before you arrive and how you dress for your appointment.
In most cases, this routine will serve you well because you essentially just need to show up and invest the time necessary to have your teeth cleaned and examined.
However, your routine dental appointments also provide the perfect opportunity to discuss changes in your dental and overall health with your dentist. In this blog, we list six topics that you should bring up during your next visit if they apply to you.
1. Cosmetic Concerns
As your next dental appointment approaches, think about your smiling habits. Have you started covering up your teeth or smiling less often due to a cosmetic issue? If discoloration, misalignment or another tooth defect has kept you from smiling freely, talk to your dentist.
Your dentist can assess the issue in question and guide you through potential solutions, including how much those procedures would likely cost with your insurance. This conversation can help you start your journey toward achieving your best smile.
2. Family History
When you see a new dentist for the first time, you provide information about your family medical history. However, this information can change over time and your dentist should be informed any time new facts emerge.
For example, if you find out that one of your parents has a new sleep apnea diagnosis, you may want to discuss your symptoms with your dentist to see if you’re at risk for sleep apnea and the potential dental consequences.
3. Lifestyle Changes
Many factors affect the health and strength of your teeth. If you experience significant lifestyle changes in the six months between exams, update your dentist.
These changes may include a new nutritional plan, weight loss or weight gain and significantly different rates of alcohol or tobacco consumption.
4. Oral Discomfort
Whenever you experience aches, pangs or other types of oral discomfort, take note of the location and duration of the symptom. If possible, keep track of what triggered the discomfort.
Report any new symptoms, especially if those symptoms include pain, to your dentist during your next routine visit. These symptoms can help your dentist identify oral conditions. For example, jaw tension in the morning could point to teeth grinding or a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
5. Medical Diagnoses
Many medical conditions can change your oral health as well as the dental care you need to improve your oral health in the future. If you received a new medical diagnosis since your last appointment, your dentist should update your chart to reflect it. In some cases, your primary care doctor and dentist may consult on your care.
Diabetes, HIV/AIDs and heart conditions are of particular relevance to your oral health. However, any major diagnosis that could potentially affect your teeth, soft tissues or bones should be disclosed to your dentist.
If you’ve taken prescription medication for some time, you know that each individual medication has the possibility of affecting more than the condition for which it was prescribed. Some common medications can increase your risk of dental conditions or affect your dental care.
For example, medication that has dry mouth as a side effect may encourage tooth decay while certain blood pressure medications may change which sedation methods are safe for you to undergo during treatment.
Discuss any changes in the areas listed above each time you see your dentist to ensure that you receive care tailored to your individual circumstances every time you sit in the chair.
For gentle, friendly and experienced routine, restorative and emergency dental care, trust the team at Cherry Hill Dentistry.