Whether it’s your first time taking your child to the dentist or it’s been many years since you last stepped foot in a dental office, it can be stressful. You likely have many questions about your dental health and that of your family.
What questions should you ask? Below are some of the more common questions patients ask their dentists and a brief answer to them.
Many times, knowing some information about dental care before you visit your dentist will help curb some of the stress, anxiety, fear and embarrassment you may have. This will help result in a more pleasant dental office experience.
- What do I do in a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies are when a tooth is knocked out, there is bleeding in the mouth, there is a tooth abscess or the patient experiences severe pain in the mouth, jaw, face or head. As emergencies can happen at any time, it is possible that the dentist office is closed. If it is open, go see your dentist immediately. If the office is closed, some dentists have emergency numbers patients can call. If the emergency requires immediate treatment and care, visit the closest hospital emergency room.
- What age do I bring my child in for the first time?
Children should be introduced to the dentist and the dental office by their first birthday. A brief exam may be done at this appointment. Children should have their first teeth cleaning at the age of two.
- What kind of toothpaste and mouthwash should I use?
Toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval and toothpaste with fluoride are the kinds of toothpastes dentists recommend to their patients. For mouthwash, also look for ones that have been approved by the ADA and which don’t contain alcohol.
- What if I have a fear of the dentist?
The fear of the dentist is common for both children and adults. Most dental offices offer mild sedation to relax and calm anxious patients and make their visits quick, efficient and as smooth as possible.
- Are x-rays safe?
X-rays used in dental offices today are safe for all patients. Some offices now have high-tech, 3 D imaging technology that substitutes or works in conjunction with x-rays. Even with the safe and proper use of x-ray machines, dental assistants and hygienists are highly trained in x-ray precautions.
- Why do my gums bleed?
Bleeding gums just after flossing for the first couple times is normal as your sensitive gum tissue reacts to the harsh floss. If your gums regularly bleed or are swollen and red, it may indicate the onslaught of gum disease and you should schedule an appointment with your dentist.
- Why are my teeth sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids can be a sign of a potentially major dental issue, though that is not always the case. Tooth sensitivity is the result of the breakdown of the tooth dentin, the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth. When this layer gets worn down either by improper brushing, cavities, or receding gums due to periodontitis, the tooth roots and/or pulp, which contains nerves get exposed. Tooth sensitivity can also indicate the need to replace a filling or crown.
- How often should I see the dentist?
At LeDowns Dentistry, we encourage our patients (both children and adults) to come in every six months for a dental cleaning and exam.
- What’s the best at-home dental care routine?
To best protect your mouth from plaque, tartar and germs, it is recommended that patients brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day is also recommended. Replacing toothbrushes every 3 months, using fluoride toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash, eating a healthy, balanced diet, limiting snacks and sugar intake and avoiding tobacco are other habits patients can practice at home to ensure a healthy mouth.
- How do I prevent tooth decay and gingivitis?
The best, most effective way to give your mouth a fighting chance against tooth decay and gum disease is to practice a good at-home dental hygiene routine like the one listed above, combines with regular visits to the dentist and taking care of the health of the rest of your body.
Brush and rinse after meals, avoid excessive sugar and foods that are hard, crunchy and sticky. Floss daily, eat a nutritious diet and exercise.
Being armed with some oral health know-how can give you the confidence to make your dental experience less intimidating and scary. Being familiar with the answers of basic dental questions will provide more motivation to help you and your family make visiting the dentist every six months a part of your dental hygiene routine.
At LeDowns Dentistry, our dentists and staff are happy to answer any questions you may have concerning your dental health. We also strive to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment that puts patients at ease.
No matter what questions you may have, contact us today to schedule an appointment and we’d be glad to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.