3 Questions To Ask Your Family Dentist

Family Dentist Chicago, IL

If you follow recommendations from the American Dental Association, you should visit your family dentist twice a year. These visits provide more than just a cleaning and dental exam; they give you the opportunity to talk with your dentist about proper oral healthcare. While it could be intimidating or embarrassing to open up to your dentist about what you are thinking or feeling, being open and honest helps promote better oral health.

Top 3 questions to ask your family dentist

When preparing for your dental visit, you should write down your questions so you remember everything you want to ask, including the following three important questions.

1. How should I care for my teeth?

Most people know that brushing, flossing, fluoride, and regular dental visits are the recommended ways to ensure a bright smile. However, your family dentist can give you more specifics about the types of equipment you should use and the techniques that make up proper oral care. During a cleaning, the dentist will notice if there are areas of oral hygiene that seem to be overlooked or not performed properly. Having this insight can return more positive results at your next appointment.

Soft-bristled toothbrushes are a good option when used to brush with soft pressure twice a day for two minutes. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months, or when the bristles appear splayed out or bent.  It is also a good idea to clean your toothbrush, and you can rinse it with mouthwash each day to help remove bacteria.

Look for toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. These options should contain fluoride to protect and strengthen teeth. Fluoride is also extremely important for the prevention of cavities. Your dentist can recommend toothpaste based on the condition of your mouth, as those with sensitive teeth may need a special product to reduce discomfort when brushing.

Floss clears plaque and food remnants from beneath the gum line and between the teeth. Plaque that is not removed turns into tartar, which causes pockets between the teeth and gums, leading to receding gums and loosened teeth. If floss is difficult for you to use, interdental brushes or floss picks are good alternatives.

Mouthwash is a good supplement that can help freshen breath and prevent cavities and tooth sensitivity. However, it should never be used in place of daily tooth cleanings.  Ask your dentist about a product that comprehensively addresses gingivitis, and recommendations will generally include those labeled as antiseptic.

2. What is the optimal diet for good oral health?

Consider not only what you choose to eat but when you choose to eat. Eating just before bed allows food particles to remain in the mouth and on the teeth. Drinking plenty of water can flush away the remnants of your last meal and keep teeth healthy. A variety of foods from the major five healthy food groups should include low-fat and/or fat-free dairy choices, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein sources like lean beef, fish, skinless poultry, peas, dry beans, and other legumes.

Cut sugary snacks from your diet. Your family dentist will say that if you must eat between meals, you should choose a healthy snack like vegetables, fruit, or cheese. Foods eaten as a component of a meal are less harmful to teeth than foods consumed as snacks all through the day because all the chewing during a meal releases saliva, which washes foods out of the mouth and minimizes the harmful effects of acids.

3. What are the warning signs of dental problems?

Even though you schedule appointments each year to check for oral health problems, there could be issues that come up between scheduled visits. Whenever the dentist asks how you have been feeling or about changes in your health, you need to be honest. There are many connections between the health of your teeth and gums and the rest of your body.

In addition to telling the dentist what you have experienced, ask about what symptoms to take note of. You should see your family dentist if you or your child exhibit the following symptoms, which can indicate oral health issues:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Mouth soreness or sores
  • Broken teeth
  • Dry mouth
  • Red or swollen jaw, mouth, or gums
  • Jaw or tooth pain or sensitivities


Remember that your family dentist is your partner in your quest for good oral health. Ask lots of questions about taking care of your teeth as well as your overall well-being. Educating yourself about the potential concerns is a way to give yourself an advantage in preventing long-term damage. 

Request an appointment here: https://joyfuldentalcare.com or call Joyful Dental Care at (773) 786-9560 for an appointment in our Chicago office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Family Dentist in Chicago, IL.

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