6 Questions To Ask Your Dentist
You see your dentist roughly twice a year. You want to make the most of these visits so try to be prepared with a list of questions for your dentist and hygienist at your next appointment
- What’s my overall oral health status? Think of this as your tooth report card. This covers the basics and opens up a detailed conversation about any concerns your dentist has about your oral health.
- Do I need to alter my oral care techniques? Piggybacking off of the last question, your dentist may say that you brush too hard, don’t floss enough, or need to alter some other part of your routine. He or she can give you better techniques to make sure you’re doing the best for your teeth.
- What can I do at home to help whiten my teeth? There are many at-home and in-office procedures for whitening teeth and your dentist knows the best and safest ones. Ask about different brands he or she trusts or if they think you might be better off with a professional procedure in their office.
- Why are x-rays important? If it’s time for your yearly x-rays, you might be wondering why they need to be taken at all. Have your dentist explain what exactly they do with your x-rays and how they use them to care for you.
- How do I prevent cavities? You may know some of the common tips, like avoiding sugar and brushing regularly but your dentist is always learning and discovering the latest ways to improve your oral care. See if he or she has any additional advice that could help you in your day to day life.
- Why are my teeth sensitive? If you’re feeling tooth sensitivity after eating cold or hot food or sweet things, be sure to tell your dentist. Your dentist can help you determine the cause of your sensitivity and give you tips on keeping the pain at bay.
Take the time during your next dental visit to get all the answers. Make a list of these questions or others you may have and use the opportunity to enhance your oral care knowledge and get the most out of your appointment!
10 Tips for Dry Mouth Relief
Dry mouth is a condition that refers to lack of moisture in the mouth, usually as a result of an abnormal flow of saliva. Certain medications, diseases, cancer therapies and even lifestyle habits may cause dry mouth, also known as xerostomia.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you know it’s more than just an unpleasant feeling. Saliva plays a significant role in maintaining good oral health and helping us taste, chew and digest food. Dry mouth can lead to bad breath and increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease (gingivitis) and oral infections.
Follow these tips to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent further problems:
- Chew sugar-free gum. This is the easiest way to stimulate saliva production. Sucking on sugar-free hard candy works too.
- Rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash. Most mouthwashes contain at least 10% alcohol, which has a drying effect.
- Don’t smoke or drink. Both tobacco and alcohol are one of the biggest reasons for dry mouth.
- Stay hydrated. Water and sugarless drinks will alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth and offer a myriad of other health benefits.
- Use a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air and are especially helpful during winter months when the air is cool and dry.
- Eat tart and sour foods. In small doses, citrus fruit, yogurt and pickles will stimulate saliva production.
- Try a saliva substitute. Artificial saliva rinses and sprays aren’t a perfect replacement for natural saliva, but they will help to alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth.
- Breathe through your nose. If you wake up with a dry mouth, you might be breathing through your mouth at night. If you notice the symptoms only upon waking, ask your doctor to check for sleep apnea as the potential culprit.
- Limit caffeine. Tea, coffee and caffeinated sodas all have a drying effect and should be avoided.
- Maintain dental hygiene. Be extra mindful of maintaining good oral health. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Schedule a regular cleaning every 6 months.