Seeing a dentist at least once or twice a year is recommended for most people to keep their teeth and gums healthy and to spot any potential problems early on.
Whether you’ve been going to the dentist on a regular basis for years or if it’s been awhile since you last went in for a cleaning and exam, there a few questions you can ask your dentist to make sure your mouth is in good shape.
Should I Improve My Brushing or Flossing Technique?
Although gum disease is one of the main causes of gum recession, it’s not the only cause. The way you brush your teeth can also wear away your gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth. At your next check-up, your dentist may let you know if he or she thinks you are brushing too hard and contributing to receding gums. If he or she doesn’t say anything, though, you might want to ask to find out where you stand when it comes to taking care of your teeth at home.
Brushing too hard or with too much force is just one issue people have. Another might be that you’re not brushing for long enough or that you’re not getting all the areas of your teeth. You want to clean the front, backs, and tops of the teeth each time you brush, for example.
It’s also a good idea to check in with your dentist about your flossing technique. Many people use alternatives, such a waterpik, which don’t really get the job done. Or you may be skipping teeth when flossing because you really don’t like to do it. Your dentist can give you a refresher course on the right way to floss and tips to make sure you get all of your teeth.
How Does My Mouth Look?
While you can get a general sense of how your mouth is doing when you look in the mirror — things such as yellowed teeth, receding gums and tartar stains are usually visible — it takes the trained eye of a dentist to let you know about other issues. Go ahead and ask your dentist what he or she thinks about the state of your mouth or ask about any specific concerns, such as a growth or bump on your gum or inside the mouth, or if you have a pain in one of your teeth.
Should I Worry About Gum Disease, Wisdom Teeth or Another Issue?
Some health issues in the mouth start slowly or don’t have many symptoms at first. It’s a good idea to ask your dentist about specific issues that concern you. If you’re in your late teens, early twenties, or have never had your wisdom teeth taken out, it might be a good idea to ask your dentist what he or she thinks. It could be that you don’t have wisdom teeth, that they are coming in fine, or that they are going to be impacted if left in the mouth and need to be taken out sooner rather than later.
Gum disease is another issue that tends to sneak up on people. If you notice some bleeding in the gums at home or are otherwise concerned, get your dentist’s opinion. He or she might refer you to a periodontist for specialists treatment or let you know that you have nothing to worry about.
What Else Should I Do to Improve My Oral Health?
Along with the basics, such as brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist, you might want to know if there are other things you can do to improve the health of your mouth, teeth and gums. Your dentist might give you a laundry list of ways to improve your oral health, depending on your habits and lifestyle. For example, he or she might recommend quitting smoking or cutting back on sugary treats. He or she may also direct you to an orthodontist if your teeth are uneven or recommend replacing a severely damaged tooth with an implant.
If you are particularly concerned about gum disease or are looking to replace a damaged or missing tooth, Dr. John Paul Gallardo and Dr. William Lamas can recommend the right course of action to take and can provide you with a treatment that best meets your needs. To schedule an appointment with the Miami periodontists, call (305) 447-1447 today.