How To Get The Greatest Benefits From A Standard Dental Checkup

Posted on: 27 March 2015

Although it's recommended that you schedule dental checkups and cleanings every six months, many adults put off their visits or only go once annually. Making the most of your visit by preparing beforehand can ensure you receive the best dental care possible, even if you don't stick to the recommended schedule.

Make a List and Check It Twice

Start listing any dental concerns in the weeks leading up to your appointment. Keeping a small notepad and pen in the bathroom, or where ever you normally brush, will help remind you to keep track of everything. Things you may want to list include:

  • Gum bleeding. Make a note if you notice blood after brushing or at any other time. You should also note whether it happens frequently or infrequently and whether it's associated with pain. Bleeding gums can be a symptom of tooth decay, gum disease, or improper brushing technique.

  • Sores. Sores on the gum line or cheeks can be a major cause of concern. Whether its small canker sores on your inside lip, or major sores that won't heal, you must bring these up with your dentist. They can be a sign of an infection or cancer.

  • Sensitivity. Pain or sensitivity when brushing, eating or drinking is often symptomatic of tooth decay. Make a note of the frequency, severity, and location of the pain for your dentist.

  • Stiff or sore jaw. These are usually caused by grinding or jaw clenching. Your dentist can make sure that there are no alignment issues adding to the problem, or they can recommend a night guard to prevent grinding.

Get Some Guidance

Every mouth is different, so take advantage of your dental visit to get the best recommendations for the care of your teeth.

A quick flossing lesson is a must, even if you have been flossing everyday. Your dentist or hygienist can demonstrate the best ways to get to any hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. This is especially helpful if you have a crooked tooth that is difficult to floss around.

Your dentist can also recommend products that are better suited to your personal oral hygiene needs, such as tooth brushes, water picks, or flossing aids. Take your notepad with you so you can record any advice and improve your hygiene regimen at home.

It's also important to keep your dentist up-to-date on your health records. Health conditions and prescription medications can affect your oral health, so always update your dentist on any changes so they can alter your dental care plan to take these into account. Working with your dentist is the best way to get the most out of a regular checkup. For more advice, speak with professionals like Dentistry For the Entire Family.