As the novelist, Thomas Berger, once said, “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” This definitely applies in the world of dentistry. At our Houston practice, Dr. Cindy Flanagan and the rest of our team seek to enhance our patients’ smiles and educate them about their oral health. We welcome each and every query you could possibly pose! However, we recognize that many patients aren’t used to having these kinds of dialogues with their dentists. What should you ask? The fundamental answer is: whatever you’re curious about or need help with. In the following blog, we provide more specific examples of questions which you should ask your dentist at your next appointment. Of course, there are no wrong questions to ask, but if you go with our list, you’re likely to get great insights on keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.
“How should I take care of my teeth and gums at home?”
This is perhaps the most basic question you can ask. At your regular cleanings and examinations, we will scrub plaque from your teeth, floss them, and assess your mouth to diagnose any conditions, but most of your smile maintenance occurs at home. Generally, we recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice per day for at least two minutes, floss once per day, and use mouthwash. When you brush your teeth, you should do so gently, at a 45-degree angle, and clean every tooth surface, per the American Dental Association’s guide. We may also suggest supplementary hygiene techniques, such as chewing cavity-fighting xylitol gum.
“What are the dentist’s qualifications and certifications?”
This is important information to obtain from any healthcare professional you see. Medical societies and associations exist to ensure that doctors know their fields, provide outstanding care, and continually improve their service. For example, check out Dr. Flanagan’s credentials! She:
- Graduated from the University of Texas dental school
- Earned a Fellowship Award from the Academy of General Dentistry
- Completed a postgraduate dental education program at the LD Institute
- Was named a Fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists
- Merits membership in the Texas Academy of General Dentistry
- Was recently honored with a Mastership of the Academy of General Dentistry, making her a spokesperson for this group
You can ascertain your dentist’s accolades to determine if you should trust his or her skills.
“Do you keep up with the latest developments in dentistry?”
Dentistry is a constantly evolving field. We advise that you engage your dentist in a conversation about the latest advances to learn whether or not he or she stays current in the field. At our Houston dental practice, Dr. Flanagan and our team are always learning better treatments, researching dental technology, and generally improving our knowledge so we can better serve our patients’ smiles.
“What can I do to improve the appearance of my smile?”
Some patients may feel embarrassed to ask this question, but you absolutely should! There are a variety of ways your dentist can help you boost the beauty of your teeth. Your smile is one of your most important features. At our Houston practice, Dr. Flanagan offers a wide array of cosmetic dentistry treatments, including professional teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, Invisalign orthodontia, and more. We love seeing patients walk out of our offices with stunning, confident smiles.
“Do you have any general health suggestions?”
A dentist can tell a lot about a person’s overall well-being by the state of his or her teeth. After all, your mouth is an important part of your body. Fox News points out that your dentist may be uniquely qualified to make dietary recommendations, since “usually, your dentist can tell if you’re eating too much sugar or acids, or not enough vitamin C.” Furthermore, “since oral hygiene is linked to so many other bodily conditions, your dentist may find signs of non-oral diseases in your mouth.” We’d be delighted to help you with your overall health by answering this question when you next come in for an appointment with Dr. Flanagan.
“How often should I come in and see you?”
This is one of our favorite questions to answer since we often emphasize the need for regular dental checkups. The answer is that you should come and see us at least every six months for preventive care appointments, which include cleanings and examinations. However, we may recommend more frequent visits depending on your particular circumstances.
Dr. Flanagan is Ready to Answer Your Questions
We look forward to seeing you and answering your queries! Contact our Houston dental practice today to learn more and schedule your next appointment.