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Do you have a dental appointment coming up? Or, have you noticed anything about your oral health recently you aren’t sure about? At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, we want all of our patients to feel confident and educated about their dental health.

Read on to learn 7 great questions to ask your dentist to help you get the most out of your visit and keep your smile healthy and happy.

1. How often should I come in for my dental exam and teeth cleaning?

Everyone’s oral health is different, but in general, a good rule of thumb is to plan on having your teeth cleaned and examined at least twice per year. Even if you’ve established a great oral care routine and don’t feel any pain in your teeth or your gums in between visits, these 6-month regular check ups help your dentist identify any potential problems before they happen, or prevent problems from getting worse. Professional dental cleanings also remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth you simply can’t remove on your own.

However, 2 visits a year isn’t a hard and fast rule — the number may be adjusted up or down depending on your oral hygiene, lifestyle habits, and your overall health. That’s why it’s important to check in with your dentist and plan accordingly.

2. What can I do on my own to improve my oral health?

There’s a lot you can do on your own to maintain good oral health, and your dentist should have plenty of recommendations for you after they’ve examined your teeth. They’ll be able to tailor a treatment plan specific to you and your current oral health. 

In general, a good oral hygiene routine consists of: 

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day with fluoride toothpaste, for 2 minutes per day 
  • Try brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and make sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months or so — even sooner if you notice the bristles have started to fray 
  • Flossing your teeth at least once per day 

Some other things you can add to your routine to make it even more effective include: 

  • Using a fluoride mouthwash twice per day 
  • Limiting your consumption of foods that are high in sugar 
  • Maintaining a balanced diet 
  • Quit smoking

3. How can I keep my teeth whiter?

Did you know? More than 75% of people wish their teeth were whiter! Even with regular teeth cleanings, most people will experience staining on their teeth. This can happen due to external surface stains, like the ones you get from drinking coffee or eating highly pigmented food. Or they can be from internal stains, often caused by tooth injury, medication, or aging. 

No matter the cause, your dentist will be able to recommend the best treatment option for you. The answer could be as simple as avoiding foods that stain your teeth and eating more crunchy fruits and vegetables. Or, depending on your smile goals, you may want to opt for professional teeth whitening treatments, like teeth whitening trays, dental veneers, or Lumineers.

4. What are signs of tooth sensitivity and what can I do about it?

Tooth sensitivity can be a symptom of a number of different dental problems. Ask your dentist about tooth sensitivity if you’ve ever experienced pain in your teeth when consuming beverages that are hot, cold, very sugary, or very acidic. 

Tooth sensitivity is a common sign of: 

  • Thinning of the tooth enamel 
  • Teeth grinding 
  • Chipped or cracked teeth 
  • Receding gums (a sign of gingivitis or gum disease) 
  • Teeth whitening treatments 

If you think you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity or are concerned you might in the future, it’s a good idea to ask your dentist about it. They’ll recommend the best ways to treat or prevent tooth sensitivity and make note of it for future visits.

5. Is there anything you recommend I talk with my doctor about?

It comes as a surprise to many people when they find out that your oral health can reveal a lot about your overall health as well. Research shows that dental problems are capable of causing health problems in the rest of the body — and signs often show up in the mouth thanks to bacteria and the inflammation it causes. 

Oral health can be linked to a number of serious health conditions, including: 

  • Heart disease 
  • Pneumonia
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • And more 

During your dental exam, your dentist will be on the lookout for any signs of inflammation and infection — like signs you may have or are developing gum disease — and can let you know if they recommend talking with your doctor about anything they find.

6. Can you help me with my dental anxiety? 

If you are suffering from dental anxiety or dental phobia, you’re not alone. An estimated 22% of Americans admit to avoiding dental care because they are afraid of the dentist. It can be scary, but having a conversation with your dentist about your fear is a great way to help! Many dentists offer safe and effective sedation dentistry options to help keep you calm, comfortable, and worry-free during your dental treatment. 

Ask your dentist how they can help. At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, we offer the following sedation dentistry treatments: 

  • Nitrous Oxide – more commonly referred to as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is administered via an over-the-nose mask. When you breathe in this odorless gas, it leaves you feeling calm and relaxed throughout your appointment, and wear off quickly afterward.
  • Oral sedation – this treatment option is best used before an appointment. If you know you’ll be really anxious before your appointment, we can prescribe you an oral sedative to take before you come into the office.
  • Conscious IV sedation – also known as “twilight sedation,” this form of sedation is administered through an IV.  It leaves you “awake” and able to follow your dentist’s instructions during the treatment, but with little to no memory of it afterward. IV sedation is very flexible and can be adjusted throughout the procedure to ensure your comfort. 
  • General anesthesia – with this type of sedation, you’ll be under the supervision of one of our team’s experienced anesthesiologists, and be completely “asleep” for your entire appointment. General anesthesia is considered the deepest form of sedation. Afterward, you’ll recover in one of our private treatment suites

On top of our private treatment suites, we offer other spa-like amenities with your comfort in mind. They include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Your choice of Spotify or Netflix during your appointment 
  • Massage chairs 
  • Warm blankets 
  • Valet parking 
  • No waiting for appointments 

If you are putting off dental treatment because you’re anxious or afraid of the dentist, contact us today. Our team has the experience to help you get the care you need, as comfortably as possible.

7. What financial options/payment plans do you offer?

Nobody likes being surprised by a bill. That’s why it’s best to ask this question as soon as possible if you know you’re going to be paying for your dental treatment out of pocket.

Our wonderful front desk staff here at our Sunny Isles office will be happy to sit down and walk you through the cost of your treatment and financing options at any step along the way.

Ready to schedule your next appointment?

Now that you have your list of questions ready, it’s time to schedule your next appointment! Our team of expert dentists looks forward to providing you with comfortable, compassionate care during your next visit. 

Don’t see your question on this list, or don’t want to wait for your next appointment? Call us with questions any time at (786) 629-1503.

Book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!