4 Questions To Ask Your Family Dentist at a Dental Check-Up

family dentist Swampscott, MA

Visiting a family dentist at least two times each year is imperative for keeping teeth and gums healthy, but knowing what questions to ask a dentist during an appointment can be as critical. Since most oral hygiene practices occur outside the dentist’s office throughout the year, it is important to understand what can be done to clean and preserve teeth at home. Asking the right questions at the dentist’s office can save time and money in the future.

Top questions to ask a dentist

From queries about simple tasks like brushing to concerns about gum disease, a patient can come up with plenty of questions to bombard a family dentist with — but which are essential? There is a difference between bringing up a new issue, such as cold sensitivity in a single tooth, and addressing basic hygienic questions. Here are the four most common questions patients should ask at every regular checkup.

1. Are brushing and flossing being done properly?

Brushing and flossing are the basic essentials of routine oral care that can be done at home, yet many people fail to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Even those who do brush and floss regularly may be missing areas of the mouth where bacteria have settled in. Asking the dentist to identify spots that do not appear as clean as others can indicate where patients need to focus brushing efforts. Dentists can also demonstrate proper brushing techniques.

2. Are there any cracked, damaged, or decayed teeth?

Damage in a tooth can be miniscule and difficult to see. Patients may not be aware that a tooth has a small fracture or is beginning to form a cavity. During a routine cleaning, a patient can ask for specifics on the condition of each tooth. While the dentist is most likely already looking for damage, this verbally confirms to the patient that the dentist has checked.

3. Are there signs of gum disease?

Gum disease, also called gingivitis, occurs when a sticky, yellowish substance called plaque forms around or between teeth. Sometimes this plaque can hide in pockets beneath the gumline that is impossible to reach in a regular cleaning, so a separate deep cleaning appointment is required. Gingivitis can cause the gums to retreat from teeth and affect jawbone density, so it is important to ensure the dentist is looking for signs of it.

4. What else should be done at home to prevent future problems?

Patients can do much more than brushing and flossing to keep teeth in pristine condition, but everyone is different. Asking a family dentist about care for each patient can create a hygiene routine tailored for every individual.


Patients should always feel comfortable talking to a dentist about any concerns or basic questions. If a patient is hesitant to ask questions, it may be time to search for a new family dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://www.bryancousindmd.com or call Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of the North Shore at (781) 443-8268 for an appointment in our Swampscott office.

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