Your dental hygienist is more than just the person who cleans your teeth and gently points out that you should floss more often. They are also a treasure trove of knowledge — and they are happy to share their insight with you! The next time you visit your dentist’s office for a cleaning, why not have some questions ready to ask your hygienist? The answers you receive will equip you to take better care of your oral health and improve your oral hygiene routine. But what questions should you ask? Below are a few suggestions to help you start making your list.
What Can I Do to Improve My Oral Health?
Your hygienist may answer this question without you even having to ask. They might give you tips on how to improve your brushing and flossing technique, and they may even suggest products that will address your specific oral health concerns. If want more information or clarification on anything your hygienist says, don’t be shy about asking. Also, if there are any topics they don’t bring up but you would like to discuss, feel free to express your concerns. If you raise any questions that your hygienist cannot answer, they’ll pass them along to the dentist.
Is My Chart Up to Date?
Never forget that your oral health and overall health are inextricably related. Therefore, it is important that you let the staff at your dentist’s office know if you are taking any new medications or have been diagnosed with any medical conditions. For example, if you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of gum disease, which is something your dentist will need to consider when they are recommending a care plan. You should also let your hygienist know if you are pregnant, struggling with an eating disorder, or battling cancer.
Is There Anything I Should Talk to My General Physician About?
Just like your overall health can affect your dental care, the state of your mouth can provide valuable information for your general physician. For example, if your hygienist notices discolored tissue or strange swelling, you may need to get tested for oral cancer. Your oral health might also indicate acid reflux disease, diabetes, or a number of other health conditions that your general physician can help you cope with.
Is [This Issue] Something to Be Concerned About?
Have you noticed any sensitivity, pain, or discomfort anywhere in your mouth or jaw? Don’t be afraid to mention those issues, even if they only occur sometimes or are seemingly very minor. Your hygienist can check the affected areas and make sure your dentist knows about your concerns. You may be able to learn why you are experiencing the problem and what you can do to stop it before it becomes worse.
The only silly questions are the ones left unasked. Next time you visit your dentist’s office, feel free to ask your hygienist about any oral health-related issues that are on your mind. The above questions are a great way to get the conversation rolling.
About the Author
Dr. Erick Anderson is a general dentist in Colorado Springs who has decades of experience in his field. He works alongside three talented hygienists — Danielle, Jean, and Angie. All of them are always happy to answer patients’ questions. If you would like to learn more about how Dr. Anderson and his team can help you attain better oral and overall health, contact our office today at 719-593-0988