Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist

Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist
Posted on 02/19/2019
Questions to ask your dentis

A beautiful smile starts by asking the right questions at the dentist!

At Towson Smile Care, we give you plenty of time to ask questions during your dental exam appointment — Asking questions at the dentist ensures you…

  • Feel confident in your care and recommended treatments

  • Understand how to properly care for your teeth

  • Won’t have any surprises later down the road

Keep reading for our list of 10 important topics and questions to talk with your dentist about during your next appointment.

1. What should I know today about my overall dental health?

Our dentists will always explain any current dental health concerns or potential issues they discover. Use this as an opportunity to ask follow-up questions to ensure you fully understand the state of your dental health.

For example, if your dentist or hygienist mentions that your gums are bleeding during the cleaning, some good follow up questions are…

  • What do bleeding gums mean?

  • What dental hygiene habits do I need to adopt to promote healthy gums?

  • What signs of gum disease should I be on the lookout for?

Your mouth is a window to your overall health. In fact, many whole-body health issues display symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, and osteoporosis. So as you develop an understanding of your overall dental health, find out from your dentist if there are any issues you should discuss with your primary care provider.

2. What does this (pain, discoloration, sensation, etc.) mean?

Dental pain

If there’s something bothering you about your teeth, mention it! This might be tooth pain, sensitivity, or other abnormalities. Even if it seems minor or the pain has gone away recently, let your dentist know. Catching issues early on is the key to successful treatment and healthy teeth for life.

3. Am I brushing and flossing correctly

Most of us learned to brush and floss our teeth at a young age, but that doesn’t mean you were taught correctly. Pay attention to the way your hygienist cleans your teeth and get some pointers on how you can replicate this level of precise cleaning at home. 

Some specific questions you might ask include:

  • Can you demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique?

  • When should I brush and floss and how often?

  • Are the dental tools I’m using the best choice for my teeth?

  • Can you recommend an electric toothbrush?

  • What toothpaste and mouthwash is best for my teeth?


4. What should I expect from the procedure?

Dental work

When your dentist recommends an unfamiliar dental procedure, you’ll probably have a few questions. From cost and length of procedure, to sensations and the specifics of what will be performed and what tools will be used — your dentist will be happy to answer your questions. 

At Towson Smile Care, we want every patient to feel confident about their care and will help you understand what a specific treatment involves. After all, the best results come when both you and our team are on the same page!

5. How can I improve the cosmetic appearance of my teeth?

It’s never too late to have the perfect smile you’ve always wanted. If you’re not happy with the appearance of your teeth, talk to your dentist about options. For instance, you may ask about specific cosmetic treatments like…

  • Teeth whitening

  • Invisalign

  • Smile Makeovers (customized restorations)

  • Veneers

If you’re not sure what type of treatment you need, start by simply asking how you can improve the look of your teeth. From there, you and your dentist can discuss your smile goals and how you can achieve brilliant teeth.

6. I get anxious at the dentist, can you help me?

Dental anxiety affects an estimated 80% of Americans and can even prevent people from getting the dental care they need. If you feel nervous or fearful about being at the dentist or a specific treatment, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Talk to your dental team!

Giving your dentist a heads up will ensure they take extra time to ensure your comfort. Plus, they’ll be able to recommend sedation options or other comfort amenities if you’re especially nervous.

7. Any foods that I should avoid to protect my teeth?

Foods that hurt teeth

Did you know that the foods you eat can affect your smile? It’s true...and in more ways than you may think!

For instance, frequent snacking (on any types of foods) can encourage tooth decay. And foods like oranges, sticky candy, extremely hard foods, and highly pigmented foods can cause cavities, chipped teeth, and staining.

Ask your dentist what you should consider about your dental health during meal times and what foods you may want to avoid or limit, as well as what to eat instead!

8. Do I grind my teeth?

Most people have no idea they have a problem with grinding their teeth. But a simple peek in your mouth and your dentist can give you a pretty good idea of whether or not it’s an issue for you.
Tooth grinding is a bigger problem than you may realize. It can lead to you waking up in the morning with a tight jaw, sore face, or even a pounding headache. Over time, this can lead to TMJ issues, enamel loss, fractured teeth, lost teeth and gum recession. So asking your dentist about your risk level (and how to prevent it) is very important.

9. How can I prevent gum disease?

Prevent gum disease

One out of every 2 American adults age 30 and older has gum disease. Even though it’s common, this dental health issue can be very dangerous. Left alone, gum disease can cause severe infections, tooth loss, and may even spark bigger health issues like diabetes and heart disease.  There is even some evidence that gum disease is linked to higher incidence of Parkison’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

While your dentist will assess your risk of gum disease, make sure you talk to your dentist about how to prevent it and what signs to watch for yourself in between appointments.

We’re here to answer all your questions

At Towson Smile Care, we want to help you take an active role in your dental health, and that means answering ALL your questions! 

Patient education is very important to us. Whatever questions you have — whether it’s one of these listed above or something else entirely — we want to help. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment today and get your dental health questions answered.


Dr. H. Brett Friedman
Dr. Friedman earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1996. For over 20 years, Dr. Friedman has been creating the smiles of his patients’ dreams. He believes that nothing should stand between you and a healthier smile.