Los Angeles Dentist Recommends 10 Teeth Cleaning Questions to Ask
When browsing for an affordable “dentist near me”, it’s important to consider a dental team that understands the significance a teeth cleaning and checkup can have on your overall health. Our best-in-class offices in Los Angeles are staffed with top dentists who are ready to help you make the most of your next visit. We sourced questions from offices on the West Coast to bring you this special blog feature! Your local Bright Now dentist is there to do more than just poke around – We’re here to broaden your knowledge, and elevate your teeth cleaning experience. Get more out of your next dental checkup by using this guide to facilitate a productive and informative session that will drive results.
1. Am I brushing correctly?
The next time you visit your dentist, be sure to show them how you are actually brushing your teeth. Running through a demonstration of how you go through your daily teeth cleaning routine can help your dentist understand how you may be brushing your teeth and how it’s affecting your overall oral health. Be sure you don’t make this perfect, as an authentic reflection of your teeth cleaning routine will help your dentist analyze what changes you can make to improve.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush your teeth at a 45 degree angle to your gums with gentle tooth-wide strokes that move back and forth. When you clean your teeth, make sure you cover all aspects of your tooth including the front, interior, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Your Los Angeles dentist (as well as those at all of our convenient Bright Now locations) is adept at analyzing your teeth cleaning routine, and recommending changes to implement at home.
2. How do I floss?
Flossing is often a step most of us tend to forget in our general teeth cleaning routine. However, it’s importance cannot go unstressed. Flossing your teeth is vital to removing plaque in hard-to-reach areas between your teeth that standard brushing can’t remove. Your local dentist can help educate you in realizing the importance of flossing to prevent gum disease.
When you’re at your next teeth cleaning appointment, your dentist can show you how to properly floss your teeth, demonstrating on a model to make it easier to see. A proper flossing technique should include a piece of floss that is about 18 inches in length so that as you move along each tooth, you have ample amount of floss to remove excess plaque. Hold the piece of floss taut and guide the string between each tooth, forming a “C”-curve along your tooth.
There are two types of floss to choose from:
- Nylon Floss – Nylon floss comes either waxed or unwaxed, and sometimes even flavored. Nylon floss is made with strands of nylon bound together. However, this can often cause it to tear or shred a bit easier between teeth.
- PTFE Floss – PTFE Floss, or single filament floss, is much more shred-resistant than nylon floss and can easily maneuver between teeth.
Regardless of the type of floss you decide to use, it’s important to have your dentist show you how to properly floss your teeth during your teeth cleaning so that you can incorporate this healthy oral hygiene practice at home on a daily basis. Flossing is a great way to avoid tooth decay and gum disease before and after your appointment.
3. Does my family history matter?
Family history can play a role in your dental health, and subsequently your overall health. It’s important disclose any concerns with your local dentist as they can use this information to recommend particular oral health practices to use, and what to watch out for. This can also help your dentist determine how often you should be visiting them for your routine professional teeth cleanings.
Prior to your next teeth cleaning appointment, go over any cancer, heart disease, or gum disease within your family, just in case your dentist asks. Your next dental checkup can often include a cancer screening, and knowing your genetic history can help your dentist look for any warning signs. Knowing your family history is just one more step in ensuring your dentist can best assist and customize a treatment plan that is right for your dental needs and concerns. It’s a way to maximize the benefits you receive at each teeth cleaning appointment.
4. Am I showing signs of disease?
Following your family history, your local dentist will be able to detect any signs of early disease or cancer at your next dental checkup and teeth cleaning appointment. It’s important to ask your dentist if you are showing any signs of early disease. Watching for these signs allows you to treat any kind of disease early, before it gets worse.
Your dentist may perform what is called a pocket reading. A pocket reading allows your dentist to analyze the space in between your gum and tooth. The deeper your “pocket” is, the increased likelihood you may be suffering from gum disease or inflammation.
Gingivitis is a common oral disease you’ll want your dentist to look out for. A sign of gingivitis can be found when your teeth bleed during flossing or when your dentist is measuring your pockets. Your dentist can recommend a treatment plan that is right for you if you are experiencing early signs of gingivitis. It’s important to watch for these signs ahead of time, so that any disease or tooth decay can be prevented before worsening.
5. Do I grind my teeth?
If you grind your teeth, you may be experiencing symptoms akin to tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can help you determine whether or not grinding your teeth is an issue you may be suffering from, and if it’s affecting your oral health. Our Los Angeles dentist practices find that most people grind their teeth on an occasional basis, so it’s tough to distinguish when teeth grinding is an oral health issue. Some causes for teeth grinding include stress and anxiety, but it is more often caused by a misaligned bite or crooked teeth.
Most teeth grinding occurs at night, and many people are unaware that they are grinding their teeth in their sleep. Upon examination, your dentist can determine if you are grinding your teeth and analyze the underlying cause which is key to finding the right treatment option.
If your teeth grinding becomes chronic, it can severely impact the health of your teeth. With repeated grinding your teeth can become fractured, loose, and worn down causing the need for bridges, crowns, a root canal, or implants in the future. Proper diagnosis should be handled by your dental professional if you may be suffering from teeth grinding.
6. Is my diet impacting my oral health?
What you are putting into your body can have an impact on the health of your teeth and gums. A poor diet can negatively impact the condition and state of your teeth. Foods that are high in sugar are one of the main culprits at indicating negative oral health outcomes. Almost all foods include sugars, however, foods with added sugar should be limited or avoided to maintain a healthy smile. Your local dentist may be concerned with patients consuming large amounts of sugary sodas, fruit drinks, and non-nutritious snacks. These foods often offer no nutritional value, or benefit to your oral and overall health.
It may be a good idea to discuss your eating habits with your dentist, as they can recommend adding or detracting certain foods from your diet to optimize your oral health. A dentist may recommend foods high in nutritional value such as cheese, raw vegetables and fruit. This is especially true for children learning good eating habits that will carry on throughout their lifetime.
7. When should my children visit the dentist?
If you have children, use your next teeth cleaning as an opportunity to discuss the best options for them. Depending on their age, your dentist can determine how often they should be seen, and if they’d benefit from pediatric dentistry services. A pediatric dentist knows how best to communicate oral health practices to children, and can help prevent any tooth decay in the future. Your local dentist can help guide you in scheduling appointments for your children to encourage the best oral health practices to maintain a bright smile in their future.
8. How can I whiten my teeth?
Whitening teeth is often an idea patients consider when cleaning their teeth. A beautiful smile can often boost confidence, and it may be something you want to ask your dentist during your next visit. Discoloration of teeth is normal over time, whether it’s genetic or caused by foods like coffee and wine that can stain teeth throughout the years. There are many teeth whitening options to choose from, and getting professional advice can ensure you whiten your teeth the right way to minimize any damage to your enamel.
There are many in-office and at-home treatments your local dentist can recommend depending on the level of teeth whitening you’ll want to obtain and your preference for the amount of time and effort you’d like to spend on the process. For more intrinsic discoloration that may not be treatable with in-office or at-home teeth whitening treatments, your dentist may recommend veneers or composite bonding to give you the smile you’re looking for. Because teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure, it is very specific to the you and your needs, and there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Your local dentist can help guide you through this process if teeth whitening is a service you’d like to inquire about.
9. Why are X-Rays important?
Dental x-rays provide an accurate record of your oral health over time. The reason your dentist may request that you receive an X-Ray is that is can help determine the state your teeth are in, especially if it’s your first dental checkup with a new dentist. While physical examination can diagnose some issues, some oral diseases are much harder to see. X-rays can detect oral health issues at an early stage. Detecting issues like this early allows you to get treatment before the problems develop into something much greater.
Your local dentist can assist you through the X-ray process, and determine which kind of X-rays may be necessary dependent upon your dental concerns. Your dentist will recommend how often X-rays should be obtained to ensure you’re receiving the best dental care at your teeth cleaning appointment.
10. How often should I have my teeth cleaned?
Every patient is different – It’s often recommended you visit a dentist every six months for a routine teeth cleaning. Regardless of how well you’ve maintained your teeth, a bi-annual checkup can be the key to ensuring oral health success. However, in some cases your dentist may recommend that you come more often than six months for a teeth cleaning. Some patients may require more frequent visits to a dentist than others. Your dentist can give the best professional recommendation catered to your needs and dental concerns as to how often you should be seen.
With quality care and the best professional recommendations, there are plenty of convenient Bright Now! locations is in your neighborhood. Asking the questions above at your next teeth cleaning appointment will ensure you’re making the most of your visit and keeping your dental care affordable in the future. Give us a call at 1-844-400-7645 or book your appointment online!