Family dentistry is one of the most important investments you can make in yourself and your loved ones. When you put this much effort and money into anything, you want to know that you'll get the most from it. Here is how to maximize the benefits of family dental care.
Make and Keep Check-Up Appointments
Regular check-ups are your best chance to stay ahead of potential problems. The difference between a filling and a root canal can be thousands of dollars. If you want to get the filling rather than the root canal, then you need to catch the problem before it progresses too far.
The office staff at the practice pushes patients to schedule regular check-ups, and you should go along with those efforts. Coming by every six months or so is a good way to monitor changes and identify problems. Especially if you have kids, their oral health will change dramatically in that time. If there are any surprises waiting, you want to find them sooner rather than later.
Even if a question sounds dumb or ridiculous, it's only a bad question if you don't ask it. Maybe the dentist looks in your mouth and tells you that the bump is nothing. However, they could look and determine there's an oral cancer risk.
Never assume your dentist observed everything during the exam. They will try as hard as possible, but you should raise your questions if the dentist doesn't mention them. It is better to feel a little silly for asking about something than to have a major dental health issue slip through.
Also, take in all of the educational materials. Your kids are likely curious to learn about family dental care anyhow. If the practice has brochures about problems, grab a few and review them. As long as they're kid-appropriate, let your children check them out. Kids are inquisitive, and they may even raise some questions you hadn't considered asking your dentist.
Use the Services
Family dentistry practices offer lots of services, and you should use them. The hygienist, for example, is an invaluable resource. Keeping your teeth clean of plaque is a good way to maintain your overall oral health. Also, working with the hygienist means there's another set of eyes on potential problems. Some dental issues don't become evident until after thorough teeth cleaning.
Leverage the knowledge of the dentist and the hygienist, too. If your kid isn't getting their teeth completely clean during brushing, for example, ask for tips.
Contact your dentist for more information about family dental care.