Not being completely honest about our dental care during a dentist appointment can hurt nobody we think. However, it is not the smartest approach. In the first place, dentists are used to hearing patients stretching the truth a bit, and most importantly, dentists recognize signs of poor oral health. So, it is better to be openly honest as it allows dentists to provide us the most adequate treatment.
Dentists can incorrectly diagnose a patient because of wrong information about oral care, which can bring various problems in the future. For example, the dentist might indicate unnecessary tests, or even worse, could cause to miss a more severe problem that would require quick medical attention.
The following are 5 of the most popular lies patients tell dentists hoping they won’t find out:
“I floss every day”
It’s common among dental patients to neglect to floss their teeth. However, there are signs that will assure dentists you are not flossing your teeth — or not regularly at least — even if you tell them you do it every day. Flossing helps to remove plaque in your gums, which we cannot do effectively by only brushing our teeth. Therefore, your gums will be inflamed and tell your dentist that you are flossing as regularly as you should.
Flossing at least once a day is good enough according to the American Dental Association. The most important is knowing the proper flossing technique in order to avoid gingivitis (gum inflammation) or any other gum disease.
“I’m not a smoker”
Dentists can tell with ease when a patient is a smoker. According to established Irvine dentist, Dr. Mansouri, the reason for this is that tobacco leaves very distinct stains our teeth, which makes smoking a terrible practice for our dental health. Moreover, if dentists suspect a patient has been smoking, they can also determine it by searching for nicotine stains in the patient’s fingers or by smelling smoke on them.
Smoking is one of the most dangerous threats to a person’s dental health. Not just causes lung cancer but also several other types including throat and mouth cancer. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that tobacco in all of its variations it’s responsible for various dental issues such as:
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
“I don’t have time to make an appointment” / I got lost in my way there”
A large number of patients experience different levels of anxiety about dental procedures and checkups. Consequently, they make excuses for not going and also postpone their next appointment longer than they should. As a result, these patients may develop more dental problems or worsen current ones.
Dentists are widely aware of the nerves a dental checkup can cause. Nevertheless, there are various resources a dentist can use to calm down their patient’s nerves like giving you nitrous oxygen. Some patients may suffer from severe anxiety though, which could be treated with professional psychological help.
“I don’t grind my teeth”
Tooth grinding is a common condition among dental patients that causes teeth to worn out, pain around the jaw, and headaches. However, some patients may not be aware they have this condition. Nocturnal tooth grinding is also known as nocturnal bruxism and whether you are aware or not you have it, it is something that requires professional assistance.
Once dentists recognize nocturnal bruxism due to any of the previously mentioned symptoms, they recommend patients a dental device to use at night to prevent grinding. It’s essential for patients to follow every recommendation, as nocturnal bruxism can loosen a tooth or damage tooth enamel.
“I almost never drink soda/alcohol”
Dentists can tell when a patient regularly drinks soda because the acid in these beverages damage tooth enamel, specifically, wears away tooth enamel in a consistent, recognizable pattern. Likewise, drinking an excessive amount of alcohol causes your mouth to be overly dry and with a particular smell, which is quickly recognized by dentists.
Oral health demands to quit drinking soda and other sweet beverages as well as alcoholic beverages. The sugar and acid from sodas can erode enamel over time, while alcohol is highly associated with the development of oral cancer. In fact, the American Cancer Society says that about 7 out of 10 oral cancer patients drink alcohol in excess.