Some patients have a tendency to stretch the truth during dental checkups. Perhaps, you have been lying to your dentist about brushing and flossing your teeth every day, but you only do it when you remember. If you think that you have deceived the dentist with your lies, think again.
Whether you believe it or not, the dentist knows when you are lying or telling the truth about your mouth. Your mouth holds clues that provide important information about your overall health. No matter how much you try to put up an Oscar-winning act, a dentist with years of experience can easily recognize the many lies you are telling.
Read on to learn the most common lies patients often tell their dentists and how they can recognize fact versus fiction.
- “I floss my teeth regularly”
This is perhaps the most common lie that patients are guilty of telling their dentist. However, the dentist can easily tell if you are flossing your teeth regularly or not. Brushing may be the cornerstone of dental health care, but flossing is also an important component of your oral hygiene routine. While brushing can get rid of plaque buildup above the gum line, flossing your teeth helps eliminate plaque below your gums. If your dentist notices inflamed gums, a condition called gingivitis, it is an obvious indication that you are not an avid flosser or you are doing it incorrectly. Make sure to floss once a day using gentle up and down strokes to effectively remove plaque and food particles trapped in between your teeth.
- “I do not smoke.” or “I quit smoking.”
Everyone knows that smoking has a serious impact on your health. It can put you at risk of different forms of cancers, such as mouth and throat cancers. Chewing tobacco can also result in various dental issues, such as tooth decay, premature tooth loss, and gum disease. Even if you claim otherwise, dentists are aware that smoking can cause stains on teeth. Other dead giveaways that you are not telling the truth are nicotine stains on your fingers and the distinct smell of smoke on your clothing. Whether you are smoking or vaping, your dentist will know it.
- “I rarely drink soda.”
Soda has high acid content, which can be terrible for your teeth. It can wear away the protective layer of the teeth, leading to ename erosion. Harmful bacteria will feed on the sugar in your mouth, increasing your risk of tooth decay. The dentist will recommend you to look for an alternative drink to enjoy. In addition to brushing your teeth, rinsing your mouth with water after enjoying your favourite soda helps in tooth decay prevention. This washes away the sugar and acid that may linger on your teeth.
- “I hardly drink alcoholic beverages.”
One look at your mouth and the dentist will know that you are a heavy drinker. A dry mouth is a tip-off that you enjoy alcoholic drinks a little too much. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can affect your salivary glands and reduce the production of saliva. Reports also show that 76% of oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. Additionally, dentists can easily recognize the distinct smell of alcohol in your breath.
- “I do not grind my teeth.”
Grinding can give your teeth a worn appearance. Persistent headaches or muscle pain around your jaw are also common signs of nocturnal bruxism, a condition characterized by an involuntary, unconscious, and excessive grinding of teeth at night. In many cases, some patients are not even aware that they have nocturnal bruxism, which technically does not count as an actual lie. However, this condition should never be ignored as it can damage your teeth and cause jaw pain.
The dentist may recommend a mouth guard or other types of dental appliances designed to protect the tooth enamel or prevent tooth loosening. Make sure to discuss the different dental solutions with your dentist.
- “It does not hurt.”
Pain is one of the sensations that can be hard to hide. No matter how much you tough it out, the dentist can see that you are feeling discomfort. If you feel pain, your body will naturally respond in specific ways. For instance, you flinch or clench your eyes shut or your tongue and legs become tense. If you experience pain during a dental procedure, do not hesitate to let your dentist know so they may apply a topical anesthetic or prescribe you a pain medication before your next dental trip.
- “I do not do drugs.”
Years of dental practice allow dentists to easily catch tooth and gum problems caused by substance abuse. Drugs can also cause significant damage to the roof of your mouth (the hard and soft palate), the floor of your mouth (under your tongue), salivary glands, the lining of your cheeks, lips, tongue, chewing muscles, and jaw joints. People with drug abuse problems are known to have worse dental health than those who do not do drugs.
The next time you visit a dental health clinic in Sarnia, make sure to be honest with your dentist. Keeping secrets from your dentist can prevent them from giving you the right treatment. Being truthful is critical to addressing the root cause of the problem to ensure that you have better oral and overall health in the future.
Practicing good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle are key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Regular dental hygiene cleanings and checkups should be a critical part of your lifestyle.
At Lambton Family Dental, our dental health professionals are highly trained to build a close rapport with each of our patients. We make sure to provide you with a safe and warm environment to make you feel confident and secure with our care. Our dental practice strives to ensure excellence in patient-centred care so you know you are in good hands.