Everyone tends to stretch the truth just a little bit when they visit the dentist. Whether it’s out of embarrassment for not taking care of our teeth well enough or because we ignored their advice, there are plenty of reasons why we might not want to be totally honest with our dentists.
However, the joke is on us. Dentists are experts in oral hygiene, so trying to fool them about the state of your teeth and gums is a fool’s errand.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 lies that your dentist just isn’t being convinced by.
Lie 1: “It’s okay, it doesn’t hurt”
Dentists can tell very easily if their patient is in pain as its part of their training. Even if you keep a straight face, they can tell by your eyes flinching or your body tensing up and your legs or tongue tightening.
If you are experiencing pain when a dentist does something in your mouth, speak up about it. If you allow yourself to simply endure the pain then the dentist runs the risk of hurting you more than helping you. If the pain is incredibly sharp, the dentist can use a local anaesthetic to numb the area that’s causing trouble.
Lie 2: “I barley even touch soft drinks!”
The acid in soft drinks wears away the protective layer of enamel on your teeth and it does this in a easily recognisable pattern. Some acidic fruit drinks like lemonade can also cause similar kinds of damage.
Instead of lying about how much soft drink you consume, be honest and heed the dentists’ advice about cutting it out of your diet. There’s no easy way to get around it, you need to start drinking more water and less sugary drinks.
Lie 3: “I don’t smoke cigarettes”
Cigarettes are notoriously despised by dentists for their ability to stain the teeth of patients. Because the colour of stains can vary from different people, once a dentist notices them they can usually confirm their suspicions by smelling your clothes or looking at your fingertips for smoke stains.
The problem with cigarettes is that they are highly addictive and one of the hardest habits to give up. However, for the sake of your teeth (if nothing else), you should stop smoking immediately and start reversing the damage you have done to your body.
Lie 4: “Yes, I floss”
While brushing is useful for remove plaque above the gum line, flossing is helpful for removing plaque from below the gums. If your gums are inflamed from a build-up of bacteria due to a lack of flossing then a dentist can easily tell you’ve been neglecting their advice.
The best way to get around this is to simply follow the dentists’ advice and floss every day. Flossing is essential for removing hard bits of food and plaque build-up in areas that a brush can’t easily reach.
Lie 5: “I don’t drink alcohol often”
Alcohol has a very distinct smell and stay on the breath for a long time. If that doesn’t give you away, then a dentist can tell you have been drinking from the dryness of your mouth.
According the American Cancer Society, around 7/10 people with oral cancers are also heavy drinkers. Do yourself a favour, cut down on the drinks at your next party and your teeth will thank you for it.