In a lot of ways, your dentist is like a detective. When you come in for your appointments, they can see the evidence and truths being told by your dental hygiene, regardless of what you’re saying. It’s not uncommon for people to lie to their dentists. Some lie because they’re nervous or embarrassed. Whatever the case may be, your dentist wants to help keep you and your mouth healthy. Here are six lies that dentists hear most often along with the reasons why you should tell them the truth.
“Do You Smoke?”
With all of the research reporting the health risks that come with smoking, there are more reasons to quit than your dental health. If you’re a smoker trying to hide your habit, your dentist will know instantly. Your teeth will tell the story. When you smoke, your teeth will begin to stain. Over time, the stains aren’t the only problem. Smoking also leads to increased plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth, inflammation of salivary glands, and bad breath.
“Do You Drink A Lot of Soda?”
This is another question that you will not be able to avoid, as the wear and tear that comes from soda and other acidic foods and drinks do a doozy on your enamel. The acid and sugars from soda begin eating away at your tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay and sensitivity.Your dentist may suggest cutting back on how much you drink and how often. If you insist on having a can a day, at least drink it with a straw and rinse thoroughly with water after you’re done. By consuming soda faster, you’re shortening the amount of time your teeth are exposed in comparison to sipping on one can throughout the day.
“Have You Been Flossing?”
This is one of the most common lies that get told at the dentist – probably because it is the one hygiene habit that you know you should do that you just don’t. Flossing frequently is something ⅓ of Americans struggle with, says a 2016 report from US News. Your dentist will be able to see how often you floss by looking at the plaque build up on your teeth and by checking to see if your gums are inflamed. Be prepared to hear a reminder from your dentist that you should be flossing at least once a day.
“Did You Have Trouble Finding the Office?”
Have you ever been “late” to an appointment and you weren’t late, just nervous? Dentists see this a lot with patients who are nervous about coming to the dentist. Instead of coming to an appointment on time, they will avoid their visit for as long as possible due to anxiety and fear. Dental anxiety is not uncommon, and the sooner you share your discomfort with your dentist, the faster you and your provider can work together to find a solution, such as taking extra time to go through the appointment or perhaps using nitrous oxide to help you relax. It’s important that you don’t let your fear of the dentist keep you from going. Long spans of time between visits can lead to increased dental problems in the future.
“How Often and How Much Do You Drink?”
Between the acidity that comes with many alcoholic beverages and the damage it can do to your mouth’s salivary glands, your dentist will be looking for signs of heavy use. When you are drinking high volumes of alcohol frequently, your mouth’s saliva production is thrown out of whack. Saliva is what your mouth needs to keep it moist, which keeps bad breath at bay and limits dry mouth and decay. Research is also showing that heavy drinking has a relationship to the development of oral cancers. If your dentist notices a problem, they will bring it to your attention, and if the problem is severe, they may suggest that you explore outside help or counseling.
“Do You Grind Your Teeth At Night?”
This question can be a tricky one for patients to answer. If you are feeling pain in your jaw muscle or you’re getting frequent headaches, it’s possible that you grind your teeth at night. When you go in for your appointment, your dentist will be able to tell by looking for any signs of grinding or loosening on your enamel. In addition to prescribing you a night guard—a plastic application that offers a barrier between your upper and lower teeth—your dentist might want to explore the possibility of sleep apnea. It’s common that grinding teeth is a symptom of sleep apnea, as the body is looking to reopen your airway by moving the jaw back and forth. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist will be able to offer guidance on how to fix the problem.
Your dentist is on your side, and asking these questions is another way for them to provide you with the care you need to keep your mouth happy and healthy. If any of these cases sound like you, maybe it’s time that you come in to see a dentist. Call Dr. Mogren’s office today or schedule your appointment online!