Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 1-03-2021
Dentists have a “chair side manner” that dictates how we speak to our patients. For example, when we see patients come in with gingivitis, even though we’ve repeatedly suggested they floss more often, we have to avoid saying “Told you so!”
As a result, sometimes there are things we end up keeping to ourselves. We want to make sure our patients feel comfortable, so we don’t want to come across as unfriendly or overly smug about our recommendations. You could miss out on some insider knowledge and little tips because of it. Here, we share some of the things most dentists won’t tell you.
We Really Wish You’d Brush Before Cleaning Appointments
A lot of patients figure since they’re going to get their teeth cleaned, they can enjoy a meal or snack before their appointment and not worry about brushing that day. Unfortunately for us, that presents an unpleasant job because your teeth are covered in food, and often you have bad breath.
We would love to hand you a toothbrush and ask, “Would you mind just brushing your teeth before we begin?”, but that would be rude. It’s a nice gesture for patients to brush their teeth before they come for dental cleaning services in Milton.
Not Flossing isn’t an Option
Dentists and hygienists do their best to convince their patients to floss. However, most patients either don’t floss at all or don’t floss enough. We can say it ad nauseum, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t really change anything.
We know you don’t floss, and the issue here is that avoiding flossing is actually not only bad for oral health, but your overall health as well. For us to come out and say it might come across as too alarmist. However, just know that flossing helps prevent heart disease, as well as the usual suspects such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Please, Just Be Honest About Your Health
We can’t simply come out and ask, “Are you sure you’re not missing something here?” when reviewing your medical history. The fact is that when you falsify your medical background or leave things off the form, you’re only hurting yourself.
Every detail on our forms is there for a reason, so providing honest answers is a must. We won’t share your information, as we are sworn to uphold privacy. We’ve also heard it all and as dental professionals, we are here to help keep you healthy. Be honest and be safe.
We Might Be Able to Help with Those Bad Headaches
Dentists have no way of knowing if you suffer from bad headaches; yet, we can often help you avoid them. Many dental problems such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, can cause headaches, but patients don’t discuss headaches with their dentists. When we ask, “Have you had any changes to your health?”, feel free to mention headaches, as it could be related to dental issues that we can then look into and resolve.
Dislike for Dentists Can Hurt
Many patients feel free to relate how much they hate coming to our office with our team. We try to avoid making our patients dread their appointments because we want you to feel comfortable coming for your visits. When we constantly hear how much people dread their appointments, it can start to affect our self-esteem.
We know you dislike the dentist, but we don’t need to hear it. While we encourage people to let us know when they are nervous so we can make you feel more comfortable, it would be nice not to hear it with the word “hate” involved.
Take the Fluoride, It Won’t Hurt
Increasingly, patients are becoming anti-fluoride, so we smile and make a note in your chart that you don’t wish to receive fluoride applications. What we really want to say though is: “It’s just a few minutes and it does a lot of good.” Fluoride is not harmful, and it really is nothing to worry about.
X-rays are Safe
X-rays today are very safe. Many patients avoid having regular X-rays because of fears of radiation exposure. However, every precaution is taken to reduce radiation, and it really isn’t something to worry about. Without X-rays, you can find yourself at far worse risk due to tooth decay that can lead to infection.
If the problem is about the money, the undiagnosed issues missed due to a lack of X-rays will cost far more once the situation progresses. The next thing you know is that you need a costly root canal and crown.
Mouthwash Is Not Good Enough
Some people think a swish of mouthwash will be just as good as brushing and flossing in a pinch. However, although it can help wash away bad breath for a short period of time, on its own, mouthwash really offers little benefit. Brushing and flossing keep your oral health in check, and reduce dental-related bad breath.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes can be expensive, so we try to avoid pushing our patients to spend money they might not have. It’s a touchy discussion, but the truth of the matter is that an electric toothbrush is worth the investment because it provides a more effective clean for improved oral hygiene. As a result, you avoid more costly dental treatments by preventing cavities.
Replacing Fillings Isn’t a Scam
Fillings can become loose over time, leading to decay beneath the surface. When this happens, we always recommend replacing the filling. This isn’t a scam to make more money. It’s an actual necessity to protect you from progressive decay that will eat deeper and deeper into your tooth.
The longer you avoid replacing old fillings, the more serious it becomes, often leading to painful infection and the need for a root canal. We get a lot more money for root canals than we would for a simple filling, so it makes no sense to think we are recommending a replacement to make money!
Please, Just Drink Water
Soda and energy drinks are packed with sugar that literally rot your teeth. However, there are other things that can cause erosion including certain teas and citrus. We would love to just beg our patients to only drink water for their overall health and to help reduce risk for tooth decay. Unfortunately, it’s just not something we can do.
If you would like to learn more about dental cleaning services from Milltown Dental, speak to our team today.