Dr. Andrew Owyoung works with patients in Sacramento, California, to address oral health issues. He says many people come into his office with concerns about teeth. “I find that most people feel embarrassed to bring up dental problems,” he explains. “They think it’s something you just learn how to live with.” But there’s no reason to worry. You can talk to your dentist if you’re concerned about your smile. And dentists should ask questions about things like whether people brush their teeth regularly and if they floss. These habits can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. They’ll also let your dentist know if you’ve been experiencing pain or swelling around your gums.
Common Fibs Often Told Our Dentists
A common fib told our dentists is the patient didn’t eat anything before their appointment. While eating is not recommended before your appointment, it’s certainly not a problem. Another fib often told by patients is that they don’t need to see the dentist because they haven’t had cavities in years. Cavities are caused when bacteria from foods we eat get trapped in the enamel, which can happen to anyone, whether you’ve had cavities before or not.
We’ve all pulled off a little white lie or two. Whether telling Mom, we were going out to play instead of doing homework or lying about what we ate for lunch. It’s easy to get caught in a fib. But, if you’re ever unsure whether or not you should tell the truth, remember that your teeth are an excellent indicator of your honesty. Your teeth are proof of your daily habits. At Soft Touch Dentistry, we take great pride in our work and strive to provide each patient with the best possible treatment options. So there’s no need to try and slide one past us. We know the truth. But here are some of our favorites:
I’m Completely Relaxed
Many times if you’re feeling stressed, your dentist is aware. It may be your posture, the grimacing expression in your eyes, or your fingernails ripping through the armrests that are giving you away. The point is it’s okay to let your dentist know how you are feeling. It does not help you to relax by keeping your anxiety bottled up inside you. We want you to be comfortable and can help you de-stress by talking you through the procedure.
I Never Smoke
Smoking isn’t healthy, but it’s highly addictive and difficult to quit. Some people are embarrassed to tell their dentist that they smoke. Coffee is the most significant cause of tooth discoloration. Still, cigarettes leave a darker brown mark on the inside of the mouth around the teeth. If you puff smoke into your mouth, it goes straight to the back and clings to the teeth, staying longer than if you drink coffee.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re intentionally lying to the dentist or not; they can quickly tell when you’re telling the truth and when you’re not.
I Brush Religiously
Your dentist can also see if you’re not brushing your teeth often enough or brushing them too hard. People who don’t regularly clean their teeth usually have more extensive areas of tartare buildup and swollen, red gums.
Brushing too hard could cause gum disease and tooth decay, increasing your chances of having cavities and recessed gums.
I Floss Religiously
This is one of the top fibs people tell their dentist because it’s something we all know we should do however it can be a difficult habit to start for some. About one-third of Americans struggle with flossing their teeth regularly, according to a study by US News.
You can tell when your dental hygiene has improved by looking at the plaque buildup on your tooth enamel and checking to see whether your gum tissue is red and swollen. Don’t be surprised if your dentist reminds you to floss every day. Start now and take it one step at a time.
I Don’t Have Diabetes
There are several health conditions that dentists may be able to diagnose just by examining your teeth. One of them is diabetes. A sweet-smelling mouth odor could indicate uncontrolled or undiagnossed diabetes since patients undergoing ketoacidosis often experience a sweet-smelling mouth odor.
We’re not here to judge; we want to help you improve your smile by offering advice and looking after your teeth.
I’m Not Pregnant
Some people lie about being pregnant because they want to avoid telling their boss, parents, friends, and family members they are expecting. If a patient suddenly develops a nasty gingival disease, this sometimes suggests a pregnancy.
This is caused by an increase in progesterone – a natural hormone that occurs during pregnancy. Progesterone increases the production of specific bacterial cells, which cause gum disease. Due to these bacterial cells, some pregnant women may also experience a small red bump on their gums – a pyogenic granuloma.
I Never Drink Sodas
Your teeth are constantly under attack from acids found in sodas. The results of which are easily observed by your dentist. These acids erode the protective layer of enamel covering your teeth, causing them to become sensitive and vulnerable to cavities.
Sodas contain phosphoric acid, citric acid, malic acid, lactic acid, fumaric acid, and tartaric acid. All of these acids have been shown to damage tooth enamel. If you insist on drinking sodas, try using a straw instead of drinking directly from the bottle or can.
I Never Chew Hard Candy
Hard candy can be dangerous for your teeth because, besides being filled with lots of added sugars, it can also cause a dental emergency, such as breaking or chipping a tooth.
If you have chipped or cracked teeth, they’re more likely to be susceptible to dental caries (toothy disease) and cavities. A minor chip easily fixed with composite resin or a small filling may need more extensive treatments if not appropriately treated.
I Don’t Bite My Nails
Your dentist wouldn’t care if you frequently bite your fingernails. Nail-biter teeth usually have small chips or cracks that aren’t visible to the naked eyes but can be seen on dental x-rays. These cracks provide a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which increases the chances of decay. People who constantly nibble their nails may also suffer from TMD/TMJ. TMJ disorder can cause severe headaches, joint pains, or even clicking sounds in the joints.
How Can Your Dentist Tell If You’re Lying?
Most dentists are pretty good at telling whether someone is hiding something. But what happens when you’re caught fibbing? The truth is that most dentists aren’t concerned about whether you smoke or drink alcohol. They want you to take care of your teeth and gums. And if you’re willing to follow some basic hygiene rules, they won’t mind if you occasionally break one of those rules.
It doesn’t hurt to be honest about your oral hygiene. But here are some giveaways that tip off your dentist that you may be fibbing:
Your Enamel Layer Shows Signs Of Wear
Enamel protects our teeth from damage by things we eat and drink. The enamel can get worn down if you consume too much sugar and acid at one time. The best way to eliminate this harmful substance is by brushing your teeth after eating something acidic and sugary. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, at least rinse your teeth out with water to remove whatever you can.
While it’s natural to think brushing and flossing are enough to ward off cavities, there’s more to it. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria get into the mouth and starts eating away at the protective outer shell of the tooth called the enamel. When that happens, the tooth’s inner layers begin to wear out too. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain, infection, and eventually loss of the affected tooth. Fortunately, there are ways to stop tooth decay before it starts. Here are five tips to help you fight tooth decay.
Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily
Brushing your teeth twice daily is the best way to avoid cavities. But what exactly does that mean? Ideally, you’ll use a soft bristle toothbrush and clean both sides of each tooth. You should also lightly scrub your tongue, along the gum line, and inside your cheeks. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that people who brushed their tongues had fewer cavities than those who didn’t.
Regularly flossing is one way to keep your teeth healthy. Studies show that flossing reduces plaque buildup. So how often should you floss? Experts recommend doing it once per day.
Avoid Sugary Foods And Drinks
Sugary foods like candy, soda, and fruit juice contain lots of sugar. This makes them hard to digest and causes an increase in saliva production. Saliva helps wash food particles out of your mouth and neutralizes acids that cause tooth decay. Too much saliva can make your mouth feel dry and uncomfortable.
Don’t Smoke And Limit Alcohol
Besides the noticeable effect on your teeth, smoking and drinking alcohol can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight infections. That means you could end up getting sick more frequently. It also increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Mouthwash contains antibacterial agents that kill germs on your teeth and prevent cavities. Some mouthwashes even contain fluoride, which strengthens your teeth and prevents cavities.
Stains On Your Teeth
Stains tell the dentist a lot of things. Smoking tobacco causes stains on the enamel of the tooth. Drinking dark-colored drinks like coffee and black tea can stain your teeth. If you eat foods that stain your teeth, your dentist might suggest cutting down or rinsing them afterward. Follow this advice for the health of your teeth.
Plaque Build-Up Under The Gums
The gum line is tough to clean by just using your toothbrush. That’s where flossing comes into play. Flossing helps remove the bacteria in that area. A study found that only 27% of people don’t tell their dentist the truth about their flossing habits. You might not think you need to floss, but without it, your gums can suffer from inflammation and gum disease. What does the dentist do to find out if you floss? They look for signs of healthy gums and the absence of plaque.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, this could signify that you are grinding your teeth. Most people don’t realize they’re grinding their teeth at nighttime because they aren’t aware they’re doing it. The fact is that the dentist can see. Fortunately, bite guards are a relatively easy way to alleviate this problem.
Why Telling Your Dentist the Truth is Better
Dentists’ jobs are to protect your teeth, keep them healthy, and help them look their best. You can be straight with your dentist because they’re not judging you. Better information provides you with more valuable options for effectively treating your teeth. This is true for all medical sectors. Instead of hiding what you’re embarrassed by, tell your dentist everything. It will allow them to serve you better, and they will be able to save time. They can tell if you’re telling the truth, so we should all be honest with each other.
If you have questions regarding your dental hygiene, contact the experts at Soft Touch Dentistry in Sacramento, California, today!