Going to the dentist is a famously common fear, with some people outright avoiding making an appointment unless they're in urgent need of dental care. The irony of this, of course, is that the more often you see a dentist, the less likely you are to need uncomfortable treatments.
More common than avoidance, however, is dishonesty. People often mislead their dentist about various aspects of their lives, perhaps out of a fear of being criticised or embarrassed. Here are a few of the things people lie to their dentist about and, if any of them apply to you, exactly why you need to be honest next time.
Sugary food and drink consumption
Sugar is notoriously bad for your teeth, particularly when it's in the form of highly-sweetened soft drinks. And yet people are reluctant to cut it out of their diets, which is perhaps why they often understate how much sugar they consume.
Your dentist needs an accurate idea because they can advise you on ways to reduce the damage and perhaps take an extra close look for signs of cavities. They may well let you know you should cut down, but through gentle encouragement rather than a severe telling-off.
Discomfort during a dental treatment
It might be pride that makes people sit through discomfort and pain when they don't need to, but it's surprisingly common.
Yes, the treatment does need to be completed, but if you signal to the dentist that something is uncomfortable, they can try to make it less so.
That they're a smoker
Smoking is highly damaging to your overall oral health, and it stains your teeth. Your dentist would most likely be far happier if you quit, but that's no reason not to tell them.
As smoking can cause mouth cancers, it's important that your dentist is aware of your increased risk when they examine you.
Dental hygiene habits
It's rare to find someone who will tell their dentist that they sometimes forget to brush their teeth and that they don't floss. If dental patients are to be believed, everyone takes perfect care of their oral hygiene.
In reality, of course, nobody is perfect, and your dentist needs to know where your habits are falling short. If there are things you struggle with or find difficult, they can suggest things to help or recommend different products you might like.
The frequency of dental check-ups
You should see a dentist at least twice a year. If you haven't been for some time, don't worry about your dentist judging you – they're just glad you're there now.
Being honest about when you last went helps your dentist diagnose any problems, which can be a huge concern if they seem to have suddenly developed in a short space of time. Getting it out in the open also makes you feel better, so you'll find it easier to stick to the schedule in the future.
Keep these ideas next time your in at your dentist's for dental services.