What do Dentists Really Think of Their Patients?

As you lay your mouth bare to a dental professional, have you ever wondered what they may be thinking but not telling you? Some people find going to their local dental clinic not only a little frightening, but also potentially embarrassing. If you have always wondered what goes on in the heads of the men and women who spend their working lives prodding around in patients’ mouths, we may just have some of the answers. 

Why do you leave so long between appointments? 
A big bugbear of many dental professionals is that patients are reluctant to keep to regular appointments. They usually have no need to even look at your mouth to realise this as your dental records will show precisely when you last graced their surgery with your presence. Putting off dental appointments can lead to problems such as tooth decay becoming worse and more difficult to treat. No matter how well you brush, floss and rinse your teeth, appointments are needed to continually assess your needs. Should your reluctance to make an appointment be caused by fear, discuss this with the dentist so they can help you feel more relaxed during your visits. 

When they say give up sugar, they mean it 
When a health professional, especially one that is talking about your teeth, says you need to give up sugar, it is rarely just a recommendation. Sugary foods and drinks can lead to tooth decay, which is why during your last dental appointment you have probably been told to give up these vices should they see that it has been having an adverse effect on your teeth and gums. 

Stop smoking please 
Again, this is a piece of advice they may have been very verbal about previously, but if it is apparent that you are still smoking, they will wish you would simply take their advice and quit. Most people are aware of the impact smoking cigarettes can have on a person’s lungs, but they may not realise just how much it can affect your teeth and gums. Smoking can result in stained, damaged and missing teeth, in addition to causing mouth cancer and gum disease. 

You are not on trial 
All dental professionals are there to do a job, and their priority is your oral health. They do not judge their patients, nor will they be discussing your personal quirks and habits with their colleagues once you have left the building. With this in mind, be honest at your appointment about any concerns you may have about your teeth and gums, and don’t be afraid to share details of your diet and smoking habits. By presenting all the facts you can receive the correct advice and treatment, which may include smoking cessation courses and tips about how to avoid harmful sugars. 

Once you realise that dentists are in fact health care professionals with your health as their focus, you should begin to feel less intimidated and be able to relax a lot more during your appointments.