Don’t Lie to the Dentist

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How honest are your children with their dentist?

Statistically speaking, chances are they are
not totally honest. We all have our reasons.
Children can be nervous or shy.
Or embarrassed that they haven’t been maintaining
their dental health as they know they should.
They’ve been told the good dental habits,
but haven’t followed through.
So when asked, they don’t want to admit it.


For some reason, flossing always seems to be the easy
example. It reveals something about how patients are
with their dentists.

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has
figured out that 27%, about a third, of adults in the
United States lie to their dentists. When their dentists ask
them about flossing, a third of the adults lie when they answer.
That means a whole third of dental patients
are inhibiting their own dental care!
And that’s not accounting for the children.
We wouldn’t expect a mechanic to effectively fix our car
if we lie about what we did with it.
Nor any other trained expert that needs information
from us, so they can help us effectively.
But that’s 27% of adult dental patients who are getting
in their own way. And that means that one third of dental
patients could develop periodontal disease as bacteria in
plaque below the gumline, which would otherwise
be removed by flossing, causes swelling, irritation,
receding gums, and even tooth loss.

Periodontal disease is also connected with diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis,
Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
Once again, oral health impacts overall health.
If that is true of a third of adult patients, it could
also be true of their children.

Yet, all this data hasn’t changed the fact that people
don’t floss like they should, children included.
And worse, they lie about it.

Here’s the catch about lying to the dentist:
she’ll know that it’s lying.

Dentists will be able to see how often children floss
by looking at their mouth (as opposed to listening to it).

Two things will give it away: the plaque build up on
their teeth and by gum inflammation (a.k.a gingivitis,
gum disease). Awkward.

Wouldn’t it be easier to tell the truth?
Then we can just skip the “busted” moment and have
an easier reminder to floss once a day.


In general, kids love drinking soda. And it turns
out that dental patients lie about drinking a lot of it.
Of course, the best thing would be to cut soda altogether
from your children’s diet.

It is so detrimental to their health, not least of all to
their dental health. There are few things worse than soda
for children’s teeth. It destroys the enamel, leaving
teeth wide open to bacteria.

But, because so many people are addicted to soda,
be sure the dentist will ask your child
about their consumption.

And if the children don’t give an honest answer about
how much soda they drink, again, they will be busted!

The dentist will be able to see the truth, on the teeth.
Apparently, soda leaves a distinctive pattern on teeth.
No matter what you say, the proof is in your mouth.
There’s no hiding the soft drink addiction.

Once again, don’t lie to the dentist.

Alcoholic Beverages

A final topic of dishonesty among dental patients is alcohol.
This would of course apply to adults, and hopefully
not your children!

How much alcohol do you drink?

Why do dentists asks how often you drink?

Because of alcoholic beverages are acidic and can
damage the salivary glands in your mouth.
When you drink a lot of alcohol at a time, and do it often,
it negatively affects your mouth’s production of saliva.
Why is that bad? Saliva keeps helps with bad bread
and decay. And, worst case scenario, heavy drinking
can lead to oral cancer. Not good.

When dentists ask their patients if they drink heavily,
they sometimes get a dishonest answer. And once again,
the dentist will find the truth. They’ll see your dry mouth,
and you’re busted.

Besides honesty being a good thing by itself,
your dentist will be able to tell if you are lying.

How embarrassing is that? Your dentist asks you if you
drink a lot of soda, and you say “no.” But he examines your teeth, and see evidence to the contrary. He asks if you floss, and you say once a day.
But he sees gum disease. Busted! Your dental hygiene will
tell the truth, whether you do or not. When you think about it,
your mouth says “no” but your mouth says “yes.”

Who wants to have that awkward conversation?

Remember that your dentist wants you to be healthy,
and telling the truth will make that easier.

Don’t lie to your dentist!

To be sure you are always current on the most important information regarding your child’s health care, sign up for a free membership, if you have not already. And may you and your child enjoy their beautiful smile, for a lifetime. The world is watching. Thank you for caring.

To be sure you are always current on the most important information regarding your child’s health care, sign up for a free membership, if you have not already. And may you and your child enjoy their beautiful smile, for a lifetime. The world is watching. Thank you for caring.

Future Articles:

  • 2 Steps to Get Your Child Flossing
  • Ask the Dentist to Explain
  • Who Owns Your Pediatric Dentist?
  • Children’s dental disease connection with Respiratory Disease
  • Children’s dental disease connection with Heart Disease
  • Children’s dental disease connection with Osteoporosis
  • Mom’s dental disease connection with premature birth

If you have concerns, from how to find a dentist, how to know when to get a second opinion, how dental disease affects your children’s health, please submit a request via comment or email.

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