Meg here! You all know my healthy lifestyle, I’m very open that I smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish and if I ever ran into a nutritionist they would probably faint. I know, I know. I try to break my vices all the time, new topic for another day! I was out with my friend Kevin Baum for a fancy evening at The Plaza’s Oak Room (you do that once in New York! Each Belvedere tonic was $18 )
While I was there I ran into a group of amazing dental student ladies and I said that I was going out for a smoke. This is not a popular thing to say or do anytime. It’s really not good around medical students!
When I saw the look on their faces I said “this is why I lie to my dentist.” Strike three for me! Lauren Huntington was really not happy with that little admission on my part. She said “you should never lie to your dentist!” I said (not knowing how great dentists are on follow-up) “Oh yeah? O.K. Send me an article on why not and I’ll put it up and I’ll stop!” A couple days ago this article arrived in my inbox! Thanks for showing me the pearly way Lauren!
Ok so I know many of us dread going to the dentist – it hurts, they make our gums bleed, they may tell me I have a cavity…Doesn’t sound like anything to look forward to. Well, there are some other things you should think about when you go to the dentist that I’m sure many of you haven’t thought about.
Your dentists and dental hygienists know more about your oral hygiene habits than you think they do. For example, when you go to the dentist’s office and fill out your health history form, it usually asks about smoking, drinking and eating disorders among other serious illnesses. The fact is, you should always tell the truth on these forms because they are actually considered serious legal documents. But… Let’s be honest…who is going to want to tell their dentist that they smoke a pack a day and they’ve been bulimic for 5 or 20 or 30 years? No one. I’m here to let all of you readers know that you shouldn’t lie to your dentist or dental hygienist because they know you’re lying anyway.
Smokers can have very specific oral health patterns that non-smokers do not have – their teeth stain a slightly different color and look almost leathery in texture and the blood supply to their gums is altered making the gums different in color and texture. You could tell your dentist that you quit last year, but the minute they assess your current oral health and look at your teeth and gums, they’ll know you’re lying. And eating disorders as well – bulimia is a serious eating disorder that can be easily detected by your dental professional. Acid erosion (or the wearing away of tooth surfaces) is easily detectable and is generally found in the same areas for patients who are bulimic. Drinking a lot of citrus juices, eating lemons and the body’s own gastric juices (which contacts the teeth in vomiting) will wear away tooth surface. Many patients would never even consider listing an eating disorder on a medical history at a dentist’s office because it’s embarrassing and why is it relevant? If you want to keep your teeth…it is relevant!
Let’s face it… in today’s world esthetics mean more than ever and no one would look good without teeth! So do yourself and your dentist a favor and don’t lie to them – it’ll save you’re the humiliation of being caught in a lie and it will help your dentist keep your teeth in your mouth and as esthetically pleasing as possible!
Thanks Lauren! And here all this time I thought I was pulling the wool over their eyes with “Uh huh, I floss everyday!”
How honest are you with your doctor? I’ll be even more honest! It’s been over 2 years since I’ve seen my dentist so I think a good cleaning is in order! How good are you getting in to see yours? Why is dental phobia so huge?