Many of our patients at Josey Lane Dentistry confide in us that some of the anxiety they feel before coming to the dentist comes simply from facing the unknown, plus fears that a dentist might secretly judging their oral health or the look of their teeth.
Today, we’re going to let you have a look behind the curtain—or face mask, in our case—to learn 10 surprising things you should know (but probably don’t) about the dentist. If there are any of topics that we’ve missed that you’re curious about, drop us a comment or feel free to give us a call, or visit or Carrollton office!
- What really happens when you skip regular dental check-ups?
While you might feel like you don’t need to go to the dentist every six months since your teeth “feel fine,” these regular appointments help ward off larger issues like gum disease, gingivitis and cavities. Oral cancer screenings take place here, too (more on that later.)
- Oh yeah, flossing…
When your dentist asks if you floss regularly, don’t feel like you have to lie to make us feel better. Your dentist can tell from the way your gums react to the cleaning as well as the tartar build up between your teeth. As long as you are honest, we promise not to shame you!
- Is it smart to ask questions? Even if they don’t feel like “smart” questions to ask?
We are happily here to answer your questions! Curious about Invisalign or tooth whitening? Worried about a spot in your mouth? There is no “smart” question to try and impress us with, and certainly no “stupid” one to feel embarrassed by.
- How often do you really have to change your toothbrush?
Toothbrushes harbor bacteria and should be changed every three months. Remember to change it more often if you have been sick!
- Pregnant? We probably know.
Please let us know if you are pregnant. However, even without mentioning it, we can usually tell due to changes in the gum and the propensity to bleed more during cleaning and dental work.
- Is it genetic?
Researchers have studied twins (both identical and fraternal) to determine the interactions of several key variables that affected the mouth. They found that genes did, indeed, influence the composition of the oral microbiome. (Specifically, identical twins had microbiomes that were more similar than those of fraternal twins). So, while not all cavities can be blamed on genetics, some oral health issues do have familial trends.
- Do dentists know about oral cancer?
Since oral cancer symptoms can mirror many benign illnesses, it can be difficult to diagnose. That makes it that much more important that you visit your dentist regularly, since it’s at your regular cleanings and check-ups that oral cancer screenings occur. These screening are quick and painless, so much so that patients rarely realize they’re happening! A visit to the dentist could save your life.
- What really constitutes a dental “emergency?”
If you aren’t in Carrollton and suffer a dental emergency, our staff at Josey Lane Dental can help you assess the situation over the phone and find care in your current location.
- Can bad breath be health related?
While you might be tempted to mask bad breath with mouthwash or gum, the root of the problem can sometimes be an imbalance in bacteria in the mouth. If you can’t shake the bad smell, then it may be time to look at your medications and determine if that or an underlying dental condition (or just poor hygiene) is the cause of the problem.
- How much do you really have to brush?
Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time is the best way to practice good oral care at home. And while that’s not really a long time, most people underestimate two minutes by a LOT. Set a timer on your phone to ensure you aren’t shortchanging your mouth!