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Top Complaints People Have at the Dentist

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

As a dentist, I have unique access to a patient that other medical providers don’t have. I typically see my patients twice a year for their check-ups, forging a relationship that emphasizes whole health.

But despite the open conversations I have with my patients, there are certain thoughts they have that they don’t share out loud. Read on to see if any of these complaints apply to you while you’re at the dentist and then see my tips for how to combat them. 

I have such bad breath it’s embarrassing to go out on dates or kiss my spouse. 

Bad breath, or halitosis, has a number of causes. Bad breath in many cases is caused by the same bacteria meant to be removed with regular oral hygiene, meaning simply paying better attention to your brushing and flossing routine can do wonders for bad breath. This involves brushing twice a day (I suggest using an electric toothbrush for a thorough cleansing) for 2 minutes and flossing once a day. The big key is also making sure your tongue is clean. You can use your toothbrush to do this or you can purchase a tongue scraper specifically designed for the task. 

Other reasons for halitosis include consuming foods that cause bad breath. Some common culprits include garlic, onions, and coffee. You can rinse your mouth out with water, utilize a mouth rinse, or simply avoid these foods to keep odor away. Another biggie for halitosis is underlying medical issues like diabetes or gastric reflux. If you continue to have bad breath despite a perfect hygiene regimen, regular professional cleanings, and avoidance of certain foods, consider visiting your medical doctor for further evaluation to rule out any systemic health issue. 

I’ve had horrible dental experiences in the past. I hate going to the dentist.

Past negative dental experience is the number one reason for dental anxiety. Most dentists allow for a meet and greet before you commit to any treatment with them. This way, you can get a sense for the dentist’s personality and communication skills and you can ask any questions you have concerning his/her education or experience. It will allow you a chance to determine if you could establish a trusting doctor-patient relationship with that dentist which will help alleviate anxiety. The other thing to look for is whether the dentist is equipped to treat patients with anxiety. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a safe way to help patients manage their anxiety. An office with a calming decor and friendly staff are great aids too.

I don’t floss because every time I do, it hurts and bleeds.

The best analogy I can give is this: if you worked out at the gym once a month for several months, you’d expect to be sore afterward every time. But if you worked out several times a week on a consistent basis, the soreness you experience will be considerably less after each workout. The same goes with flossing–the more you do it, the less it hurts and bleeds. The bleeding is a sign of inflammation caused by the presence of bacteria. Once the bacteria are removed, your body will heal the inflamed areas. Long story short, stick with flossing regularly and the condition will improve. 

I can’t afford the dentistry I need.

It’s a little-known fact that dental insurance is very unlike other kinds of insurance. This means what you need may not be covered under your benefits plan. The average dental plan hasn’t increased its benefits for 40 years which means that, due to the rising cost of goods and services, what dental insurance covered in the 80s was a lot more than what it covers now. That’s why we offer an in-house membership plan that’s a cost-effective way for people to get their dental healthcare while cutting out the insurance middleman, giving you better care that’s tailored to your specific needs.

My teeth are so crooked I’m embarrassed to smile.

My teeth were the same way so I know how it feels. Thankfully, I had treatment to straighten my teeth which was life-altering. I’m proud to offer Invisalign technology at Smiletheory, giving our patients the best orthodontic treatment without the pain of wires and brackets. Come visit us for a full evaluation to see if Invisalign is a good treatment option for you.  

My teeth are really yellow.

Yellow teeth can be caused by a number of factors, namely from internal or external staining. Anything that can stain a white t-shirt can stain your teeth (think coffee, soy sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce). At Smiletheory, we’re proud to offer Kor which is a leading teeth whitening system that provides our patients exceptional results. A professional cleaning and in-office whitening are great ways to get your teeth sparkling again. 

Have you had any of these complaints? Is there anything that keeps you from going to the dentist? Comment below!


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