Close-up of a pretty patient with her mouth open

While some of the time you spend in a dental chair is filled with idle chit-chat, the majority of your appointment will include much silence. After all, it can be quite challenging to carry on a conversation while someone has their hands in your mouth.

So what is your dentist really thinking when they peer at your teeth and inside your mouth during an examination? You may be surprised by some of the answers!

No Pain Doesn’t Mean No Problems

Many patients we treat are surprised to learn of a cavity being discovered during a routine exam because they aren’t experiencing any pain or sensitivity. The truth is, cavities don’t always come with side effects, but that doesn’t make them any less severe. The most important thing when it comes to cavity detection is to catch tooth decay early while the repair is still minimal and can be treated in a minimally invasive and cost-effective way.

It’s Been Longer Than You Said Since Your Last Cleaning

It’s easy to spot a patient who hasn’t had their teeth cleaned regularly. If you have not had your teeth professionally cleaned in some time, you can expect a significant amount of plaque build up on the surface. In many cases, if it’s been longer than six months since your last cleaning, you can expect for a longer appointment, and you may also experience more discomfort.

You Don’t Floss

You know we’re going to ask you if you floss regularly at your appointment. While many patients admit to not flossing once a day, as recommended, others are not as truthful. Regardless of your honesty, your dentist and hygienist can tell from your gums if you are a habitual flosser.

Brushing your teeth removes plaque above your gum line, but flossing can remove plaque that resides below your gums. If your gums are inflamed during your routine cleaning, it’s a tip-off that you aren’t flossing regular or that you are doing it wrong.

We Already Know That You Smoke

Many patients who smoke cigarettes or use other types of tobacco products attempt to cover up the scent with mints or mouthwash. However, that stench seeps into your gum tissue and the other tissues in your mouth. Not only can we often smell the lingering scent of cigarettes in your mouth, but usually your teeth are telling as well. Tobacco is notorious for staining your teeth, and also leaves behind nicotine stains on your fingers.

Your Teeth Would Benefit From an Electric Toothbrush

The electric toothbrush is one of the best things to ever happen to dentistry. The newest ones on today’s market replicate professional cleaning. They won’t be able to reach below the gum line, but they are far superior to using a manual toothbrush.

A battery-powered drugstore find is often fine for children, but adults should be investing in a higher quality electric toothbrush that offers replacement heads. These are the best electric toothbrushes you can buy, according to top dentists.

We Understand That Cost is Usually a Factor

Decades ago, dental insurance plans would often cover up to $1,000 to $1,500 in necessary treatments each year. Today, a single crown can quickly max out your entire annual allowance because the limits are the same as they were years ago. Patients seem receptive to recommended treatments until they find out how much their out of pocket costs will be. That being said, we feel good if patients accept at least 50% of what is recommended. We are happy to help you prioritize what should be corrected right away, and what treatments can wait.

Experiencing Headaches? We Can Help

Bruxism is a common issue that affects up to 80% of the population. The habit of grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw can cause your teeth to become worn down leading to breakage, pain when moving the jaw, and migraine headaches. We can often tell if a patient is suffering from bruxism because of the telling signs their teeth show us.

You Seem Anxious During Your Appointment

Not many people enjoy going to the dentist. However, for some, the thought of teeth cleanings and exams brings on dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is common, with up to 15 percent of Americans avoiding seeing a dentist due to fear.

The best thing you can do to get over your dental anxiety is to talk to your dentist about it. If you are feeling anxious about something, let us know so we can help! When you have the right dentist, your dental treatments and regular checkups with Dr. Aubrey Baudean DDS will be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.