Here’s a sad truth: more than a quarter of Americans admit to lying to their dentist about flossing. And that’s not the only thing that people lie about. They might lie about brushing, or perhaps they don’t want to admit how they chipped their teeth. 

While we acknowledge that many people are tempted to, there are good reasons why you should never lie to us. Here are four reasons why you should always be honest with us at your regular checkups

We Don’t Judge You

The main reason why people lie to their dentist is because they don’t want to be judged. They worry that a dentist will think less of them because they don’t floss enough or because they engage in certain activities. 

But let us assure you: we aren’t here to judge you. Our concern is not blaming you for what happened but understanding it so that we can fix it. We also worry about preventing it from happening again. Both of these goals depend on getting accurate, detailed information from you. We won’t shame or insult you because of what happened. Nor will we share the information with anyone. You can tell us in strictest confidence. 

We Can Tell When You’re Lying

In addition, trying to lie to us about the cause of your tooth problems is wasted effort. We can tell a lot about your teeth by looking at them. While we can’t always get the entire story, we can see when things don’t add up. 

So whatever else we may or may not be able to tell about your teeth, we can usually tell when you’re lying. Regular flossing, for example, looks very different than someone who just started flossing a few weeks or days before their appointment. And we can tell the difference between tooth damage from trauma and what comes from clenching and grinding teeth. But it’s hard to talk about preventing gum disease or cavities if we can’t talk about what caused the problem. 

Telling the Truth Leads to Better Care

Perhaps the most important reason to tell the truth is that it will improve your care. Delivering the best care to you–including preventing a recurrence of problems–depends on having all the information. While we can usually tell enough to know when your story doesn’t match your teeth, there are details you can give us that might not be clear from the state of your teeth. 

For example, we can usually tell whether your teeth were damaged by trauma or by clenching and grinding. But we don’t know whether you were wearing a mouthguard when your teeth got damaged. Nor can we tell what symptoms might accompany your clenching and grinding, unless you tell us. 

Without this information, we don’t know what recommendations to make in terms of protective equipment or TMJ treatment. That keeps you from getting the best possible care. 

Clear Your Conscience

While we won’t judge you if you tell us the truth, you’ll probably judge yourself if you tell us a lie. Who needs that additional stress? Give yourself a clean conscience and get it all off your chest. 

Just as we don’t judge you for what happened to your teeth, we won’t judge you for keeping something from us. 

A Comfortable Dental Practice in Naples, FL

At the Massa Dental Center, we work hard to make sure everyone feels comfortable. We create an environment where it’s easy to be honest with your whole dental family, including your dentist

To learn more about our comfortable, welcoming dental practice in Naples, FL, please call (239) 597-7333 today for an appointment at the Massa Dental Center.