Going to the dentist is a necessity that most people dread.
But for all your dental-related horror stories, you can bet your dentist has seen worse.
MailOnline heard from two dentists about what their patients do that horrifies them, and some will really make your skin crawl.
From licking the dentist’s fingers to leaving your toenail in your mouth, here are the craziest things a patient can do.
MailOnline heard from two dentists about what their patients do that horrifies them, and some will actually make your skin cringe
When the mouth is numb, spitting leaves the bowl
Some procedures, such as tooth extractions or fillings, require numbing of the mouth.
But with numbness comes a loss of control.
Says cosmetic dentist Sam Jethwa of Bespoke Smile in Marlow, Buckinghamshire
One of his pet peeves is when patients miss the bowl when spitting up liquids.
He said: ‘Clearly the loss of mouth control as a result means we can miss the bowl when we go to rinse and spit.
‘There’s a long cleaning process going on for our assistants, but it’s always a one-on-one moment. for all.’
How your New Year’s health kick could be ruining your teeth: Juice cleans, lemonade and oat milk can wear down your enamel, triggering cavities and leaving you with a pale smile, dentists warn
Juice cleanses, lemonades and switching to non-dairy milk may be just a few of the health habits some people are looking to adopt for the new year. But experts told MailOnline the trends could cause ‘long-term damage’ to teeth and leave health fanatics in need of a dentist
licking dentist’s fingers
You read it right, according to Dr. Jethwa, another disgusting thing that patients do is licking the dentist’s fingers.
The tooth doctor, who is also vice president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, said: ‘The non-latex gloves we use are softer than the traditional gloves of the old fashioned way, but they are not meant to be licked .
‘It’s always comical when a patient has a curious tongue and starts licking fingers.’
sharing a toothbrush with your partner
Have you ever forgotten your toothbrush and used your partner’s?
Well, Dr Jethwa says it is a big ‘no no’.
He said: ‘Our gum specialists help people with gum disease and try to prevent and save them from losing their teeth.
‘Obviously part of this is to discuss existing cleaning habits.
’ Some times he recalled patients sharing a toothbrush with their partner.
‘Much as we may love them – that is not, no.’
Dr. Ben Atkins, a dentist and trustee of the Oral Health Foundation, previously stated that brushing can cause your gums to bleed, so sharing a toothbrush could be sharing blood.
He said: ‘Brushing can sometimes lead to bleeding gums, which exposes everyone who shares your toothbrush with you to bloodstream diseases.
‘We have hundreds of different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and people sharing toothbrushes can pass these on to others.
‘While it could be something relatively harmless, such as the common cold or flu, if the person you’re sharing with is infected with hepatitis B or HIV, it can also be passed through a toothbrush with serious health consequences. Could.
With mouth numbness comes a loss of control and Dr Jethwa, vice-president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, says one of his pet peeves is when patients miss the bowl when spitting out liquids (file photo)
handshake after mouthful
During the pandemic, handshakes went out the window and were replaced by elbow touches.
This was in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
But, like other parts of pre-pandemic life, the practice is creeping back in, and Dr Jethwa says it’s made worse by patients putting their hands in their mouths earlier.
He said: ‘Let’s try to do it with clean hands and not with hands that have just been in our mouths.’
crackling sound from retainer removal
If you’ve ever had retainers — as many people did as a teen — you may recognize this next one.
Dr Jethwa says that the noise some patients make when the retainer is removed is ‘gross’.
He said: ‘If you’ve had them you’ll know that when we take them out in private there’s naturally a crackling sound.
‘That sounds, I think we can all agree, pretty gross.’
Dr Sam Jethwa said: ‘The non-latex gloves we use are softer than the traditional old fashioned ones, but they are not meant to be licked. It’s always comical when a patient has an inquisitive tongue and starts licking his fingers!’ (file photo)
leaving things in your mouth (such as toenails)
Another toe-curling dentist pet peeve is when patients leave things in their mouths, such as toenails.
Dentist Dr Alan Clarke, clinical director of Pest Dental in Belfast, says he has also found Pencil lead, plastic wrapper, a live spider, several flies and a piece of chewing gum hidden behind a back tooth.
he said: ‘We always encourage patients to take care of their own teeth and gum health, which means regular cleaning and flossing (to help get those cobwebs out)’.
not brushing your teeth
It may seem obvious, but one of Dr. Clark’s bugbears is when patients never brush their teeth.
He said, ‘If you are going to sleep late or are having trouble waking up after a long day’s work in the office, then we are not talking about not brushing at night.
‘We are talking about not brushing for 15-20 years or never brushing at all. Yes, it is surprising to us too but we find it many times.
There are many things we can do, advise and help to encourage optimal dental health, but the journey begins with ownership and acceptance of the important role patients play in their personal oral health. Play in maintaining health.
Dr Jethwa, of Bespoke Smiles in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, says the ‘slurping’ noise some patients make when removing retainers – which hold teeth in place – is ‘gross’ (file photo)
We’ve all seen tutorials on how to whiten our teeth at home, but ‘DIY dentistry’ goes further than that, says a Belfast dentist.
He says he has seen teeth whitening with household bleach and broken crowns cemented with furniture glue, nail polish, and chewing gum.
Dr Clarke said: ‘This is dangerous, potentially toxic and a significant risk to your health, please consult a registered professional for safe dental treatment planning and care.
‘We hate to see the damage you can do with a minimum of knowledge and desperation.’
He once had a patient with gum disease who attempted to glue his teeth back.
The dentist continued: ‘I don’t know whether to be shocked, appalled or sad, but I have personally found a lump of pret-stick in a patient’s mouth as large as they thought [don’t try this at home] Sure why not stick my loose tooth back in – with a soft white gum.’