Dental myths debunked! The dentist version of our popular 10 Myths About Doctors post. Read on and let us know how many points you can relate to! (:
1. Dentists have the perfect Hollywood smile.
Contrary to your imagination, not all (or actually very few) dentists have that *ting ting* smile you expect. Take a closer look at your dentist next time. Having a dentistry degree doesn't mean that we automatically win the teeth genetic lottery (sadly).
Many of us have misaligned teeth pre-braces, and we're also just as likely to suffer from tooth decay and gum disease. However, the plus point is that a quick fix is often just a friend-call away :-)
2. Dentists are not terrified of dental procedures.
We're reluctant to believe that we suffer from the very disease we manage every day. Extractions are not a therapeutic experience for us either. Don't worry, you are not alone.
3. Dentists have a #numberonetrustedbrand.
My colleague's stash #truestory
We do NOT stick to a particular dental brand, unlike what the media will have you believe.
Generally, we provide patient with advice - eg. getting a toothpaste with sufficient fluoride content or a non alcoholic mouthwash, instead of a particular 'Col-' or 'Lis-' brand. Moreover, we are flexible in that we tend to use whatever product our dearest sales representative showers us with all year round.
4. Dentists don't eat sweets.
What we google everyday
Who can resist the temptation of ice cream waffles, dark fudgy chocolate brownies, cinnamon coated churros, fluffy shibuya toasts, and that korean bingsu drizzled in condensed milk... (and the list goes on).
Don't intuitively bojio us, most of us actually have a really sweet tooth too, and we love to Instagram all 'em pretty looking pastries :P
5. Dentists are money suckers.
Equipment cost = $0
We understand that dental treatment is costly, and there may also be black sheep amongst us who charge excessively.
However, the fact is that dental equipments and materials are expensive. That dental chair you sit on, the X-ray machines and the laser units all cost lots of money. Dental materials, like those used for your fillings have to be changed frequently due to expiration dates.
Money is needed to sterilize equipment too - unless you don't mind sharing bodily fluids with the previous patient.
6. Dentists have glamorous lifestyles.
Ditch that image of Jennifer Anniston in Horrible Bosses; we are always covered from head to toe during work. None of us fancy the idea of having blood and water aerosol all over our body and clothes.
Also, behind every white-washed, swanky looking clinic is garlic breath, blood, slime and grime. I can't comment however on what we're like after taking off all that protective wear ;)
7. Dentists don't know whether you've been brushing well or not.
"Sorry ah, I just had lunch". "I got brush everyday leh...". To my fellow dentists - do these sound oddly familiar?
The effects of poor dental hygiene is cumulative - brushing right before your dental visit will not remove the hard tartar on your teeth. (Fun fact: It takes at least 48 hours for your food to harden to tartar) Also, if brushing and flossing is not done correctly, there can be uncleaned spots which increase the risk of decay and gum diseases.
8. Dentists are not medically trained.
Like our fellow medical colleagues, we take medical subjects in our dental school curriculum. There are often many links between teeth and other disease eg. diabetes and gum disease. Your medication can also have an impact on dental treatment eg. warfarin and tooth extractions.
Additionally, patients with heart conditions may require antibiotics prior to dental treatment. Thus, please pardon us as we go through your medical conditions and drug allergies. Your safety is our utmost priority.
9. Dentists are evil and scary, and we derive happiness from your pain.
Maybe Universal Studios can consider hiring dentists for Halloween Horror Nights, since the mere thought of visiting a dentist injects fear into people. With the advancement of medical research and technology, dental treatment can actually be a PAINLESS process for most.
We always try our best to ensure that you have a stress and pain-free experience. Some clinics even have movie screenings on a mounted ceiling TV - your alternate Gold Class movie experience.
10. Dentists have a lot of spare time.
YES! This is true, it's not entirely a myth! We often wonder what we can do while waiting to meet our non-dental friends after work #dentistproblems #kiampak. It probably means that dentists are more free to date, compared to our medical colleagues.
However, this is only applicable to dentists with standard 8 - 5 pm jobs, Mon - Fri. Like our medical colleagues, some of us have to do overnight stay-in calls in public institutions to treat emergency cases too.
Some private dental clinics are also open daily, up to 9 pm on certain days. Ultimately, it really depends on how much we want to work.
I hope that you've enjoyed reading this post, do leave a comment below on other myths that you may have of dentists! I look forward to hearing from you (: