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How Your Dentist Knows the Truth

April 16, 2023
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It is common for individuals to slightly exaggerate the truth when they go for their dental cleanings. Dental professionals are aware of this tendency. In this article, Ashraf Dentistry elaborates on Maria Masters write-up on seven common lies that dentists are used to hearing. (Source: Everyday Health, 7 Lies Your Dentist Knows You’re Telling, by Maria Masters, medically reviewed by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD, April 13, 2016,


Truth your dentist knows

Maria Masters decodes the explanations by Dr. Shawn Adibi, from the University of Texas, on how your dentist can tell you are lying about your oral hygiene.

Are you hurting

According to Shawn Adibi, the evidence of pain can be seen in your eyes when they flinch or clench shut as your body goes into defensive mode. Additionally, dentists can identify pain when they notice your tongue and legs tightening.

Ashraf Dentistry adds, “Dentists can often tell if you are hurting by observing physical cues such as facial expressions, flinching, and body language.”

Do you drink soda

Maria Masters mentions that, as per Shawn Adibi, the protective barrier of enamel on your teeth can be eroded by the acid present in soda, which follows a distinct pattern. He further points out that lemonade and citrus fruits can also cause comparable damage.

Ashraf Dentistry reiterates, “Dentists can often tell if you drink soda by examining your oral hygiene. Teeth show physical signs of erosion or decay that may be associated with consuming sugary or acidic beverages.”

Do you smoke

According to Shawn Adibi, tobacco is known for causing teeth discoloration. The extent and shade of the stains can differ from one person to another. Therefore, if a dentist suspects that someone is a smoker, they may inspect their fingers or sniff their clothing for evidence of nicotine stains.

Ashraf Dentistry says, “Dentists can look at symptoms like teeth discoloration, bad breath, gum diseases, and dry mouth to deduce if you smoke or not.”

Do you floss regularly?

Maria Masters explains Dr. Shawn Adibi’s beliefs that brushing your teeth can eliminate plaque buildup above your gum line, but flossing is essential to eliminate plaque that accumulates below your gums. Neglecting to floss regularly or flossing incorrectly can result in inflamed gums, a condition is known as gingivitis or gum disease.

Ashraf Dentistry reinforces, “Dentists can often tell if flossing is not a part of someone’s oral care routine by looking for signs of plaque and inflammation in the gums.”

Why you are late for the visit

As per Shawn Adibi, dentists may suspect that anxiety about the upcoming exam is the real reason why you are late for the check-up. Dentists are familiar with dental anxiety and the fear some patients have. However, when people are afraid of going to the dentist, they may delay future appointments, leading to more dental issues in the long run.

Ashraf Dentistry adds, “It’s important for patients to address their dental anxiety with their dentist. They should be on time for their dental cleanings to maintain their oral hygiene and avoid missing their appointment or having to reschedule.”

How often your drink alcohol

According to Shawn Adibi, alcohol has a unique odour, and individuals who consume it excessively often experience dry mouths.

Ashraf Dentistry explains, “Alcohol can impede the function of salivary glands, leading to a decrease in saliva production.

Do you grind your teeth?

As per Shawn Adibi, grinding your teeth can result in a worn appearance. Headaches or muscle pain around the jaw can be an indication of a condition called “nocturnal bruxism” or tooth grinding during sleep.

Ashraf Dentistry says, “Although it may not be considered a deliberate falsehood, tooth grinding is detrimental to your oral care.”


Maria Masters explains that a strong connection between a dentist and their patient is crucial for achieving optimal treatment outcomes.

Ashraf Dentistry concludes, “Being truthful with your dentist during your dental cleanings is important. Your dentist needs accurate information to make an informed diagnosis and oral care. Withholding information or lying about your dental habits could lead to serious consequences for your oral health.”

Ready when you are

Lamine Diallo
Lamine Diallo
02:21 15 Jun 22
My family and I have been receiving care from Dr. Ashraf and his amazing team since we first moved to Waterloo in 2002. His assessment skills are spot on, he is gentle and is very skilled at working with anxious\nervous patients. My dental hygienist is Lin who is very knowledgeable, and passionate about her work. She is amazingly gentle yet very,very thorough when it comes to preventative dental care. She is didactic as well, taking the time to teach patients how to use certain equipment as well as addressing gingivitis in pro-active ways. We are in very capable hands.
Trisa Kapetaneas
Trisa Kapetaneas
18:12 01 Jun 22
I have been a patient here for over 2 years now and I've always enjoyed the experience. The staff are professional and have always made me feel comfortable. I recently had a cleaning done by Lynn for the first time and she was amazing! Will continue to visit for my checkups/cleanings.
Aamir Mirza
Aamir Mirza
14:54 03 May 22
Dr. Ashraf and his team is amazing. All work done under one umbrella for entire family. We all are very happy to be under the care for the last 20 plus years. Lin, dental hygienist is remarkable professional. She knows her job so well that I look forward to my cleaning every time I'm scheduled. Thank you Lin for your amazing work for my entire family!
Alena Delena
Alena Delena
14:50 02 May 22
My family loves Dr Ashraf. We've been through many dentists in many cities and he's by far our favourite one. He's always thorough and professional. His referrals are also of equal high caliber. I went to him for a root canal and a crown. I had many concerns and he addressed them all personally. He even went so far as to redo a root canal for me. Recommend.
Nicole Wood
Nicole Wood
15:31 28 Apr 22
I found Ashraf Dentistry a year ago and I absolutely love their dental clinic. Everyone is very kind and thorough. Lin is the best dental hygienist I've ever had! She takes the time to ensure I receive the care I need. Both dentists I've seen have also been very kind and wonderful at making me feel like my teeth are being taken care of. Highly recommend!
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