Do You Know Your Dentist’s Biggest Pet Peeves?

October 29, 2018

02.16 PM Blog Post

Sure, going to the dentist isn’t going to rank on anyone’s “Top 10 Best Uses of My Free Time” list, and some people have a true phobia about the experience. But many people don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about visiting the dentist for a routine cleaning and examination or some necessary treatment.

And in most cases, neither does your dentist or hygienist. They want to help, of course, and they care deeply about their work. 

But like any person in the workplace, every now and then, certain things may be frustrating for a dental professional. Do you have any idea what your dentist’s or hygienist’s top pet peeves are? We’re going to explore four of them today. 

Putting off your appointment

Yes, sometimes life gets in the way. And, if everything is going perfectly fine with your teeth, there may be little or no harm in waiting seven months between visits rather than six.

If it’s been four years since your last cleaning, however, and you’ve been in pretty serious pain over time, you might have waited way too long to make an appointment.

Why it’s a pet peeve

Waiting too long doesn’t just mean you’ve put yourself through unnecessary suffering, but it could result in a long, difficult undertaking for your dentist and/or hygienist. 

For your own comfort and for benefit of the dentist or hygienist who wants to help you, sticking to a regular schedule of cleanings (preferably every six months) is always the best option.

Showing up late (or not showing up) to appointments

We’re all busy, and if you’re running a few minutes late — and you call to let the office know — they’re likely going to understand.

However, if you're egregiously late with no warning, and still expect to be seen on time, this can cause frustration. Of course, the worst option is not showing up at all without any notice. 

Why it’s a pet peeve

"Waiting too long doesn’t just mean you’ve put yourself through unnecessary suffering, but you’re also guaranteeing a long, difficult job for your dentist and/or hygienist."

This just comes down to understanding how the dental office runs, and common courtesy.

In order to cover their expenses and serve all their patients appropriately, a dentist is going to need to see a set number of patients each day. If an office supports two or more dentists, those numbers multiply accordingly. To make sure each one of these patients gets the attention he or she deserves, a block of time is set aside for them in the day’s schedule. So, if the patient arrives late, there are only a few ways the office can proceed:

  1. Move up the appointment of someone who has arrived early.
  2. Rush through the late patient’s appointment.
  3. Force every patient from that point forward to wait longer than they should.

None of these options are ideal because they can interfere with the quality of service.


In 2018 in the United States, education and awareness campaigns have reached the majority of Americans to express that smoking is harmful. And, for oral health professionals, the effects are unavoidable.

Why it’s a pet peeve

Patients who smoke are at a higher risk for complications and oral health diseases, all of which dentists aim to reduce. These issues can include:

  • Badly discolored front teeth
  • Desensitized gums that may be harboring disease the patient isn’t aware of
  • Sores and infection are common

Not flossing

Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. After all, your toothbrush can’t reach far enough between your teeth to clean the sides that are in contact with each other. So, brushing your teeth but not flossing is really only doing half the job.

Why it’s a pet peeve

When you think about it, flossing is not difficult for most people to do. It only takes a minute or two, and it’s not expensive. There are precious few excuses for why it doesn’t get done regularly, yet it’s one of the most neglected aspects of oral health self-care.

What’s more, when you routinely fail to floss, you’re more likely to develop cavities on the inner edges of your teeth, which is a particularly difficult spot to locate and effectively treat a cavity. It also increases the chances of developing gingivitis because food particles that would normally be removed by flossing tend to stay lodged between teeth for days, giving them far more time to rot and work their way down into the gums.

Ready to be a star patient for your dentist or hygienist at your next appointment? stick to the basics of good oral health self-care, keep your appointments if possible, and talk to your dentist about help quitting smoking. For more oral health tips, follow the Dental Solutions blog.


Recent Posts