February 4, 2023

Going to the dental expert is a requirement that many people fear. 

However for all your dental-related scary stories, you can wager your dental expert has actually seen even worse. 

MailOnline spoke with 2 dental practitioners about the important things their clients do that leave them frightened, and some will actually make your skin crawl.

From licking the dental expert’s fingers, to leaving toe nails in your mouth, here are the grossest things clients do. 

So are you guilty of any of them? 

MailOnline spoke with 2 dental practitioners about the important things their clients do that leave them frightened, and some will actually make your skin crawl

Missing out on the bowl when spitting while mouth is numb  

Mouth numbing is needed for some treatments, like teeth elimination or fillings. 

However with numbing comes an absence of control.

Cosmetic dental expert Sam Jethwa, of Bespoke Smile — a scientific dental expert in Marlow, states

and Dr Jethwa states among his animal dislikes is when clients miss out on the bowl while spitting out fluid.

He stated: ‘Undoubtedly losing control of the mouth as an outcome suggests when we go to have a rinse and spit, we may miss out on the bowl. 

‘A prolonged cleansing procedure occurs for our assistants however it’s constantly a head in hands minute. For everybody.’  

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Licking the dental expert’s fingers 

You check out that right, another revolting thing clients do is lick the dental expert’s fingers, according to Dr Jethwa.

The dentist, who is also vice president of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, said: ‘The non-latex gloves we use are soft compared to traditional old fashioned ones, but they aren’t for licking.

‘It’s always comical when a patient has an inquisitive tongue and goes in for a lick of the fingers.’ 

Sharing toothbrushes with your partner

Have you ever forgotten your toothbrush and used your partner’s?   

Well, Dr Jethwa says that’s a big ‘no, no’.  

He said: ‘Our gum specialist helps people with gum disease and tries to stop them losing their teeth and save them. 

‘Obviously part of that is to discuss existing cleaning habits. 

‘A few times he has recollected patients mentioning they share a toothbrush with their partner. 

‘As much as we might love them – that’s a no no’ 

Dr Ben Atkins, Dentist and Trustee of the Oral Health Foundation previously said that brushing can make your gum bleed, so by sharing a toothbrush you might be sharing blood.

He added: ‘Brushing sometimes causes the gums to bleed, which exposes everyone you share your toothbrush with to blood stream diseases. 

‘There are many hundreds of different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and people sharing a toothbrush could be passing these on to others. 

‘While this might be something relatively harmless, such as a common cold or cold sore, if the person you are sharing with is infected with hepatitis B or HIV these could also be passed on via the toothbrush, with severe health consequences.’

Shaking hands after putting them in your mouth 

During the pandemic, handshaking went out the window and an was replaced by an elbow touch.

This was in attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.

But, as with other parts of pre-pandemic life, the practice is ‘creeping back’, and Dr Jethwa says it’s made all the worse by patients first putting their hands in their mouth.

He said: ‘Let’s just try to do it with clean hands and not hands that have just been in our mouths.’

Slurping sound from taking out retainers

If you have ever had retainers – as many people did as a teenager – you may recognise this next one.

Dr Jethwa says the ‘slurping’ noise some patients make while taking out retainers is ‘gross’.

He said: ‘If you’ve had them you’ll know the slurping sound one naturally makes when we take them out in private.

‘That sound I think we can all agree, is pretty gross.’ 

Dr Sam Jethwa Said: 'The Non-Latex Gloves We Use Are Soft Compared To Traditional Old Fashioned Ones, But They Aren'T For Licking. It'S Always Comical When A Patient Has An Inquisitive Tongue And Goes In For A Lick Of The Fingers!' (File Photo)

Dr Sam Jethwa said: ‘The non-latex gloves we use are soft compared to traditional old fashioned ones, but they aren’t for licking. It’s always comical when a patient has an inquisitive tongue and goes in for a lick of the fingers!’ (file photo)

Leaving things in your mouth (like toenails)

Another toe-curling dental expert pet peeve is when clients leave things in their mouth, such as toenails. 

Dentist Dr Alan Clarke, clinical director at Paste Dental in Belfast, says he has likewise found pencil leads, plastic wrappers, a living spider, several flies and chewing gum hidden behind a back tooth.

He stated: ‘We always encourage patients to take ownership of their care for both their teeth and gum health which means regular cleaning and flossing (to help eradicate those spiders webs)’ 

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Not brushing your teeth 

It may seem obvious, however another one of Dr Clarke’s pet hates is when patients never brush their teeth.

He said: ‘We are not talking about missing the night-time brush if you are heading to bed late, or struggling to stay awake after a long day at the office.

‘We are talking about 15-20 years of not brushing, or never brushing – period. Yes, it’s a surprise to us too but we find it quite often.

‘There are lots of things we can do, advise and help with, to encourage optimal dental health, but the journey begins with ownership and patients accepting the vital role they personally play in maintaining their oral health.’ 

Dr Jethwa Says The 'Slurping' Noise Some Patients Make While Taking Out Retainers - Which Hgold Teeth In Place - Is 'Gross' (File Photo)

Dr Jethwa says the ‘slurping’ noise some patients make while taking out retainers – which hgold teeth in place – is ‘gross’ (file photo)

DIY Dentistry  

We have all seen tutorials on how to whiten your teeth at home, but ‘DIY dentistry’ goes much further, says Dr Clarke.

He says he has seen teeth whitening using household bleach and broken crowns cemented with furniture glue, nail polish and chewing gum! 

Dr Clarke said: ‘It’s dangerous, potentially toxic and a significant risk to your health, please consult a registered professional to have safe dental treatment planning and care. 

‘We hate to see the damage you can do with minimal knowledge and desperation.’  

Dr Clarke once had a client with gum disease who attempted to glue their tooth back in.

He stated: ‘I don’t know whether to be shocked, freaked out or saddened, but I have personally found large lumps of pritt-stick in a patient’s mouth as they thought (don’t attempt this in your home) sure why not stick my loose tooth back in – with a soft white glue.’