As a dental professional, I often shudder at things I see across websites like Pinterest that claim you can heal cavities on your own, avoid going to the dentist, or offer DIY whitening treatments that destroy a person’s enamel. Yet we don’t see information out there pointing these false claims out. As a result, it makes our patients think that we’re actually hiding something from them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About the Issues
If you’re not already discussing topics like oil pulling with your hygiene patients, you should be. Is there a ton of scientific research out there to refute the benefits of oil pulling? No.
Sure, it might actually be beneficial alongside of thorough brushing and flossing, but what we want patients to know is that it does not replace those key elements of hygiene. When your patients realize they still need to floss every day, they’ll probably be less likely to give it up – even if oil pulling does help.
Reversing Cavities Without Fillings
Who hasn’t seen the popular links that say you can heal cavities on your own without needing fillings. Sure, we know enamel doesn’t regenerate itself, but we do know that minor areas of enamel demineralization can be reversed with the help of products like a prescription strength rinse. But our patients don’t. They think a cavity is a cavity, and that the internet has told them their teeth can grow back if they just eat a certain type of cheese, up their milk intake, and take certain supplements.
Bridging the Gap Between Education and Office Visits
Patient education is the key to getting your patients to accept a treatment plan, or call for a quick exam if something is bothering them. But what education are you providing them between a twice-a-year prophy visit? If you don’t have time to keep your social media pages or personal office site up to date, they’re going to go looking somewhere else. Worst-case scenario: Mrs. Pinterest is going to tell them that they don’t need that filling after all.