According to recent results from a DentaVox survey, for the majority of patients, lying to their dentist is a common practice despite the substantial share of them (41%) who feel embarrassed about it.
In most cases, patients are dishonest about neglecting oral hygiene habits or indulging in unhealthy food and drinks. For instance, 23% of respondents admit they have lied about brushing twice a day. Another 20% of survey participants confess to having cheated about the frequent consumption of carbonated drinks.
The results show that feeling ashamed of poor oral hygiene is the most common reason to tell a lie, indicated by one-third of respondents. It is followed by dental fear as the second most popular explanation for not telling the truth (17% of survey participants).
Discover more insights on the topic below.
What most patients have lied about
The majority of respondents (67%) have not always told the truth to their dentist when it comes to oral hygiene habits or prevention. Similarly, 58% of participants have lied about matters related to their visits at the dentist such as when was their last checkup, the urgency of their problem or why they canceled an appointment.
A smaller but still significant share of respondents (43%) have not been completely honest about their dental insurance plan. Pretending not to know what the plan includes or lying that it covers everything are some of the things frequently mentioned by respondents.
Most common lies about oral hygiene/ prevention
As mentioned earlier, most survey participants have lied to their dentist about oral hygiene routines and prevention-related behavior.
27% of people have told their dentist they brush twice a day when in fact it has not been true. A similar result was reported by an earlier study in New Zealand.
In addition, 20% of people have lied about brushing correctly. Similarly, 20% of respondents have been dishonest about flossing. Compared to other studies, this share is slightly lower than findings from a previous survey in the United States (27% of respondents), and higher than in New Zealand (17% of participants).
Another popular lie people tell their dentist is that they hardly ever consume carbonated soft drinks.
The main reason to tell a lie to the dentist
In general, most respondents are not telling the truth to their dentist because they are embarrassed about their oral hygiene (27%). Dental fear is the second most common reason for giving false information to the dentist. Other psychological factors include protection of self-image (14%), fear of disapproval (12%) and unwillingness to admit poor oral health (12%). These results shed light on a previously under-researched topic.
Are dentists able to tell when a patient is not being honest? What is the easiest way to figure it out? Check the LIVE STATS on DentaVox and find out the answers to these questions and more interesting insights on the topic.