4 Weird Things About Dentists Explained

Visiting the dentist isn’t a particularly unusual event, but sometimes the things that happen at a dental office can leave you puzzled. Here are answers to four things you may have wondered about your dentist!


Aquarium filled with colorful coral, fish, and anemones in a dental office

  1. Why does every dental office seem to have an aquarium or water feature?
  2. You may have noticed that an aquarium or some other type of water feature in the reception area seems to be a near universal staple in a dentist’s office. The reason for this is because it’s a form of stress relief for patients. The sound of flowing water helps patients become less anxious, making it an easy way to create a calming atmosphere.

  3. Why does my dentist ask me questions when I can’t speak?
  4. Has your dentist (or even dental hygienist) ever asked you a question in the middle of a procedure, when your mouth is wide open? There’s actually a good reason that dentists ask you a question when you’re not able to respond: it’s a distraction method. If you’re in the middle of a procedure that might make you a little nervous, asking you questions will get your mind off the work so you’re not left worrying that something might be wrong.

  5. Why does my dentist call out numbers when examining my teeth?
  6. You may have noticed at your last checkup and cleaning that your dentist was calling out numbers to their assistant or hygienist while they were examining your teeth. But what do those numbers mean? Your dentist is either calling out your tooth numbers to signify which tooth they are describing, or numbers that measure the distance between the gum and the tooth and signifiy how healthy your gums are. If the latter, these are usually one, two, or three, which are measurements in millimeters. Anything over a three and you probably have some detachment of gum tissue from the teeth which can hint at periodontal disease if not brought under control.

  7. Why does my dentist wear those weird glasses?
  8. Many dentists wear loupes, or small magnifying attachments, on their glasses so they can see into your mouth better. These are like mini microscopes that magnify your teeth by 2.5 times or more.


Have additional questions? We have answers!

There’s always a reason that dentists do the things they do! If you have any questions about other things you’ve noticed at the dental office that you don’t quite understand, ask our friendly team to explain further.

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