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dentistThe general population usually views the profession “dentist” with a somewhat skewed point of view. They probably either grimace when they remember how long it’s been since they made their last hygiene appointment, or they think of us as those weird people who like teeth and aren’t grossed out by spit.

What they don’t realize are the realities of living the day-to-day life of a dentist. We’re our own tight knit community who seem to share a few common (and little known) quirks.

“Did you see their teeth?”

You’re definitely a dentist if you’ve watched a television show or gone through the TSA security line at the airport and whispered, “Geez, did you see that person’s teeth?” If your companion is a close relative they probably nod their head in solemn agreement. Otherwise, they might suddenly be thinking: Oh god, do they think my teeth look good?

What can we say? We have an appreciation for the finer things in life. Like aesthetically gorgeous smiles that aren’t too glaringly white or yellow. (We apologize for shuddering every time we see the news anchor’s gummy smile).

It’s difficult to come across a stranger’s teeth and not assess how we could improve the situation. The phrase that immediately comes to mind is, “Sorry, not sorry.”

Your children must have amazing teeth (since you’re a dentist).

Not so. Have you ever tried to convince anyone (especially someone you love) to commit to something they don’t enjoy doing? If your child refuses to floss, being a dentist won’t necessarily persuade them to choose the healthier habit.

But as a dentist, people expect everyone from your best friend to your second cousin twice removed to have gloriously white/straight/perfect teeth. Let’s admit it: Flossing kind of sucks. We just care more about the quality of our oral health than the average human.

P.S. Our children are just as judgmental about strangers’ teeth as we are. We’ve taught them well.

That problem must be occlusion related.

Do you automatically assume every headache could be solved by a good ole’ night guard? Well folks, the verdict is in. You are absolutely, categorically a dental professional.

(And you’re probably right about it.)

Who exactly are the four out of five dentists recommending that toothpaste?

You roll your eyes at toothpaste commercials and the ridiculous claim that each different brand will somehow lead consumers to superior dental health. All toothpastes are pretty much created equal. We just want people to use the stuff. It doesn’t really matter what kind.

You could have been Picasso in another life.

People assume dentists are all about science, but most of us are very right-brained. We’re sculptors, painters, creative writers, photographers, and every other iteration of artiste.

How else could we make those dentures look like real teeth?