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Can you rinse & spit at your dentist? Do you care?

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Regular Guy

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I moved across town recently, and found it an opportunity to look for a new dentist. This...coupled with a desire to find a dentist in-network on my work''s dental plan, and also, to find one who could identify that persistent pain that the old dentist could not.

We do have available through a couple of resources (Washingtonian, Washington Consumer Checkbook) ways to match dentists against community recommendations. But...this only provides so much level of detail. For example, I did select a close by, recommended, dentist, and he''s done an initial work up for me. But...

No rinse & spit. Freaked me out.

Without committing to the new guy, I''ve begun to check other options. Apparently, many more current practices do not offer a "cuspidor," what I understand this apparatus is called, as it has to do with the cleanliness of the set-up.

But...I like to be able to rinse & spit. And, not have to depend on the dentist''s suctioning within my mouth.

Is this too gross to talk about. In the day, and up to now, I''ve only visited dentists that offer this. Now, apparently, they''re hard to find. I did now find one I could go to. He''s apparently popular, too, and I could only get in via a cancellation. But...are these set-ups even not sanitary, and I should consider avoiding it? I simply, so far, found it awkward to depend on the dentist''s suction.

But, I''m repeating myself. Anybody else have a take on this?
 

hikerchick

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AARRRGGGG,

I cannot imagine NOT rinsing and spitting. I don''t even care if it isn''t sanitary, if people only knew how unsanitary life in general is . . . anyway, totally agree that I need the rinse and spit, they don''t know where all the little bits and pieces of stuff is lodged and it is uncomfortable enough to go to a dentist.
 

asscherisme

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Ahhh, this is so funny you posted this. I was just talking to a friend about this very topic this morning How funny is that.

I have lived in 5 states and in the first 4 states, three was rinse and spit at the denstist. It was just ingrained in me from a little kid. You get you teeth cleaned, then you rinsed and spit to get that gritty stuff out of your mouth. Filling? Rinse and spit.

We move almost 2 years ago to yet another new state. This time, a whole different region of the US. We went to a local dentist, and no rinse and spit! No sinks near the chair. I thought how odd. I did not like that dentist (nothing to do with the rinse and spit thing, the guy was just arrogant) so 6 months later I tried a new dentist and really liked him. Again, no rinse and spit. I asked what that was all about and he told me its against health code in the state and its very unsanitary and serves no purpose other than to spread germs. Their office policy is they have a little fridge in the waiting room and on your check out with the receptionist, they ask if you would like a bottled water on your way out.

Kind of weird to not have rinse and spit when you are use to it but I think it does make sense and when you think about it, its relaly much cleaner to not have it.
 

curiopotter

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Dec 27, 2006
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Well, I'm a total germaphobe.

My dentist (who happens to be a family friend) does have the cuspidor, and while I like rinsing my mouth on my own, I, #1 never got more than an ouce of water to spit, and #2 am completely grossed out by the apparatus.

I know that so many before me, have used that apparatus to projectile spit the reminents left in their mouths from my dentists' and her assistants' scraping and polishing.

Now while I understand your situation, I end up thinking of the bacteria and germs her office that accumilates in just ONE day. And then think about the kids that use it, and their spit that dangles from their mouths and slowly ribbons out, not only into the sink, but AROUND the sink and possibly drips onto the chair or floor... and then, there it is: Tunnel Vision.

*SHUDDERS*

I don't see it as something I'm missing, but if you happen to like the dentist and are just annoyed that he doesn't have one-- just ask to get a cup and use their restroom to rinse and spit. Then you can at least keep your dentist.
 

WTNLVR

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OMG. I can''t even imagine this. I just had my teeth cleaned Saturday and I rinsed a good 10 times before we were done. Plus, if you have a filling you have to rinse out the residual amalagram/metal stuff they use. I wouldn''t want to swallow all the stuff- it would probably make you really sick to your stomach!
 

asscherisme

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Hmmm, now I'm thinking that the health codes are more progressive where I live. I have to admit, its still really weird to not have rinse and spit. I'm going next week for a cleaning. But I have no choice but to get use to it!

Another health code issue is that you can't bring home cooked goodies to school for kids birthdays. You are only allowed to bring in goodies from bakeries that have peanut free facilities. At first, I thoght, that stinks. Baking on birthdays is fun for the kids. But when I really thought about it, I know my ktichen is clean but how do I know some other mom is not letting her kids stick their fingers in and lick the bowl or have pet hair all over the counter tops? So it makes sense health wise.
 

VegasAngel

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Yes, thank goodness. I cant imagine leaving the dentist with all that crud still left in my mouth. As for germs, have they never heard of bleach or something to disinfect the sinks/floors? Beyond that, patients share (disinfected of course) the same suctions, tools etc... It makes me think of my pediatrician's office. You cant throw away dirty diapers you have to take them with you. who is going to dig under the sink into the trash can other than a janitor who I am sure wears gloves?

Germs are everywhere. What about the people who cook your food in a restaurant? How do you know they wash their hands? I bet most of them dont. What about your co workers, do they wash their hands after they use the restroom? Maybe they dont & then go touch the copier, fax, phones etc.. what about public restrooms in general, lets not go there. How about touching door handles? What about shopping carts? Thank goodness the stores around here have wipes (I also use a shopping cart cover.)
 

Kaleigh

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Yes thank goodness. I can''t imagine not being able to do so.
 

FireGoddess

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Jan 25, 2005
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12,145
I can and I never really thought about it, but it would be nice to have the option. Do they have bathrooms there? Can you just do it in that sink? (not the most appealing but better than nothing I guess!)
 

fire&ice

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I never really thought about it. My dentist in a no rinse and spit. I chalked it up to the fact that you may swallow some of the bacteria released in the mouth from the cleaning. It''s an issue w/ me as I must take antibiotics before. Wouldn''t jet spray water then suction be more sanitary from an individuals mouth point of view?
 

KimberlyH

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The dentists I''ve been to all allow you to rinse and spit, into the sink after they''ve finished. I''ve never been provided a cuspidor during cleaning, then it''s all suction.
 

larussel03

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My dad''s a rinse and spit dentist (haha) but he changes the little liner thing b/w patients and disinfects daily. Since it''s sucking down, I never worried about germs spraying back up at me...what an icky thought though!!!

I wouldn''t be happy not being able to rinse and spit with that gritty stuff on my teeth.
 

jaz464

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Hmm, I do not rinse and spit, nor have I ever had a desire to. I hold onto the little suction thing that you spit into (like a straw working backwards). I can use it for the same purpose and whenever I need to, I do.
 

hikerchick

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Date: 4/2/2007 4:49:49 PM
Author: jazmine
Hmm, I do not rinse and spit, nor have I ever had a desire to. I hold onto the little suction thing that you spit into (like a straw working backwards). I can use it for the same purpose and whenever I need to, I do.
They let you hold the suction thing? That would be an acceptable compromise, I think.
 

jaz464

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Date: 4/2/2007 4:58:21 PM
Author: hikerchick

Date: 4/2/2007 4:49:49 PM
Author: jazmine
Hmm, I do not rinse and spit, nor have I ever had a desire to. I hold onto the little suction thing that you spit into (like a straw working backwards). I can use it for the same purpose and whenever I need to, I do.
They let you hold the suction thing? That would be an acceptable compromise, I think.
Yeah, I just ask so I can use it when I need to.
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 4/2/2007 4:58:21 PM
Author: hikerchick

Date: 4/2/2007 4:49:49 PM
Author: jazmine
Hmm, I do not rinse and spit, nor have I ever had a desire to. I hold onto the little suction thing that you spit into (like a straw working backwards). I can use it for the same purpose and whenever I need to, I do.
They let you hold the suction thing? That would be an acceptable compromise, I think.
my dentist always lets me hold the suction thing too.
 

iheartscience

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I''ve actually never been to a rinse and spit dentist. Perhaps my state is one that doesn''t allow it?

I think it makes sense to be able to rinse and spit, but it would definitely gross me out to spit into a sink tons of other people have spit into. But I definitely have weird (and probably pointless) germ hang-ups. I really doubt it is *that* unsanitary to spit into a sink!

If you want a rinse and spit dentist, you should definitely try out the dentist you heard about!
 

KindredSpirit717

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Mar 26, 2007
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that''s odd, i don''t think i''d ever be able to go to a dentist that doesn''t allow rinse and spit. if i''m not able to rinse it out right away, i tend to gag from the particles and sand (from when they cleaned the braces) and all that other lovely stuff (ewwie!!
). also for some reason, the suction thing makes me gag due to the sound of the spit being suctioned, just thinking about it now, blech...then again i tend to have an aversion to spit and other things that come out fo the mouth due to emetophobia...so i''m weird...lol...
 

Julianna

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Mar 19, 2007
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I have never been to a non-spitty dentist, nor would I want to. My dentist is very clean and sanitary. What would I do with all the crappa in my mouth if there was no spitting? I have to get all of that excess polish junk out of my mouth at the end, too. I don''t think the sucky straw would help me out there.

Anyway I don''t think it''s so much to ask to be able to sit up and rinse out, if you so choose. Not having the option would squick me out, too.
 

zoebartlett

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Dec 29, 2006
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Hmmm, I haven''t really thought about this until now...

My former dentist only used the suction thing but the dentist I go to now has a spit and rinse sink next to his chair.

This is now making me think of things I hate when I go for my visits: I hate, hate, hate, the sound and feel of the pick they use to clean your teeth and the gritty toothpaste they use. I always have a look of horror on my face when the dental hygenist comes at me with the gritty stuff.
 

diamondseeker2006

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I don''t think everybody here really gets this. There is absolutely no difference except whether you spit out the water or whether it is suctioned! The dentist sprays the water in your mouth to rinse the teeth either way, so it''s just a matter of how the water is removed from the mouth. I think the suction is much less gross than spitting in the sink!
 

Cind11

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At all the dentists I have been to except the current one, I''ve been able to rinse and spit. The one I have now does it for you with the suction. I don''t like it though!
 

jaz464

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Date: 4/2/2007 7:51:59 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
I don''t think everybody here really gets this. There is absolutely no difference except whether you spit out the water or whether it is suctioned! The dentist sprays the water in your mouth to rinse the teeth either way, so it''s just a matter of how the water is removed from the mouth. I think the suction is much less gross than spitting in the sink!
Yeah, but when you spit, particles and liquid can spray around. With the suction thing, you close your mouth on the straw thingie and is sucks the stuff out. Germs are not sprayed around. I would think that if rinsing and spitting is outlawed in some states then it must be less hygenic.
 

InlovewithJHK

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Jan 12, 2007
Messages
234
Hi everyone! This is actually my profession (dental student) so I''ll ask tomorrow one of the professors if there are regulations regarding rinse and spit or why you wouldn''t allow this. Feel free to shoot any dental questions my way!
 

diamondfan

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There are germs a plenty everywhere...on money, door handles in restrooms, on restaurant utensils, etc...if we really thought about it all we would never leave the house! If it violates health laws then I guess you could get some water and go in the restroom, I would, since that gritty sensation in my mouth annoys me. We need some exposure to germs to be able to fight infection but some of this stuff is too scary to contemplate!
 

Christa

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Now that I think about it, I''ve never had a rinse''n''spit dentist, but I hate the suction-y thing.
I''d much prefer to R&S.
 

Regular Guy

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Date: 4/3/2007 11:03:25 PM
Author: InlovewithJHK
Hi everyone! This is actually my profession (dental student) so I''ll ask tomorrow one of the professors if there are regulations regarding rinse and spit or why you wouldn''t allow this. Feel free to shoot any dental questions my way!
Don''t forget us now...
 

larussel03

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Oct 22, 2005
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My dad suctions for some things but has people rinse and spit the toothpaste
 

Regular Guy

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Sweetpea,

I'm guessing your dad does this because he has the equipment to make this reasonable...i.e., a "cuspidor" at the left of the dental chair, so he can instruct the patient to lean over. No?

My new dentist also has a sink behind the chair, and he allowed as I was leaving that, yes, I could rinse & spit there, but it was not convenient (by any stretch) to do this while he was working on me, and the suggestion was not made. Or, are you suggesting your dad has the patient get out of the chair and go to another location to do this?

This is all largely a quesition of what equipment is in the dentist's office. Yes, there may be more to the "why," as to the choice (or lack thereof) for having this equipment at the side of the chair, and some here have alluded to different state laws. My "feel" of this is that older equipment, in Maryland at least, is perhaps grandfathered...but that newer dentists are at least steered away from including a cuspidor. I'm only guessing, though.
 

larussel03

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Date: 4/4/2007 3:45:10 PM
Author: Regular Guy
Sweetpea,

I''m guessing your dad does this because he has the equipment to make this reasonable...i.e., a ''cuspidor'' at the left of the dental chair, so he can instruct the patient to lean over. No?

My new dentist also has a sink behind the chair, and he allowed as I was leaving that, yes, I could rinse & spit there, but it was not convenient (by any stretch) to do this while he was working on me, and the suggestion was not made. Or, are you suggesting your dad has the patient get out of the chair and go to another location to do this?

This is all largely a quesition of what equipment is in the dentist''s office. Yes, there may be more to the ''why,'' as to the choice (or lack thereof) for having this equipment at the side of the chair, and some here have alluded to different state laws. My ''feel'' of this is that older equipment, in Maryland at least, is perhaps grandfathered...but that newer dentists are at least steered away from including a cuspidor. I''m only guessing, though.
Maybe -- I have noooooooo idea why he does anything, let alone work stuff


He''s been working for about 30+ years, so he''s pretty old school.
 
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