Open Wide. Or Not.

In our profession we have to look in tiny spaces to see even tinier teeth to find even tinier problems with them.

It doesn’t make it any easier when you give us an opening the size of a walnut to look through.

When we say “open as wide as you can for me” that doesn’t translate to “as wide as you feel like it at the moment”.

According to the Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, the mean maximal mouth opening for males was 51.3 mm (SD 8.3) (Range 39–70 mm). The mean maximal mouth opening for females was 44.3 mm (SD 6.7) (Range 36–56 mm).

What does this mean?

It means that on average most people can open 1.75 inches (or the amount to fit a tangerine in their mouths).

(*Footnote. This means that your significant other might be lying if they say it’s too big to fit if you are below or at the average. . They may just be tired that night. Or you need a shower?)

Imagine a valet opening your car door a quarter of the way and telling you to get inside. Think of how much you’d have to squeeze into that small space. Not fun.

Not fun for us either.

Please open wide so we can do our jobs. It’s not that hard.

Patients. . .

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