The Best Dental Patient Excuses Ever

There are those people with a particular skill-set—the kind that can convince you that they were late for work because they were held up in a bank robbery, or because their cousin died for the third time that year, or because SWAT needed them to consult on a case.

They’ll spin a wild tale to get out bearing the slightest bit of blame or responsibility, sometimes, just because they can. And we all know who they are. We all have one in our family, at work, at the gym, in the government, etc.

But there seems to be something in the fluoride at dental offices that magically imbues any patient that walks in with this rare superpower—excuse making.

As a dentist, I’ve heard some of the most creative tales—you’d think all my patients were famous fiction novelists… And I’m not alone in this. These are some of my favorite patient excuses, compiled from the stories of dentists and dental hygienists.

Some of them you’ve heard, some of them you’ve used, and some of them you never could have contrived on a good day at the private island after an online creative writing class and a six-pack of Red Bull.



for missing a dental appointment

  1. Spent the night at Chick-fil-A for 50 free sandwiches. Fell asleep in the parking lot…
  2. I had a toothache. Hurt too much to get out of bed.
  3. I had to wait for the electrician to come fix the motor on my electric drapes.
  4. I had an ant problem in my back yard I had to take care of.
  5. The weather was really nice so I went to the beach. But I have dental insurance; they’ll cover the missed appointment fee.
  6. I couldn’t get there cuz’ a groundhog ate through my radiator hose.
  7. I couldn’t afford the visit because my tax return hasn’t come in yet.
  8. I thought my appointment was at 5:00 AM, not PM. I showed up, but no one was there so I left.
  9. I violated my husband’s restraining order so I’m in jail.


for not flossing or brushing teeth

  1. My hands are too big.
  2. Flossing is gross.
  3. I ran out of the floss you gave me.
  4. My parents don’t buy it for me.
  5. My bathroom is being remodeled. I have nowhere to floss.
  6. My mother locks the bathroom at night because it attaches to her bedroom and she’s worried someone will break in. I have nowhere to floss.


for lost or damaged retainers

  1. I left it on my lunch tray at Burger King and accidentally threw it out.
  2. I let my dog try it on and he lost it in the grass. My dad later ran it over with the lawn mower.
  3. I ran out of the floss you gave me.
  4. I forgot to take it out during an MRI.
  5. I threw up and accidentally flushed my retainer down the toilet.