The Crazy Hat Box

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What Your Dental Hygienist Wishes You Knew

on May 6, 2014

This is the first in a new series titled “I Wish You Knew”.  We plan to cover many subjects and would love some suggestions from those of you that read this blog.  This is also our first post from a guest blogger!  My friend Andrea wrote this and it’s something that should affect everyone.  We may write a couple of these posts, but most will be from guest bloggers.  It’s funny and insightful.  Enjoy….

Hey there, my name is Andrea. I’m a wife to a studly man named Dustin and a mother to the 2 most beautiful, unique children in the world (totally not biased). I also have the privilege to call myself a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH).
My job is both difficult and fulfilling, interesting and entertaining; and you either love or hate coming to see me.
However, I’m going to let you in on a few secrets to make your future hygiene appointments a better experience for both you and your hygienist with these 5 simple things your hygienist wishes you knew!
1) PLEASE be on time to your appointments! I know your hygienist might be running behind and you may not ALWAYS get brought back right on the money. Trust me, it’s probably because her first patient of the day was late and it messed up her whole days schedule! (Grrrr)We adore our patients who are on time!
2)Please don’t cry and wine during x-rays. I know they aren’t comfortable and you think we’re radiating you enough to make you grow a tail or a 3rd arm, but ya know what? We have to get them too and we know they aren’t the most enjoyable part of your day. They are a NECESSARY EVIL! (Gag reflex gets a free pass)
3)”My gums never bleed until you poke them!” Look, rule number 1 of oral health (pay attention) HEALTHY TISSUE DOESN’T BLEED. Ever had a hang nail that bleeds after you’ve pulled it off then you accidentally scrape it and it bleeds again? This is basically what is going on under your poor gum tissue when we measure your pockets. Believe it or not, your RDH doesn’t get a high on making gums bleed. (Floss more)
4) Please do not try to tell me your life story at our first appointment. I know your ex husband is a womanizing pig or your wife eats chocolate bon bons and watches soaps all day while you work your hiney off. We can cover all of this at some point, but if you want me to clean your teeth, then that requires my hands in your mouth to which I prefer your teeth not be moving! I LOVE chatting with my patients. That’s how I develop a relationship with you, but I still need to do my job in a timely fashion so my next patient isn’t pacing in the lobby while I get the latest gossip about your mother’s uncle’s sister’s friend’s cat. I want to get to know you, but we have to do it in puzzle pieces. Mmmkay?
5)I LOVE my job! When a patient comes back to see me and their oral health has improved because they took my recommendations into action at home I get the BIGGEST feeling of satisfaction! Patient compliancy goes a loooong way! When my super anxious patient who is terrified of the dentist comes to me after a few appointments and says she actually enjoys coming back, I have accomplished something! Listen to your hygienist, work at home to improve your oral health. Your appointments will be easier on both you and your RDH thus giving you more time to chat and get to know each other! Or your appointments won’t take as long and you can get the heck out of there and go back to your exciting life, job, nap. ..whatever!
I hope you’ll find these to be helpful, insightful and enlightening. If not, then I hope you at least read this in it’s entirety and it motivates you to schedule a cleaning with your hygienist so you can show off your mad flossing skills.


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