One of the questions that often gets brought up is when oral hygiene education should be started. Should it begin after the probe depths are recorded, after the diagnosis has been made, or after the prophy appointment is almost complete?
Our answer to this question is:
OHE starts in the waiting room!
What does this mean? From the very first second that you meet your patient, OHE has technically started. The patient determines from the first few minutes of meeting you if you are trustworthy and educated, or if you are just there to "polish" their teeth. This first few introduction minutes are critical to gain credibility with the patient. So make those minutes count! Make sure you are wearing clean scrubs, clean shoes, and your hair is off your face. Make sure jewelry minimal. And make sure you are wearing a white lab jacket! We'll talk more about lab jackets this week, but they can make a huge impression on patients. Second, no cattle calling in the waiting room. Treat the patient like a person. If you have never met a patient before, look up their photo or their birthday so you know generally who you will be looking for in the waiting room. Approach them, smile, and shake their hand. Direct them back to your operatory instead of running away from them and hoping they follow you along.
These little steps will help your oral hygiene education and will show your patient that what you are educating them on will help their health.
Do YOU have a favorite method of bringing patients from the waiting room to the op? Let us know below!
Stay tuned for more OHE tips throughout the week!