Dental Hygiene Analogies

Using analogies to explain to the patient their current health or treatment can really drive the point home. Here are a few examples to try in your practice of dental hygiene to relate to your patient and increase case acceptance.


1.     Periodontal Disease- To explain periodontal disease, relate it to a coral reef. Just like fish with a coral reef, a mouth has many different kinds of bacteria. The coral is like calculus and the animals or bacteria live around or in the coral. The only way to get rid of the bacteria is to get rid of their ecosystem or remove calculus. Calculus is hard just like coral so it has to be professionally removed by a dental hygienist.

2.     Bridges- Many patients with bridges say that their bridge is so tight that they don’t need to clean underneath it. You can relate a bridge to walking on the beach with shoes on. No matter how tight you tie your shoes, you will still get sand in them. Just like the shoe example, you’ll get bacteria around bridges no matter how tight they seem.

3.     Home Care- When explaining how important home care is after periodontal therapy, relate it to taking care of a large cut or wound. If your patient had a large cut, doctors would require them to clean it and the bandages daily. We require the same thing- keeping the affected area daily with brushing, flossing, water pick, interproximal brushes, ect. Without that daily maintenance anywhere on the body, the area will not heal properly and cause infection.


What are some analogies you use in practice?