5 Tips To Keeping Busy During Downtime

I have worked in the Dental office for over 15 years. There have been days where I didn’t even have time to relieve my bladder and days where it felt so slow the day I thought it would never end. Have you ever found yourself in the situation where a patient has cancelled, you have some downtime and you can’t remember what you were going to do when you finally had time to do it? I also realize many of you feel like you never have downtime and I hear you! Even for those situations I have experienced greater productivity when I have a list of to-dos just in case I don’t need to use the bathroom when I have that 5 extra minutes.  Here are a few ideas to help you get started on your go-to list when you have some precious downtime.

#1-STRETCH

Take time to take care of YOU.  Due to the repetitive nature of our job it is important for us to take time to engage in movement that balances our working muscles. Check out our video on functional movements for the dental hygienist HERE.

#2- SHARPEN

This is another use of time that will extend your dental hygiene career and also help provide your patient with a better more comfortable cleaning. See below for help on sharpening HERE.

#3- STOCK

Taking the downtime that happens sporadically during the day to re-stock your room or order new supplies helps you have the things you need on hand during the day and get out of work on time. Check out our hygiene hack on how to create a patient cover packet for set up HERE.

#4 RECARE

The best cure for downtime is to find a patient instead! Recare is an important use of downtime. Work with your office manager to create an effective recare program to help you keep a full and fulfilling schedule. Read up more on how to do recare HERE.

#5 ASK THE TEAM

Working in a Dental Office is a TEAM job. After I have made sure my operatory is in order, I make sure I have asked the assistants and front office to see if they need any assistance with their duties.


What are some things that you do during your downtime that make you a valuable team member? We’d love to hear about what goes on your to-do lists that help you be the most productive in the time you have.