Keeping our patients’ teeth and gums healthy is essential for a beautiful smile. But wait! — did you know that profitability begins with preventive procedures not those reconstructive services?
Patients who think getting their teeth cleaned every six months must understand that this is not enough for maintaining healthy teeth and gums And it is not a guarantee for optimal overall health. Many adult patients who schedule only six month hygiene appointments soon find out at some point in life that they will develop periodontal disease. Patients, who skip their dental hygiene appointments trying to save money, are actually costing themselves more money the longer they put off regular dental hygiene appointments. We need to repeatedly communicate to our patients that regular hygiene visits are extremely important for the prevention of diseases; oral diseases as well as systemic. And regular dental hygiene visits will save them money – long term.
Regarding patients teeth, gums and overall health; dental hygienists have an important role of educating patients about nutrition and whole body wellness. Hygienists need to be the ‘go to’ person about overall health when patients return for their hygiene visits.
Patient tips for keeping their teeth white
It takes less than 5 minutes to complete a smile evaluation. This simple evaluation will open many doors for referrals as patients learn ways to make their smile even more beautiful!
Hand your patient a mirror and ask a few questions about their smile. This is a great time to share some simple tips for keeping their teeth white. I mention this because almost all of your patients will tell you they want whiter teeth!
One simple tip to share with your patients is to drink coffee with a straw to avoid coffee stains on the teeth. After they drink coffee or something which is likely to stain their teeth, it is very helpful to have them rinse their mouth (or brush if possible) so that the coffee or staining food does not sit on the teeth and lead to staining. The same goes for teas or dark liquids. After drinking red wine, make sure to have patients brush. Their teeth will stay whiter longer if the stains are removed sooner than later.
Trends in dentistry
Men really are starting to whiten their teeth a lot more in recent years and they are getting smile makeovers almost as much as women. These “makeovers” include whitening, veneers, replacing discolored fillings, implants, etc. In general, women tend to opt for veneers more often than men. Men would rather just bleach their teeth instead of getting veneers, or at least would like to bleach before making the commitment for veneers.
As dental professionals we are changing lives and doing something important to improve the quality of life for our patients and our profession of dentistry. When you give someone a new smile, in many cases it truly changes the way they feel every day.