Ways to save time – and fingers – at the dentist

I nearly bit my dental hygienist’s finger yesterday.

I’m sure she gets it a lot, though, spending all day with her fingers in people’s mouths. But I think she created this situation herself.

I understand that these hygienists are trying to relax their patients and build a relationship with them. But why the essay questions?

While at my routine cleaning yesterday, my hygienist asked me questions along these lines:

  • Where do you work?
  • How are you enjoying your job?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Where do you live?
  • If you could be a pepper, which color would you be and why?
  • What is your earliest childhood memory?
  • What is your solution for world peace?

Questions like those are tough enough under normal conditions, let alone with 10 rubber fingers in your mouth. I tried my best to keep my answers short and simple to avoid leaving her with nine fingers. But it made me wonder – aren’t there better questions the hygienist could ask me to preserve all 10 digits?

Here is a list of possible questions for all the hygienists, dentists, orthodontists, and periodontists out there who are looking to save time and fingers:

  • Do you like your job? You can just nod or shrug.
  • Do you live in the suburbs or the city? Blink once for suburbs, twice for city.
  • You look like you like music. Give me a thumbs-up if that’s true.
  • Considering that you don’t live in the dentist office, you must have been outside today. How about that weather? It was definitely something. Isn’t weather neat?
  • When’s your birthday? Don’t tell me. I’ll guess it. Tell me if I’m getting warmer. Is it an April birthday? You look like an April birthday. No? October? December?

Simple questions that won’t leave the patient spitting all over everyone – now that’s a concept you can sink your teeth into.


2 thoughts on “Ways to save time – and fingers – at the dentist

  1. Well, Lia, if you could be a pepper what pepper would you be and why? I like this question. I’m going to ask a lot of people.

    Also, I once bit my orthodontist. I’m pretty sure he deserved it.

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