For some patients, the idea of neglecting their dental health is just as horrifying as ignoring their diet or hygiene routine. However, for those who haven’t kicked some undesirable habits, or can’t say no to sugary drinks, it can be hard to convince them to knock bad habits on the head. While some patients may need significant cosmetic work to fix larger problems, it’s worth convincing regulars that just a few tips and tricks can help to boost their self-esteem.
Push for a hygienist visit
Many patients resent the idea of having to pay extra for a little bit of an oral MOT. However, it’s worth insisting that they give it at least one try. After they notice how better their smile looks with reduced staining and plaque, they’re likely to book another visit. To find the best products to service your patients, instead of searching ‘dental products UK’, click here to find a supplier with years of experience in providing dental supplies.
Suggest realistic ways to reduce sugar intake
Chances are your patients probably know that they shouldn’t be drinking liter bottles of fizzy drink, but they may not realize just how frequently sugar is weaving its way into their lives. Suggesting easy options such as cooking sauces from scratch, eating fruit rather than drinking bottled juice and packing a bottle of water rather than flavored water could be easier methods of cutting out sugar for your patients.
Move to electric
For those who have been brutalizing their teeth with a medium-to-hard toothbrush over the years, they may be experiencing sensitivity as a result of gum-erosion. An electric toothbrush is one of the best ways to kick this habit. For patients who are concerned about surface staining, they may even find that an electric toothbrush provides a much deeper clean to help with this.
Insist on quitting smoking
This is a tricky one – smokers are likely to be already wary of their doctor’s and family’s advice on this topic, so it can seem like you’re one voice in a chorus. However, reminding them of how much their smile can be improved by kicking the habit might convince them to pick up a packet of chewing gum instead. If you can encourage them to visit the hygienist, they might be illuminated to just how much staining needs to be moved to counter the effect of smoking.
Keep it friendly
No-one likes a telling-off, and one of the best ways to convince patients to look after their oral health is to keep the advice friendly, and not judgemental. This sentiment has even been reflected in official guidelines, where it advises dentists to give a tailored approach to each patient’s oral health. If you can provide some advice that shows you have listened to their problems with quitting and can empathize with their struggle, then you might just find your advice sticking.
Some patients may need a gentle reminder to improve their oral health, whereas for others you may need to play the long game to get them to overhaul their routine. For those who are reluctant to get repair work out of fear, remember to be empathetic and reassuring to ensure they come back to the dentists’ chair once more.