top of page
Search

Polishing First?


When I'm assessing hygienists, one standard recommendation I have is to try polishing first.


Why?


In my experience, it is a more ergonomic and efficient way to serve our patients.

 

When we polish first, we:

  • Remove plaque and stain before we begin scaling, which cuts way down on our time in the mouth

  • Reduce repetitive motions when scaling because we simply don't have to scale as much.

  • SAVE TIME

 

If you aren't used to this, you may think, "What if the patient doesn't like it?"

Put simply, we must do what is right for us, regardless of the patient's preference. Also, once you explain the WHY behind this, patients will understand immediately.



Here is some verbiage I hope you will find helpful.


  • "I am going to polish first this time, then will go back through with my instruments."

  • "I am polishing first because the polish is actually much more efficient at removing the soft plaque, food, and stain than my instruments. Once I'm done polishing, then I focus on the hard deposits with my instruments."

  • "Polishing first cuts down on the time you're in the chair, it makes it easier on both of us."

If the patient wants that minty fresh feeling after you're done scaling, give them some mouth rinse and they'll be happy!


I don't recommend polishing twice just to please the patient as this is unnecessary abrasion that could compromise their enamel, I promise, just give them some rinse.


I hope you'll give this a try! I bet you'll love it.

6 Comments


Anna Capps
Anna Capps
Feb 26, 2023

I was encouraged to do this from day one in school and continue in private practice. It gives me time to assess their mouth before I go in with my USS. The few patients that have questioned me, I’ve explained the logic behind it and they’re always receptive.

Like
thompsonbobbi46
Feb 27, 2023
Replying to

Anna, is this my sweet Anna from CBC?

Like

thompsonbobbi46
Feb 26, 2023

Hi Stephanie. I love this post. Totally agree. In fact I have been researching GBT & found GBT certified RDH'S in the bigger cities outside of where I am in Washington State. Scheduled my next dental hygiene therapy with them in the spring. Can't wait to experience this updated, modern, logical modality. What are your thoughts on GBT?

Like
stephanie9576
Feb 27, 2023
Replying to

I’d love to try it sometime and I’ve heard great things about it. Hopefully someday!

Like

Eric Opsvig
Eric Opsvig
Feb 26, 2023

I have been polishing first since I became a dentist in 1985

Like
bottom of page