What we do is fun. It should be. Elective, non-invasive, relatively comfortable treatment with Invisalign or braces makes people better than they ever have been is an easy sell and people want what we have. That being said, many patients and parents are still a bit nervous and we should do what we can to comfort them. Over the years I’ve picked up and developed several little sayings to break the ice and get a laugh. This is especially when meeting patients for the first time or doing a big procedure like a bond or debond. A smile and a laugh and a total lack of judgment or griping go a very long way when it comes to making people comfortable and happy. Remember that people buy from people they like. Anyway, I thought I’d just list a few examples of the stupid stuff I say and offer them up as something you can try or as inspiration for you to invent your own.

When meeting a new patient:

  • “Did you bring your teeth with you?” Whether they answer yes or no this is a fun one to just run with and see where it leads. It gets kids engaged and starts us off on the right foot.
  • When a kid is dressed all in blue – blue jeans and a blue jacket or shirt – “Why so blue today?”
  • When a kid is wearing orange “Orange you looking good today?”
  • When a kid is wearing camouflage, speaking to assistant “I thought you had a patient for me to see? OH! I didn’t see you there. You were camouflaged!”
  • When a parent is young or young looking (or sometimes when they are not) “Who is this you’ve brought with you? Your sister?”
  • When it’s cold and a patient (usually females) are wearing boots “Wow those are cool boots… I mean I bet they are warm… but they look cool… but I’m sure they are warm… You know what I mean!”
  • When looking at a pano – “Wow that looks just like you. Do you recognize yourself?”
  • When a kid has holes in their jeans “Have you been in a fight with a weed eater?!” or “Did you fall down in the parking lot and tear your jeans? I did and my knee still hurts!” or “Did you get attacked by a pack of wild dogs?” or “All we have to do is get your teeth fixed up and get you a new pair of jeans and you’ll be all set!”
  • When a patient asks “Will it hurt?” I like to say, “Nope, won’t hurt me a bit but thanks for asking!”

When asking a patient about a broken bracket, especially when the kid says they “don’t know how it broke”:

  • “Did you have your head with you the entire time you were gone?”
  • “Have you been eating rocks again?”
  • “You know you can come hang out with us any time you want right? You don’t have to break a bracket to have an excuse to come see us!”
  • “Broken bracket? No big deal. Let’s fix it! I have nothing better to do, what about you?”

When about to use a hand piece to remove glue at debond

  • “Don’t worry, this won’t hurt me a bit!”

Well that’s all I can think of right this minute… It’s amazing how the sayings just show up when it’s time. I’ll pay attention and write some more down as I use them. Feel free to share your favorite sayings so we can all benefit from your wisdom!