Whether you are the type of person to offer a hug or high-five when you see your dentist in Ken Caryl, you understand that certain greetings simply are not possible right now. With the reminder to practice social distancing when among those outside your household, you will need to look for an alternative way to greet your dental team when you arrive for your next appointment. But what other ways are there? Let’s spend a few minutes discussing why it’s best to avoid the typical handshake and how else you can say hello without making contact.
Why Social Distancing is Important
Until recently, the term “social distancing” was not common among the general population. In fact, most people might have previously referred to it as “personal space.” Either way, COVID-19 is causing individuals throughout the world to “embrace” this new way of living to combat the potential spread of the virus. From limiting interaction with people outside your house to wearing face masks and standing 6 feet apart while at the grocery store or other public places, these new protocols are designed to better protect everyone.
Since the virus can be easily spread through human contact, this realization is causing dentists and other medical professionals to identify alternative solutions when it comes to practicing social distancing while still offering personalized dental care. Not only are team members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize exposure, but they are also finding ways to greet patients without giving in to the normal handshake or high-five.
Alternative Greetings to Use at the Dentist’s Office
If you miss being able to hug your dentist, you’re not alone, especially if it’s someone you’ve known for a long time and look forward to catching up with during your visit. As much as a hug might be your go-to greeting, it’s time (at least for now) to consider trying one of the following alternatives:
- Elbow bump – Many cultures are opting for this new method of saying “hello,” as it prevents individuals from using their hands and possibly contaminating the other person. Because dentists must use them to maneuver instruments in a patient’s mouth, it’s imperative that the hands remain as germ-free as possible.
- Air high-five – When receiving an excellent report, your dentist may have the automatic reaction of giving you a high-five. To avoid actual contact though, you might try meeting a part of the way to perform an “air” high-five. This will not only get your point across, but it will also avoid contamination between you and your dentist’s hands.
- Peaceful namaste stance – If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you might be familiar with this one. Keeping your palms pressed against each other and your fingers extended upward, a slight bow of the head will let another person know that you are saying “hello” and you are happy to see them.
- Opting for a teledentistry session – If you’d rather avoid entering the dentist’s office right now, there is the alternative of having a teledentistry session with your dental professional. Not only does this allow for a personalized appointment, but it keeps everyone safe and away from harmful bacteria and viruses.
Keeping these alternative greetings in mind will better serve you when you come in for your appointment. As much as you and your dental team would like to say “hello” with a warm and welcoming handshake or hug, it is best if social distancing remains the current course of action to get through this crisis.
About the Author
Dr. Susan Kutis earned her doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry in 2006. Recognized as a “Top Dentist” by Denver’s 5280 Magazine, she and the team at Blue Sage Dental are eager to begin seeing patients once again. As much as they would like to offer a hug or high-five to welcome you back, the threat of COVID-19 is still present, which means looking for alternative ways to greet you when you arrive. If you’re looking for a “dentist near me” and are wondering what precautions you should take when you arrive for your appointment, please contact us at (303) 973-1112.