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Pre-procedural Mouthrinse

So I’ve completed my first week as an RDH!! I’ve tempted a few times this week and ran across an issue regarding pre-procedural mouthrinse. I did as I always do and had my patient rinse for thirty seconds prior to using the cavitron unit. The patient made a comment about having bad breath and I assured him this was not the case and the reasoning for the rinse is to cut down on the bacteria produced in the aerosols. The patient mentioned they’ve had their teeth cleaned several times and the hygienist has never done this. The second patient made the same comment. I didn’t know how to respond. What’s the best way to handle this without creating an uncomfortable situation for any of the parties involved?

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1 Answer

Congratulations on completing your first week as an RDH! When a patient asks why you do a pre-procedural mouthrinse, do just as you did and explain the benefits (less aerosols for you, the patient, and anyone else who enters the operatory that day, etc.). If a patient asks why the other hygienist doesn’t have them do it, keep it simple and say something to the effect that all hygienists have their own way of doing things and they are more than welcome to ask the other hygienist why they don’t do it (that the question is better directed at the other hygienist). As you probably are well aware, don’t say anything negative about the other hygienist(s) like they don’t keep up on their research, are lazy, etc. Again, just tell the patient to ask the other RDH directly regarding differences in protocols. I hope this helps!

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