Hugs and handshakes are great ways to say hello to your dental team. These gestures convey loads of warmth and friendliness. Unfortunately, however, they are not wise practices during this time of COVID-19. Maintaining social distancing, even when you are visiting your dentist or dental implant surgeon, is important. How, then, can you greet your dental team without initiating unnecessary contact? Here are some safe and creative ideas:
Elbow bumps are relatively safe because your elbows are unlikely to pick up stray contagions. Bumping elbows also ensures that your face maintains a fair distance from the other person’s face. This type of greeting has been widely used during other periods where the spread of disease was a serious concern. For example, it was a popular way to say hello in Liberia during an Ebola outbreak.
Do you love to give hugs? Since regular hugs are currently inadvisable, you can instead send a sign language hug to your dental team. All you have to do curl both of your hands into fists, then cross your arms over your chest. This easy and simple gesture contains all the affection of a literal hug without the risks of physical interaction.
An enthusiastic wave is a classic way to greet someone without getting close to them. It works as well in your oral surgeon’s office as it does during a teledentistry appointment.
There are many different ways to wave, from a vigorous back and forth motion to a slow, parade-like wave. You could even try jazz hands if you feel like giving your wave a bit of a dance flair. All you have to do is raise both of your hands and turn your palms outward, then move your hands to and fro.
Bows and Curtsies
Bowing might seem like it is an old-fashioned greeting, and it’s true that this custom originated many centuries ago. However, it has survived into modern times in many cultures. For example, Japanese people often bow to show how much they respect the person they are greeting.
You could also try a curtsy if you are feeling a little humorous. This ages-old, traditionally female greeting is easy to do. Just place one foot in front of the other and slightly bend your knees.
Long Live and Prosper
Even many people who have never watched Star Trek are familiar with the Vulcan greeting. Using it to greet your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s team can create a lighthearted moment and put a smile on everyone’s face! Simply raise one of your hands with the palm facing the other person. Then, separate your middle finger and index finger from your pinky and ring finger, thus making a V shape with your hand. If you have never done it before, you might have to practice a bit to train your muscles before you can successfully carry out this pop culture greeting.
Handshakes and hugs are temporarily off-limits, but the above greetings are great ways to safely say hello to your dental team.
About the Author
Dr. Tom Weil is an oral surgeon in Houston with more than four decades of experience. He is an expert in dental implants and many other areas of his profession. He and the entire Piney Point team are committed to providing safe, top-quality care even during this time of COVID-19. To learn about the safety precautions we are taking or to learn more about our services, contact us at 713-597-7340.