Effective communication is a process through which the sender conveys a message that the receiver readily receives and understands. It is a two-way process instead of a one way process.
When giving oral hygiene instruction effective communication is very important between the dental team and the patients, it is crucial if the patients are to take an active role in managing their own oral health. When giving oral hygiene instruction there are a lot of different methods to use to ensure effective communication such as information leaflets or posters. These are good as the patient can read the leaflets or posters firstly then discussing verbally afterwards maintaining good eye contact throughout as this shows attentiveness. Changing your communication skills to suit the patient e.g. child, teenager…. is very important. Communication to a child is important to get them to understand the importance of oral hygiene, by changing the words ‘caries’ to ‘little bugs’ to the child may make them understand better. Showing children pictures is also important as they can have a visual insight into the process of oral hygiene and understanding that little bit more instead of explaining to the child the process of oral hygiene, using pictures would be a lot more interesting for the child. Showing a model of teeth is also good for them as they can get to see exactly how to clean their teeth properly and asking them to demonstrate what I have shown them is good as this can test them to see if they have been listening and taking in what has been said and showed.
Elderly patients who may have hearing problems changing your communication style will benefit them better by talking louder so they can hear you or even writing everything down on a piece of paper if they cannot hear you properly.
When communication with a patient from a different background i.e. English is not very good when giving oral