In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist is taking a variety of cautionary measures to protect himself and his patients from contracting the virus. One of these is refraining from hugs and handshakes while in the office. As much as your dental team cares for you, these greetings will have to be saved for a later date. Continue reading to learn some fun, creative ways that you can say hello to your dental team when you come in for your next appointment.
How Should I Greet My Dental Team?
- Namaste: This is a traditional greeting with origins in southeast Asia. In Thailand, it is known as the “wai.” To perform this greeting, you place your palms together with your thumbs at your chest. Have your fingers point upwards. This is usually done with a slight bow of the head.
- Elbow Bumps: This has been a popular greeting since the start of the pandemic. It involves two people bending their right arms and touching elbows. This is not completely contact-free, but it is much safer than shaking hands or hugging because most people cannot touch their elbow to their face.
- Bow: If you’re feeling like a more traditional greeting, you could go for a bow. Even though it isn’t a common way to greet people in the western world anymore, bows are commonly used in performances like traditional dances and classical music.
- Curtsy: In the past, curtsies were used as a female equivalent to bowing. It involves a girl or woman bowing her head while bending her knees. This isn’t very popular anymore but is still used in certain performances and when meeting with royalty.
- Touch feet: There have been videos from places as far as Iran and China that involve people tapping feet in order to greet each other. Assuming that both people are wearing shoes, it involves no skin to skin contact.
Which Greetings Should I Set Aside for Now?
- Handshakes: There are great for professional encounters and are important if you’re building up your career. But for the time being, it’s well known that they can easily cause the spread of illnesses. Not to mention that many people are touching their faces all throughout the day.
- Hugs: Whether your happy, upset, or just feeling friendly, almost everyone appreciates a hug now and again. But due to the close nature of a hug, it is also a great way to spread sickness from one person to another.
- La bise (cheek kissing): This greeting is most credited to France. It is a nice gesture but is currently discouraged because it requires contact of the face.
- Fist bumps / high fives: Even though they don’t transfer as many germs as the classic handshake, it is still best to avoid them because of the direct hand contact.
Things have changed quite a bit, including the greetings that you should be using. Opting for contact-free ways of saying hello and goodbye is a small step that goes a long way in keeping you and your dental team safe.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino provides restorative, preventive, and cosmetic dentistry at his practice in Medford, MA. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Harvard College and obtained his Doctor of Dental Medicine from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. He has over three decades of experience. Dr. Giamberardino and his team are taking 16 additional steps, such as refraining from hugging and shaking hands in the office, in order to keep patients safe. For more information or to Schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (781) 396-3800.