Talk less, do more

465520267Mentalis. Buccinator. Risorius. As dental students, we are all familiar with speaking—well, at least we’re familiar with what muscles are used in speaking. Dental students rely heavily on interpersonal communication with our faculty, our peers, and our patients. Our goals for patient care often include a change in habit, whether it is flossing more or quitting smoking. Though the bulk of habit formation relies on the patient, a sizable burden rests on how we communicate those goals to the patient. But when it comes to that communication, our approach is sometimes backwards!