DEAR ABBY: I'm a dental hygienist. It's an excellent career, and I've been practicing for nine years.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many people get into my chair and tell me they haven't brushed their teeth all day. Even worse, they'll say, "I just ate a roast beef sandwich, so you might find some chunks in there." It's disgusting.
Abby, how can I let people know they should brush their teeth before visiting a dental office? -- GROSSED OUT IN GROSSE POINT
DEAR GROSSED OUT: People already know they should have brushed their teeth before visiting you. Make it a practice to ask your patients when they arrive whether they have "had a chance" to brush their teeth. If the answer is no, smile, hand them a toothbrush and toothpaste, and tell them to go do it. At first, they may be taken aback, but it won't take them long to get used to the new drill.