Dental assistants are passionate about their jobs. As dedicated professionals, they take their work seriously. As with any job, it can be hard to switch into “off” mode once your workday is done.

Even after you go home, dental assisting might be out of your sight, but it may never be far from your mind. This is just one of the many signs you might be a dental assistant!

These are some of the dental assisting habits you’ve told us you continue to do, even outside of the office. Read on to learn more!


1. You Pass Utensils Like Instruments

For some dental assistants, it’s typical to keep going through the motions of assisting — even long after the last patient has gone home. This sometimes extends to dinnertime activities. “When I’m at home and someone asks me to hand them something, I ‘pass’ it like I would an instrument,” says Virginia D.

“This is so true and funny,” adds Brenda L. “This happened once when my husband asked me to hand him a fork.”


2. You Answer Your Home or Cell Phone Like It’s Your Office Phone

Professionalism is paramount to dental assistants. And after a long day or workweek, it can be hard to reset. Have you ever answered your personal phone as if you were still at the office, and started talking on script?

Sandi G. has! “I answer the home phone sometimes by saying, ‘Dr. Jones’s office. This is Sandi. How can I help you?’” she says.


3. You ‘Flush’ Sink and Water Fountain Lines

Dental office protocol is so ingrained in the minds of dental assistants, it can be tough to remember that process doesn’t necessarily need to be followed out of the office. Some assistants have told us that they have extended the habit of flushing water lines to playground water fountains or their kitchen sink.

Joenell K. can relate. “If I need to use tap water for cooking or any other kind of consumption, I let the faucet run, as if I was flushing the lines, a bit before using,” she says.


4. You Notice Everyone’s Teeth

Dental assistants are in the business of teeth. So it’s no wonder that many assistants say teeth are the first thing you notice about a person. That’s because many dental assistants say they find teeth fascinating!

Tammy H. says, “You know you’re a dental assistant when you are constantly checking out your family members’ teeth — and sometimes even the dog’s!”

What other dental assisting habits do you share?