DATE: Aug 18, 2016 
AUTHOR: Trish Jones

Dental samples provide patients with something tangible to take home from their dental hygiene appointment. But, are you giving out products that address the patients' specific needs, or do you distribute whatever is in stock? End-of-appointment samples are actually very important. The products you send home with your patients add value to your appointments and can help them keep their mouths healthy until you see them next time. Here's how to pick the right samples and recommendations to deliver to your patients.

Select Home Care Products

Toothpaste samples come in all varieties, and most are customized to specific issues. Some assist with controlling caries, dentin hypersensitivity, enamel erosion, periodontal care or whitening, and so you will want to choose based on your patients' needs. It may be easy to hand out whatever toothpaste came with the box of toothbrushes, but to offer your patient a good foundation for home care, the samples you distribute require more thought than that. For example, if your patient has sensitivity, it's logical to hand him or her a sample of a hypersensitivity relief toothpaste, like Colgate® Sensitive. Other examples include antibacterial mouthwash, like Colgate® Total Advanced Pro-Shield™ Mouthwash and Colgate Total® Dental Floss. You may not always be able to offer such specific products, but when you can, it goes a long way to maintaining your patients' trust.

Likewise, you should think carefully about your toothbrush samples, and try to offer something useful. For example, if a patient has braces, you can send him or her home with a Colgate® Ortho Toothbrush that is specifically designed to clean around wires and brackets. It takes only a few moments to customize samples, and the time you take is well worth it.

Communicate with Patients

When you hand your patients the dental samples, explain why you selected each one. There's a delicate balance between giving too little information and overwhelming patients with too much information, as RDH Magazine notes, but patients look to their dental hygienists for advice. Present the facts and your recommendations in a way that's easy for them to understand. Patients can use the toothpaste, the toothbrush and your advice daily to improve their dental routines.

When you see them next, follow up on your past recommendations. How is the product working? Do you like it? If the product is not working, offer an alternative. Putting thought into your selection and explaining your choice is key. Patients rely on the expertise of dental hygienists, and they can continue to purchase products based upon your recommendation.

Keep Up-to-Date

It is important to take time to research what products are available. Dentistry is evolving and so are the products available to patients. Have you toured a dental aisle in a major store chain? It can be overwhelming even for a dental professional, so imagine how your patients feel. Pointing to a brochure about the products you recommend is beneficial to patients when the time comes for them to buy products. When you take the time to customize your recommendation based on the latest products and advancements in dental science, you help patients improve their oral health. Your diligence shows you care and heightens your level of professional care.


  • Know what dental samples are available and have a variety on hand to offer your patients.
  • Recommend and distribute samples according to the patient's specific needs.
  • Provide a brochure to your patient that supports and explains your product recommendations.

Why It's Valuable

It is a win-win situation when you can recommend and give out dental samples specifically selected to assist with your patients' needs. It adds value to the hygiene appointment and can help patients improve their oral health.

Want to help improve your patient's oral health? Recommend Colgate Total® Advanced Toothpaste to help reduce plaque and gingivitis.