Using a special defogging solution
Warming the mirror by holding it against the patient's buccal mucosa
Heating the mirror under warm running water
Hold the mirror with a modified pen grasp and use a finger rest close to the area being viewed.
The explorer is used for tactile examination of the teeth. It is excellent for detection of calculus. Use it over the entire dentition to ensure all detectable calculus and stains have been removed following an oral prophylaxis. Otherwise, it is likely you will leave some calculus deposits or stains on the teeth.
A correct instrument grasp has a direct bearing upon your ability to manipulate instruments. There are three instrument grasps that you may use in combination with a finger rest during oral prophylaxis procedures. We will describe them in the following paragraphs.
finger supports the instrument from underneath. This is a favorite grasp when using the mouth mirror. With the pen grasp, hold the instrument the way you would hold a pen when writing. Grasp the handle with your thumb and first finger while your middle
With the modified pen grasp, hold the instrument in basically the same way as in the pen grasp, except that the fleshy part of your middle finger rests lightly on the shank of the instrument (fig. 3-18). This finger is used to feel the shank vibrate when the instrument's working end rubs over a rough surface. The middle finger also helps to guide the instrument. The ring finger is used to stabilize the hand in the patient's mouth. Balance your hand and the instrumentation with this finger.
When using the palm grasp, the index, middle, ring, and little finger hold the instrument so that it rests in the palm of your hand. Your thumb remains free to stabilize your hand in the patient's mouth, or it may be used to support an instrument when sharpening (fig. 3-19). This grasp is rarely used in the mouth and only when exceptional force is needed.
Figure 3-18. - Modified pen grasp.
Use a finger rest or fulcrum to maintain control of the instrument. It is a stabilizing point for your hand while you are operating in the mouth. You should use a finger rest in the same arch and as close to the working area as possible. In the modified pen grasp, the third or ring finger is always used as a finger rest. This finger can rest on the teeth, the gingiva, another finger, or a combination of these. Do not use soft movable tissue for a finger rest. When you are holding the instrument in a pen grasp, use your third finger as the finger rest. When you are using the palm grasp, use your thumb for 3-10