#7 – Dresses and Acts Professionally

Now it’s time to discuss what it means to look “professional.” Some people think that the uniform, make up, and general effect are not “them.”  It may very well not be “you” when you are among friends. However, in a business, you will be expected to dress and act in a way that reflects polish and confidence. As a health care professional, your first impression makes a difference in how our patients will decide if you look like you know what you are talking about – and if they should follow your recommendations! For example, would you trust an attorney that had chipped fingernails, no make up and hair that wasn’t styled nicely? You need to choose a hairstyle, makeup style and fingernail style that is professional. It is never okay to look like you just rolled out of bed with wrinkled scrubs and messy hair.

Leave high style and fads at home.  Jean skirts, asymmetrical haircuts odd colors of nail polish, several earrings in one ear, no deodorant, sloppy tee shirts, dirty tennis shoes or too wild a smell are out of place.  Here are some guidelines:


  1. Selected colored uniforms are provided for dental staff treating patients to be left in the office and laundered here.
  2. No sweaters for back staff over uniforms ‑ germ collectors
  3. No open toed shoes – even in the summer
  4. Secretaries ‑ 2 uniforms will be provided.  You can purchase additional if you desire.
  5. Administrative staff wear khaki or black pants.
  6. No denim jeans, stirrup pants, capris or ankle length ski/pants
  7. Scrubs should be wrinkle free – we have an iron in the staff lounge if you need it.


  1. Hair should be clean and well kept
  2. Long hair should be pulled up and back neatly out of your face as well as your patient’s but still styled professionally.
  3. Shoulder length or shorter is easiest
  4. Minimal or no hair accessories
  5. Conservative style – no bright colors, no feathers, no hair beads
  6. No extreme, not natural looking artificial color


  1. Earrings: Should be no larger than the size of a quarter, No dangly earrings, No more than 2 earrings per ear
  2. Any necklaces should be worn on the inside of your shirt for clinical  staff‑ necklaces worn on the outside are bacteria traps.
  3. We would advise you not wear bracelets or rings (with the exception of wedding or engagement rings) ‑ watches, of course, need to be worn, but covered by your glove. (again, clinical staff)
  4. No visible body piercing except ears
  5. No tongue piercing (it’s terrible for your teeth!)

Make‑up should be worn

  1. Keep make up light in terms of shade and application tasteful.
  2. Minimal eyeliner
  3. Professional looking eye shadow


  1. Nails should be clean and well manicured.  Fingernail polish may be worn, but keep it well done ‑ no chipped polish.
  2. Nails should be not longer than 1/4″ past the fingertip
  3. No nail art


  1. Clinical staff – Low key tennis shoes, preferably white.
  2. Clinical staff –  must keep shoes at office
  3. White socks
  4. Front desk can wear street shoes that complement their uniforms.  No open toes, sandals, slippers


Remember, some people are very sensitive, even allergic. Use sparingly, if at all. Light sprays are okay.

Tattoos and piercings

  1. No tattoos may be visible to clients.
  2. Regardless of who the real person might be, stereotypes of people with tattoos and piercings can and do effect how clients feel about this person.  They tend to believe these people are “rougher” or “less educated.

Name Tags

Name tags are a part of your uniform and must be worn at all time

Professional Action for the office

  1. Limit personal phone calls to before work, lunches, or after work.   Try to avoid personal calls between 2 and 4 pm, as this is our busiest time. Do not keep your cell phone with you – leave it in the lounge.
  2. Smoking is not permitted in any part of the office.
  3. Please no chewing gum.
  4. NO harsh or rude language.
  5. Be kind, considerate and helpful to all patients and staff members.   (Treat people like you would like to be treated in return).
  6. Please no gossiping among the staff!  If you have something to say, confront the staff member directly.
  7. Try to say nice things to people, compliments, and encouragement.

________________________________          ______________                 Office Manager                                                                        Date