South Windsor Smiles- January 2020

January 2020

What Did You Say? The Importance of Communication in Our Lives

While looking at my calendar, I noticed that Benjamin Franklin’s birthday takes place this month on Jan. 17. He is such an important historical figure who changed the world with his many inventions. It got me thinking how we have so many people to thank for all of the devices and processes that make our lives easier and more efficient today, but none of them would have been possible if people didn’t know how to communicate with one another.

Words and phrases are also flexible, meaning that people can have fun with them and use them to entertain others.

Games like Scrabble and Bananagrams give people a chance to flex and improve their vocabulary while learning new words and definitions. Words can also hold meanings other than their literal definitions — an example of this is inside jokes between friends. Words can also have meanings opposite to their set definitions depending on the tone of voice of the person using them, such as with irony and sarcasm. Sometimes, my wife saying no actually means no. Other times, it actually means, “I’m not listening because I am very busy doing something else.” Words and phrases can have different meanings based on who uses them. If we know a person well enough, a single word can be all we need to know exactly what they’re thinking. I come across this quite often in my line of work. When dentists come out of dental school, their minds are filled with technical terms, but patients aren’t familiar with those. Dental school teaches young dentists their trade, inside and out, but they don’t teach you how to effectively communicate with other people who might not have the same expertise or education. Learning to communicate and connect with our patients is an art and something we learn out in the dentistry field. If I’m explaining something to a patient, I might not say a tooth has an abrasion, but instead that it has been worn down. Likewise, I’ll say “cap” instead of “crown” or “gum disease” rather than “gingivitis.” Without communication, none of us could connect and form irreplaceable bonds with the people around us in both our personal and professional lives.

Humans have been communicating since the beginning, and our communication styles have completely evolved over the years.Without

communication, we would have never progressed as a species or a society.Today, there are more ways to communicate with one another than ever before. Language is so versatile; words can be transferred digitally, expressed via sign language, written, and spoken.

–Dr. Kevin Norige

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