Smiling Woman Painting

Dentists need steady hands & keen hand-eye coordination to do their jobs well. In fact, dental schools typically test for those qualities before they allow individuals to join dentistry programs. While steady hands are often a genetic trait, you can improve your hand skills through practice. Even in your free time, many hobbies help to hone fine motor skills & hand-eye coordination & help you learn how to keep your hands steady.


Dentists often describe their work as a mix between science & art, so it’s no surprise that artistic hobbies can help them develop or improve their hand skills. Painting & sculpting both require fine motor skills & encourage practicing new techniques for shading or shaping, which can help the dentist gain confidence maneuvering dental tools in odd ways during dental procedures.


Dental work happens in a small space, so it makes sense that some dentists enjoy hobbies that involve making small things. Jewelry making is a delicate craft requiring fine motor skills to keep tools steady while manipulating small objects. Fiber arts, such as sewing, knitting, crocheting, cross stitch & embroidery, are also great for developing fine motor skills.

Even larger crafting endeavors like woodworking & furniture restoration can help you improve your hand skills.


Any activity that requires precision & dexterity can be helpful in developing hand skills, & playing musical instruments definitely fits the bill. Musical instruments, like the flute, piano & violin, require precise finger placement & dexterity, & many people find the creative outlet of making music to be stress relieving.

Unexpected Hobbies

Video games, cooking, boating & rock climbing all help develop hand skills in unexpected ways. Video games require hand-eye coordination, using both hands & multiple fingers, as well as spatial awareness & adaptability.

Cooking involves many hand skills. Some recipes call for thinly sliced vegetables or precisely measured dry or wet ingredients, which certainly help dentists practice hand skills. Plus, have you ever filled a measuring utensil to the very top with a liquid & then moved it over to your bowl or pan? Without steady hands, it’s easy to spill!

Knot tying is an essential skill for boaters & rock climbers & requires precise hand movements. Even learning how to tie a variety of necktie knots can get your fingers used to moving in new or strange ways.

If you’re curious about how your dentist hones their hand skills, ask them what their hobbies are. You’ll learn something about them & might even spark your interest in a hobby you can chat about at your next appointment.

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