Often I need the occlusal surfaces of the teeth to be dry, and I mean completely dry. Over the years we have dried them with the air/water syringe, or tried to wipe them off with a two by two. Blowing air is often disruptive to the patient, and then just moves the moisture around. Two by two’s have never quite done the trick.
My favorite way to dry teeth, and it has become a favorite for my clinical team and patients, is with tissue in a miller forcep. Take a regular tissue, cut it in half. Now take that half and fold it in half, against the cut. Keep folding it in half, pressing down the seams until it is the size of articulating paper. Clip the open side of the fold into a miller forcep, and keep it on the instrument tray.
Anytime you need the teeth dry, place it over the teeth and have the patient bite together. You will be amazed how well articulating paper marks after the teeth are dried this way. Our assistants make stacks of these during down time and put one out at every procedure.