If you’re a dental professional, promoting oral health is a year-round endeavor. A winning marketing message for Oral Health Month this June? Having cavities is no fun, but dental care can be. Your dental practice can light the way toward teaching patients to feel good about brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings and exams.
During Oral Health Month, bring awareness to the ways in which your practice makes it possible for patients to win—no matter where they are on their oral care path. These tips will help you show you are committed to compassionate oral health and to every patient’s right to a healthy mouth.
Just like diet, exercise, and other long-term lifestyle goals, setting realistic oral heatlh goals is key to success. Look for commitments your patients can keep based upon individual lifestyles and characteristics. Keep the bar low enough that they can jump over it and begin to associate brushing, flossing, or seeing their dentist with winning rather than falling short.
If you’re a dental hygienist, dentist, or other oral health provider, look for opportunities to reinforce good habits and good results. If your patient brushes twice daily where they used to skip at nighttime, pour on the praise and specify the positive results you’re seeing. If they’ve never been a flosser and have just started turning on the water flosser every Sunday rain or shine, give them a high five.
Fear of the dentist is sometimes less fear of pain and more fear of judgement. If your patient’s teeth are in bad shape due to neglect, chances are they are well aware of all that they’ve done wrong. Maximize the chance to help a less than A+ patient get on a good path. Hold off on calling out a poor state of oral disrepair until you’ve established a solid relationship and can collaborate on solutions.
Gently inform your patients of the long-term benefits of brushing, flossing, and staying away from habits that harm their teeth. They may think they’ve heard it all before, but research shows that it takes up to seven repetitions of your message for a consumer (your patient) to fully register the content. This doesn’t mean you have to communicate the exact same message in the exact same way. Some patients will respond to a focus on good-looking teeth while others will be incentivized to avoid the cost of a root canal or tooth implant.
One thing every patient likes? Freebies! Communicate your message with an oral-care-themed giveaway at the end of every visit. Kick off your inspirational marketing in June with Oral Health Month, tie your messaging to New Year’s resolutions, or begin right now with dental giveaways that help your patients feel happy about oral healthcare. We like these:
It’s customary for a dentist or hygienist to hand patients a toothbrush and floss as they head out the door, but there’s more you can do to tie your practice to a personal commitment to each patient. Customize your dental floss handouts for office visits and industry events with your name and a slogan to help patients feel inspired and supported. A few examples: “Your teeth will thank you;” “Floss a little, smile a lot;” or, for the cynics among us, “Just floss the ones you want to keep.”
Give every patient their own stress reliever, whether the come for a simple cleaning or a root canal.
When you’re writing down an oral care regimen or product, write it on a customized sticky note so your customer has a reminder of the personal connection behind the recommendation.
A great way to get every patient off on the right foot (or, tooth), after a fresh cleaning? A toothbrush or cover for oral care at home and on the go. Encourage patients to tuck their toothbrush in the glove box of their car or in a purse or backpack for a quick brush at a red light or in a restroom.
Consider words of encouragement, a gentle touch with the scraper tools, or a promotional gift that encourages selfcare. Your dental practice, staff, and customers are sure to benefit from a culture of kindness, baby steps, and small rewards along the way!
Tip: For more on promoting your dental practice, see our blog, Best Dental Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Practice.
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