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Work in the Smile Industry? 4 Simple Ways To Attract Dental Patients

According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) survey, virtually all adults (99.7% of those surveyed) believe a healthy smile is socially important. And considering the fact that the average time people wait for another dental appointment is three years, there's plenty of room to improve when it comes to our oral health and hygiene habits.

As a dental professional, there's only so much you can do to urge your patients to come in for their twice-yearly cleanings, but by being proactive when it comes to seasonal marketing strategies, you can do your very best to make sure each and every one of your patients schedules a cleaning for a bright, beautiful, and healthy summer smile. Here are just a few innovative marketing tactics to help you get more patients in your dental office's doors this season.

Educate and Engage Through Social Media

Social media is inevitably a major part of many marketing initiatives, but there's more to it than simply gaining followers and posting traditional, borderline gimmicky marketing content. Take the time to figure out how to best craft your social media posts to appeal to the views of your audience. For example, a pediatric dentist can appeal to parents by sharing advice about seasonal health and wellness for children.

"Summer is known as a relaxing time, but it can also be a busy time of year for families...Throughout the weeks, share family health and wellness tips, community event information, and more on your office social media pages," writes Betty Hayden on DentistryiQ.

Hone in on Humorous Holidays

One of the main goals of marketing your dental practice is to convince patients (as well as potential patients) that their oral health should always be a priority, especially during the busy summer months. At least one in five Americans has one or more untreated cavities, so it's definitely worth it to create an incentive for patients to come in for a cleaning -- that is, other than leaving the office with a beautiful smile. There are a number of fun and quirky holidays throughout the summer that make the perfect opportunity for offering small discounts or other incentives for patients who come in for a cleaning. For example, Smile Power Day, which takes place on June 15, is absolutely perfect for dentists to take advantage of.

Don't Neglect the Aspect of Sports Safety

Summer is easily the busiest time of year for children's sports, so don't forget to take some time to address the importance of sports safety as it relates to oral health in some of your marketing campaigns. Advertise the services used to restore sports injuries a bit more heavily than usual, and consider offering a discount on sports safety supplies such as mouth guards. This alone can prompt safety-concerned parents to make an appointment for a cleaning just to take advantage of the deal.

Cue the Contests

According to a 2017 Kaufman Hall survey, one-quarter of U.S. hospitals and health systems say they hope to decrease costs by 1% to 5% over the next five years. For some dental offices, not having enough patients is preventing them from accomplishing this goal. For this purpose, consider holding a contest or giveaway that encourages patients to spread the word about your dental office and help to refer new patients.

"Make a family fun and wellness gift basket. Fill it with outdoor games, barbeque supplies, sunscreen, citronella candles, toothbrushes, paper products, chalk, and more. Patients can earn entries for Facebook likes, check-ins, Google reviews, and referring new patients," writes Betty Hayden.

Developing a modernized dental marketing strategy that truly speaks to your audience isn't always easy, but keeping the season in mind with these tips is a great place to start.

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