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Promotional Products for Dental Care

People don't usually look forward to visiting the dentist's office. However, patients who have a good relationship with their dentists are less likely to avoid them altogether. Making people comfortable in the dentist's chair is no easy task, but dentists can take measures to put patients at ease and establish a sense of trust. Using promotional products can be one of the best ways to encourage patients to associate a dentist with dental health rather than dental pain.

Products like imprinted toothbrushes or tooth floss show that the dentist cares about his/her patients' oral health. Dentists can benefit from the use of promotional products by helping patients with their own oral hygiene and cutting down on the dreaded pain during dental checkups. Dentists can also use the products to attract new clientele. Using promotional products like refrigerator magnets shaped like a mouth can make a dentist's name familiar to potential clients.

"People in the dental care industry have so many promotional products to choose from," says Printable Promotions' Mitch Silver. "It's not just toothbrushes anymore… there are ways to get your name on fun, creative items that help patients keep their mouths clean and healthy."

Promoting Oral Hygiene:
Using promotional products can help dentists keep patients healthy and, in turn, happy. Happy patients can also mean that there is a positive buzz about a dentist's care, and through good word of mouth, a dentist can broaden his or her client base.

"Using promotional products like a dental care pocketpack shows patients that you want them to think about their health when they leave their office," Silver says. "And if patients use a product with your name on it to improve their health, they will associate good thoughts with your services."

Dr. Michael E. Thompson, DDS, used a variety of promotional products to help educate his orthodontic patients. Thompson's office created a specialty/incentive program to stress the benefits of keeping braces clean. With less damage to the braces, office technicians could do their jobs faster than before. Thompson announced the campaign by posting a list of rules on office posters. For each successful visit - e.g., teeth clean before patient is seated - wooden nickels could be earned and could be redeemed for premiums. Patients could earn "Brace Yourself for a Smile!" imprinted neon pencils, erasers, golf balls, sunglasses, t-shirts and tooth pencils, as well as pizza and movie passes. It was the patient's responsibility to keep up with the wooden nickels and practice good hygiene throughout the month between appointments.

After implementing the campaign, ninety five percent of the participants had clean braces at their monthly appointments. With a little extra effort, Thompson was able to better satisfy his clients and make orthodontic visits more pleasant for both the patients and technicians.

People who are satisfied with a dentist's or orthodontist's work may not realize that much of the responsibility for a person's oral hygiene rests in the hands of the patient. Through the use of promotional products a dentist can give patients the tools to achieve good oral hygiene and force the patient to think about the person who is helping him.

Increasing Client Base
The reputation of a dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon or any doctor caring for patients carries a lot of weight when a person is choosing to put their trust in him or her. When a person in the dental care industry wants to rely on more than word of mouth or patient referrals, he or she can use promotional products to spice up the marketing mix.

"Using a campaign to convey an image about your services is best implemented through the use of promotional products," says Silver. "Simply telling kids that they need to brush their teeth may not be enough. Illustrating the importance of good oral hygiene by giving children a fun activity book with a dental hygiene theme might be more informative than a doctor's word."

When people know that a dentist cares about his/her patients' health, the dentist will build the positive reputation that results in good business.

Dr. Robert Spiegel, DDS, used a marketing campaign with promotional products to try to increase his patient base by four new families and obtain referrals from existing patients. Since fear is one reason many people do not go to the dentist, the recruiting campaign adopted "Relaxadactyl." Dr. Spiegel's office wanted to create an easy-going character who loves to relax and who is a toothbrush-using dude that loves life and unwinds with its dentist. The campaign included a magnet mailer and offered a free logo t-shirt for new patients or existing patients who referred new clients. The mailer graphics and copy emphasized the theme, "Why Is This Relaxadactyl Smiling?", with the tag line "Going To The Dentist Is Fun." Dr. Spiegel's office reported 20 new clients as a result of the promotion, and a local NBC station even did a feature story on the campaign. Making a campaign fun and informative is made easy through the use of promotional products. You can encourage patients to aggressively fight cavities by flossing with floss from a shark shaped container, or you can give your patients a deluxe travel toothbrush kit to remind them that there's always time for hygiene.

Something to Smile About
Rewarding patients for good oral hygiene is another way to use promotional products in the dentist's office. T-shirts in toothpaste shaped boxes are a fun way to reward people who display good oral hygiene. Giving patients a reward and incentive for "good behavior" makes it easier on the dentist, hygienists and most importantly, the patient.

Taking the Edge Off
Making a visit to the dentist will probably never be thought of as an enjoyable experience, but making a visit a little more enjoyable by offering a relaxing atmosphere and perhaps some 'parting gifts' can only help.

If a patient is undergoing a painful operation, giving him/her a tooth shaped stress reliever might ease the situation. Another idea might be to give out sugar-free mints in an imprinted tin when patients leave the office.

Promotional products in the dentist's office might just be the perfect solution to patient woes about the dreaded dentist's chair. Knowing a dentist cares about his/her patients' health above all else is important to patients, and a great way to say "I care" is through use of creative, useful promotional products.

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