Why Dental Patients Have A Cleaning Mindset & What We Can Learn From Starbucks

How Starbucks Language Changes Mindsets 

In 2007, I decided to write a book on how assisted hygiene would work in a dental practice, titled “Just a Cleaning? Breakthrough Methods to Maximize Patient Care and the Bottom Line”. My hope was to begin a movement in our profession by extinguishing those first 3 words.
Fast forward to 2016, where I witnessed a local commercial encouraging viewers to call the practice for their “cleaning”. Yes, the struggle for all that legally encompasses your dental hygiene visit is very real.
There are 3 reasons your patients and consumers continue to have this mindset:

1. You Are Responsible For What You Teach Your Patients

Why do your patients believe it is just a cleaning? Do they know all that is encompassed in the dental hygiene visit? Could they list what is accomplished other than x-rays, scraping, and polishing teeth?
You and your team are responsible for what you teach your patients. When it comes to the valuable services you are providing them with, it’s up to you to educate them.

Think of it this way: do you remember your first time in Starbucks? They taught you their language when it came to the size of your drink. And if you said small, medium, or large, the barista confirmed your choice with their language – tall, grande, or venti. They taught us their culture.

Years later, what do we say when we order either at Starbucks or another coffee shop?  You can do the same thing in your practice by communicating clearly with your patients on what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what the benefit will be for them.

      2. Your Message Must Be Clear 

What words or actions reflect the service your dental hygiene team provides your patients? Consider health, wellness and prevention.
Even if you are not taking blood pressure, consider discussing additional health conditions that are not on the health history template such as:

1) Potential dangers of e-cigs/vaping and hookah sessions
2) HPV vaccine AND discussing HPV as a risk factor for oral cancer
3) Note medications for heart disease, diabetes AND discussing that link to gum disease, a chronic infection without a cure
4) Ask about food allergies and discuss gluten free oral hygiene products
5) Share nutrition choices from sugar in juice boxes to food/beverages that increase caries risk for infants, children to adults for additional concerns being enamel erosion.
6) Make recommendations for an oral hygiene fitness program by dispensing oral hygiene products you believe in from toothpaste, toothbrushes to mouth rinses that target bad breath. 

When your message is clear, you dissolve their fear for joining you on the the highway to health!

 3. You are treating it as “just a cleaning”

What is accomplished in the 60 minute hygiene appointment? Do your patients feel like a number? Have you asked them? If the hygiene visit is a quick assembly line it is a drive thru service whose message is to actively choose to ignore the existence of chronic diseases, side effects of lifestyle choices or health conditions and more. 
Be relentless in your communication to emphasize the added value you provide them, infuse current news from your publications or CE programs. All patients deserve to know.

          Personally, I believe the word for a dental hygiene visit is wellness. Think I’m crazy?

I challenge you to go to Twitter and hash tag two words. #teethcleaning and #wellness.It won’t take you long to realize which word unleashes the value of health or abundance of areas oral health is linked.

This exercise may be the first step to share with your team and your patients in understanding why the meaning of a dental hygiene visit spans far beyond a “cleaning”. 

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It!

Original blog posted Safco Dental Supply

5 Things To Know About YOUR Oral Cancer Screening

Understand that conversations about the risk factors for oral cancer may feel uncomfortable for both patients and their dental hygienists.

Avoiding uncomfortable conversations about risk factors doesn’t save lives. Click To Tweet! 

It isn’t just cigarette smoking. Dig deeper and ask about e-cigs, hookah, cigar smoking lifestyle choices. 
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. It is a lifestyle risk factor. Your patients deserve to know this AND what symptoms to notice in their mouth. 
Now that the initial conversation has begun, the next 3 actions are where training proves the most valuable.

Think of it as an extra-oral + intra-oral Tour de Tissue screening for health that may save your life.

Interested in a PDF  “5 actions” check list to take to your dental professional  click here
Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It!

How Food Allergies & Your Child’s Dental Visit Are Linked

The connection between food allergies and a dental visit is not often thought about! What CAN happen is an allergic reaction and the question is … are you prepared? 

This video blog shares 5 ways parents and dental team members can prepare for when a child who is living with food allergies has a dental appointment. It is about safety and health. 

Please comment and share so that together we can … 

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It


Why Debates Are Dog Fights Without Bite

Why Debates Are A Dog Fight Without Bite

Debates are created for constructive discussion. Expressing  your opinion in a way that connects emotionally and intellectually on topics in 2 minutes is not an easy task for most of us. 

Yes there is a strategy and yes someone is determined as a winner. 
Debates do not determine your worth as a leader. What will determine your worth as a leader will depend on the degree to which your bite is worse than your bark. 

1) Making Size Matter

Before you speak, pause. Your comment doesn’t have to be lengthy. It doesn’t have to be eloquent. It has to be relevant & thought provoking so it is memorable. 
Comments in recent Presidental debates about “small hands” are neither relevant or thought provoking regarding anyone’s worth as a leader. Is the comment memorable? Yes. Is it one that represents a leader? 
The size of your comment can define your worth. Small, well thought out bite size comments that contribute to a solution are more impressive in the minds of those you are trying to sway. 

2) A Dog Fight Without Bite 

Presidential debates seem to be one of theatrics. Tossing candidates into a ring to battle can be laborious to watch and to a degree, punishing to listen to. So much growling, snapping,pawing,and nipping until finally blood is drawn.  

How that blood is drawn is often a reflection of their integrity and always has an impact on their reputation. So what about you?

When you have a valid point to make, how do you fight? 

We’ve all heard about a dog’s bark being worse than his bite. And when no candidate sinks their teeth into an issue, all we’re left with is noise..
So…before you debate, determine what dog you have in the fight. Decide what are you willing to do to battle your point with credibility. 

A leader fights fiercely with conviction and awakens your soul. Think of barking as your intention. You intend to state your case, make a change, overcome a challenge. Your bite though, is action … with teeth. A leader’s bite at times must be worse than their bark. That action when applicable will be what determines your worth. 

Read full newsletter here … Don’t miss  Guest Blog by Michelle Joyce! 

Experts Who Give 2016 Strategies + What Vlogs Were Viewed Most!

This past weekend, I took time to reflect and celebrate goals that were achieved in 2015. I also celebrated goals that were not achieved! 

Why? I believe some goals, whether personal or business, deserve another strategy for success. How to decide the deserve-ability factor in keeping them is determined by how attached to them you are. This edition of Route 32: The Highway To Health has TWO guest bloggers who share how to get YOUR best 2016 strategy for success! Click here!

Who says dentistry is a dry topic? 
2015 celebrated Coffee Chats with Anastasia! 
Interviews are lively as products are discussed all while indulging in a great cup of coffee or tea! 
I am honored to capture my guests’ passion on how they or their products can make our lives easier and our patients lives healthier! 

Click here to view YOUR choices as a patient or dental professional!  

View Top 5 Video Blogs in 2015!! Comment on your favorite!  
My fave is “I Got Bills”! 

Thank you to ALL my guests! 

What topics would you like to see this year on dental care, health, or branding? 

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It

How To Get Whiter Teeth This Holiday Season!

With Americans spending 1.4 Billion dollars on beauty/cosmetics each year; the battle between beauty and the bleach continues to strengthen.

Obviously, I’m in favor of a brighter, whiter smile. People DO notice teeth and your smile. What concerns me is how YouTuber Beauty Experts are discussing teeth whitening products. Their fan bases are HUGE and their impact is evident. Another concern is the lure of mall kiosks who offer this service and finally the beauty stores that offer OTC (over the counter) products. What is lacking? 

A college degree in oral health, being a dentist, dental hygienist or dental assistant. Then passing national boards, clinical boards and state law exams. Having a current license which is obtained by many continuing education programs, some of which do rigorously address teeth whitening and how to best determine which product(s) will safely and effectively deliver results. 

If you want your teeth white; make sure you do it right! View this week’s vlog Hump Day Happenings below … 

Thank you for viewing!


Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It

Ethics In The Workplace: How to Hire The Good Ones

Anastasia’s Hump Day Happenings: Weekly Video Blog

This week’s guest is Bruce Weinstein PhD! He shares with us a few tips from his latest book The Good Ones!
Make it a Great day!

Take What You Learn & Make A Difference With It