Orthotown June 2019 - 55

to bring in new families. These tend to
be seasonal; we focus on two times of the
year: February (Dental Health Month) and
October (Orthodontic Health Month).
Schools in our local districts are required
to do a lesson every year on dental care, so
I approached the school nurses and offered
to present educational programs to students
about how to take care of their teeth, about
sports and safety issues, and about healthy
diets and drinks.
Make sure the presentations you offer
are age-appropriate; nothing turns a kid off
quicker than being talked down to. We have
dental education materials for very small
kids (puzzles of the teeth, lips and tongue)
and more advanced materials for tweens and
teens about diet and self-care-a different
lesson for every age group.
Refresh the content every year. Kids
remember, and although there may be favorite

games or giveaways, they'll expect something
new each time they see you. Don't go in and
preach the same lesson every year to every
kid; you want them to be looking forward
to your visits. (I learned this the hard way
when I made a visit to a K-3 school in our
area with the same program I'd taken a year
ago, and was greeted with a chorus of "We've
already seen this!" in a room full of bored
and restless kids. Never again!)
Similarly, pay attention to the "treats"
that you leave behind. Some are perennial
favorites, but keep switching it up. Parcel them out as you go: prizes for asking
questions, pencils to write down a time for
tooth-brushing, water bottles when you talk
about hydration. And everybody gets a treat
bag at the end of the presentation with a new
toothbrush, paste, floss, and a discount card
for them to pass along to their parents. (The
discount card works as a tracking device,

orthotown.com \\ JUNE 2019

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Orthotown June 2019

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