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Grow Your Practice with a Positive Last Impression - It's Science

Want to grow your dental practice? Talk with any dental practice growth consultant and they’ll strongly emphasize the lasting value of creating a truly remarkable patient experience. That effort becomes your professional image and what patients ultimately remember.

The dental patient experience has a direct impact on their compliance to schedule 6-month dental checkups, retention, referrals and their enthusiasm to post amazing online reviews! Increased patient participation in any or several of these areas will definitely quicken the stride toward dental practice growth.

So what specific steps can you take to give your dental patients the memorable send-off feeling of their dreams? A part of the answer might reside in what German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in the study of memory, coined as the “Recency Effect.”  Dr. Ebbinghaus observed when his study subjects were asked to recall a list of items in any order he noted, “People tend to begin recall with the end of the list, recalling those items best.”

Holding to the idea of the “Recency Effect,” a dental practice owner might want to place greater, more deliberate consideration on the patient experience during and toward the end of the dental visit.

 Lasting Impression memory foam handprint

A few ways to demonstrate excellence in the latter part of the dental visit might be:

  1.        Memorable Comfort: Consider the “Wow!” factor of offering each dental patient a premium MediPosture memory foam neck pillow. There is no denying that such cushions offer enhanced neck support and comfort over factory chair configurations. At the conclusion of a dental visit, patients who’ve experienced the cushion, tend to feel more refreshed and less strained. As a hidden benefit, these cushions help increase the tolerance patients have to being reclined. Therefore, ergonomic work angles are often improved for the dental operator.
  2.        Loyalty Builders: Don’t underestimate the lasting value of investing in dental-specific patient giveaways that help support the message of dental health. Choosing products such as toothbrushes, dental floss or complete dental care kits will be a sure way to promote good oral hygiene habits. Your dental practice will further benefit with custom imprinting. Quantum Labs is the original designer of the dental Toothcase Supply Bag, which can be configured as a kit to include a toothbrush, toothpaste and brushing timer – electric toothbrush replacement heads are available too!
  3.        Digital “Nitrous”: Visit the OperaDDS VR (virtual reality) website if you wish to deliver a “Far-Out” experience that is sure to be remembered by dental patients. Designed by Dr. Bryan Laskin, these virtual reality headsets offer patients a variety of incredible virtual-reality experiences with scenarios of their choosing. According to Opera VR, the headset’s effectiveness in relieving patient anxiety has been documented to be as effective as using nitrous oxide.

Leverage the science behind the “Recency Effect” to make your practice’s unique patient experience and last impression, a positive lasting impression. Trying one of these suggestions during dental visits should create greater patient enthusiasm and long-term participation – and remember the old saying, “You’re only as good as your last performance.”  

5 Methods for Whiter Teeth

Having white teeth is both a sign of good health and personal hygiene. If your teeth aren't as white as you'd like them to be, there are a few things you can try at home to achieve a whiter smile. Though none of these tips will do the job as well as a professional whitening service, they can definitely help whiten your teeth and won't break the bank in the process. Before you try any of these or other tooth whitening tips, remember to check with your dentist for a dental hygiene plan personalized to your oral health.
 4 Methods For Whiter Teeth

Whitening Toothpaste 

Always try to buy toothpaste that has a clearly-mentioned whitening formula. Whitening toothpaste makes use of polishers, abrasives to lighten dark spots, and bleaching agents to brighten your smile. Don’t expect instant results though, whitening toothpaste typically takes months to produce noticeable results. Regardless, they are still the most universally-used product for teeth whitening because they’re easy to incorporate into your daily oral care regimen. In fact, it should be part of your daily oral care routine anyway, even if you are using other teeth whitening processes, since it also maintains your teeth. Regular use of whitening toothpaste will help you achieve and maintain a bright white smile.

 

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are typically more effective than toothpaste alone. They use peroxides and whiten your smile quickly. There are both over-the-counter strips and professional strips available. Neither are designed for your bite and mouth specifically, so you may not see the same results as someone else using the same product. Strips work great if you have minor staining and are looking to brighten up your teeth quickly and at a low cost.

 

Brushing with Baking Soda 

Baking soda has long been used as an alternative to toothpaste. Many people will admit to brushing teeth with just baking soda. Today, many toothpaste manufacturers are incorporating baking soda into their formula. 

To use baking soda as a toothpaste, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. Adding a few drops of peppermint or clove essential oil can add to the fresh feel it leaves behind.  Do not add essential oils directly to your toothbrush as it can quickly degrade the bristles of the brush. You should only be brushing with baking soda a few times per week and in addition to your regular toothpaste recommended by your dentist.

 

Oil Pulling 

Oil pulling originated in India and is part of a natural healing practice called Ayurveda. This method is used to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body. The practice involves swishing oil around in your mouth to remove bacteria, which can turn into plaque and cause your teeth to look yellow. Coconut oil is a popular choice because it has a pleasant taste and offers many additional health benefits. Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid, which is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Unlike many other tooth whitening methods, coconut oil pulling does not expose your teeth to acid or other ingredients that erode the enamel. This means it is safe to do daily. 

To oil pull, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil through your teeth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you may need to wait a few seconds for it to melt. Continue the oil pulling for a full 15–20 minutes. Be sure to spit the coconut oil into a toilet or trash can, as it could return to solid form once in your drain pipes and cause a clog.

 

Diet 

Prevent tooth stains before they happen by being mindful of the food and beverages you are consuming throughout the day. Coffee, red wine, soda, and dark berries, for example, all have properties that will leave stains on your teeth. You don’t need to cut these out of your diet completely, but be mindful of your intake. You should also consider brushing your teeth before and after consuming any one of these food or beverages, this will help prevent stains from forming. Using a straw with dark or stain-producing beverages can also help to minimize staining effects.

 

If you’d like to learn more about these remedies or any others you may have heard of, please consult your dentist.

When to Start Introducing a Toothbrush for Babies

Whether your client is a first time parent or well-seasoned, they often have lots of questions and concerns about what they need to do to get their children off to a good start with dental care. You are their best source for information and support for their young child’s dental care. Some questions they might have to promote good oral health and preventing tooth decay for their little ones are; when should they start cleaning? Do they wait until the first tooth comes in or should they start with just brushing their baby’s gums? 

Pre-Teething 

Proper cleaning is necessary, and should begin even before their baby has any teeth. They should wipe the gums off after each feeding with a warm, wet washcloth or a dampened piece of gauze wrapped around their finger. They can also buy infant finger brushes which are thimble-like, soft rubbery devices that fit over their index finger, to use for rubbing off excess food.

 

Teething 

Once teeth begin coming in, parents should start taking care of them right away. Unfortunately, many parents think baby teeth aren't important because they're eventually replaced by permanent ones. However, these first teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent ones and help their baby chew and talk. If they're not cared for properly, they can decay, leading to gingivitis, which can affect the spacing of their permanent teeth.

 

How to Brush Baby’s Teeth 

Parents can brush their baby’s teeth after each meal or at a minimum, twice a day. Parents should use an infant finger brush or an infant toothbrush moistened with tap water and no more than a pea-sized amount of children’s toothpaste. Gently brush all sides (front, back and sides) of their baby’s teeth and lightly massage their gums. Follow with some water to help rinse away any leftover residue from the toothpaste. Until the child reaches an age of 2-3 (when they can be taught to spit after brushing) they will likely swallow the toothpaste, but the small amount being used won’t do any harm to them.

 

Tips for a Baby that Hates Tooth Brushing 

Some babies won’t like tooth brushing time at all, which can make it difficult for them and the parents trying to do the brushing. If you have a patient with this particular issue here are some tips you can give them that might help ease some of the tension during tooth brush time.

  •          Easy Does It: Remind them that their baby’s gums are very sensitive, even before they begin teething, so have them start with a soft wash cloth to help get their baby used to brushing process.
  •          Sing a Song: Sometimes a little distraction is all they need! Have them sing their baby’s favorite song or make a special, goofy song they sing just for tooth brushing time. This will not only help distract their baby, but also make the time more fun.
  •          Demostrate: Make tooth brushing about family time. Mom and/or Dad can brush their teeth first, while baby watches, then they can move on to their baby’s teeth. Seeing mom and dad do it first can help take away some of the consternation.
  •          Let them Play: Let them play with the toothbrush or finger brush (under adult supervision) before hand to let them get used to it. And there is a good chance that while they are playing with the baby toothbrush, it will end up in their mouth.

We have lots of cool stuff to give to your young patients and their parents to help make brushing time and their trips to the dentist a lot less stressful. Contact us today to learn more about improving dental health for the whole family!

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Manual and Electric Toothbrushes

By now most people know that brushing their teeth is the foundation of good oral care and prevention. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing the oral plaque that can cause decay and disease. 

Electric and manual toothbrushes each have their own benefits. The ADA puts a Seal of Acceptance on any toothbrush, electric or manual, that’s proven safe and effective. Read more about the pros and cons and which one might be best for your clients. 


Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes come in many different shapes and sizes and are powered by your hand and wrist. Although electric toothbrushes are starting to become the preference over a manual toothbrush for overall oral health, there are some pros and cons to using a manual toothbrush. 

Pros:

  •          Manual toothbrushes cost less
  •          Lots of styles, bristles and heads to choose from
  •          Great for travel
  •          No batteries or charging necessary

 Cons:

  •          No timer
  •          Difficult to clean teeth as thoroughly as an electric 

Replacement Electric Toothbrush Heads

Electric Toothbrushes

There are currently two types of technology used in electric toothbrushes: oscillating and sonic. We will discuss these before going into the pros and cons.

 

Oscillating

 

Oscillating toothbrushes come with smaller, round toothbrush heads that turn (oscillate) quickly in one direction and then in another direction to clean your teeth. They typically oscillate anywhere from 2,500-7,000 strokes per minute depending on the brush.

 

Some research shows that electric toothbrushes with rotating-oscillating bristles are more effective at removing plaque and preventing periodontal (gum) disease than manual toothbrushes. However, this research did not compare other electric toothbrushes like those who use sonic technology.

 

Sonic

 

Sonic toothbrushes use sonic technology which makes the brush vibrate around 31,000 strokes per minute.  The brush heads are shaped like regular toothbrush heads and vibrate side to side to clean your teeth.

 

Many brush manufacturers claim that sonic vibrations push toothpaste, water, and saliva into areas where bristles don’t touch, resulting in a better cleaning, and some scientific evidence does suggest that these brushes will indeed clean areas that others cannot.

 

Pros:

  •          Easier for people with limited mobility, such as people with arthritis
  •          Built-in timers
  •          Can be more fun for kids

 

Cons:

  •          More expensive
  •          Can be damaged by dropping or while traveling
  •          Need batteries or a way to charge
  •          Need to buy replacement heads

 

While electric toothbrushes will give patients the best cleaning, the choice between manual versus electric can really come down to a patient’s personal preference and situation. Having an electric toothbrush in the home and a manual one for travel is perfectly acceptable. If, however, your patients prefer manual toothbrushes make sure to share with them the proper technique (timing, technique, etc.) to brush with them.

 

If you’d like to learn about our manual versus electric toothbrush options or other toothbrushing aids, like timers, that we have available, please contact us today.

How Should Exam Gloves Fit?

It’s essential to wear the right sized protective equipment in any medical setting. Exam gloves are worn daily by most medical professionals such as doctors, dental assistants and care staff and it is important they fit properly. Hand protection is essential when dealing with bodily fluids or potentially harmful diseases during patient exams and procedures. Due to this, it’s important for medical professionals to know the right size exam gloves to use for their work. First, they must decide which type of exam glove to use. This can include latex gloves, nitrile gloves, neoprene gloves, vinyl gloves or any other type of disposable glove. Once the type of exam glove is determined, proper sizing is the next crucial step. 

Finding a comfortable fitting glove is essential. A tight-fitting glove can negatively affect fine motor skills, irritate the skin, and lead to hand fatigue. Contrarily, a glove that fits too loosely can cause a person to execute movements awkwardly. This could potentially lead to exposure to blood-borne pathogens or hazardous chemicals. 

Finding the Right Fit 

Exam gloves are manufactured to specific ASTM glove standards. When determining the proper size glove, there are 4 key areas to consider: glove length, glove width, finger length and width, and material.  

Glove Length: Measured from the tip of the middle finger to the cuff. 

Glove Width: Measured around the knuckles of your dominant hand, above the V in your thumb. Essentially, the widest part of your hand. This is an important measurement, since you don’t want gloves that are too tight. 

Finger Length and Width: This can be tricky because it is one of the few things that can vary between product lines. 

Material: This can be the real wild card when trying to find a proper fitting exam glove. The thickness and stretchability of the material being used could cause a change in an entire size up or down.

 

Here is a diagram and size chart on how to measure to get the right fit for exam gloves.

Medical Exam Glove Size Chart Measuring guide for glove fit

 

Left & Right Hand Fitted vs. Ambidextrous

 

Hand-specific gloves with contoured fingers and a natural thumb position are most commonly found in surgical glove lines. Since they are designed for each hand, they usually offer the best and most comfortable fit, but can be more expensive than an examination glove. Many medical professionals have just accepted the extra cost as a tradeoff for the comfort and less hand fatigue that they’ve experienced with ambidextrous exam gloves. However, some of the newer, thinner nitrile material will warm from body temperature when donned and contour to each hand. This helps give the medical community a little more choice in the type of glove they wear.

 

If you want to learn more about proper glove sizing or simply which type of glove is best for your application, please contact us today.

How Personalized Toothbrushes, Supply Bags and More Can Grow Your Dental Practice

Dental care items given to patients to take home after the patient visit promote good hygiene. Many of these items are available with imprinting such as toothbrushes, floss and the supply bag they take them home in.  With imprinted products that receive daily use, you’ll be reminding clients of your name regularly. Increase your practice’s exposure with items like personalized toothbrushes and supply bags, while also providing people with a product that they’ll actually use. So, how can personalized toothbrushes, supply bags or other items help grow your practice?

 Better than Business Cards

 The days of business cards are not quite gone, but the main issue we have these days is that there are simply too many business cards. Where do you keep the business cards you are handed? In your wallet or in a pile on your desk? When was the last time you looked through them? Been a while hasn’t it? That’s why promotional items like custom toothbrushes or supply bags are the PERFECT replacement. By putting your practice’s name and logo on them (and even contact information), you are reaching out to current and potential future clients in a new and unique way, instead of just stuffing yet another business card in their wallet or purse. Some reusable supply bags even have a business card pocket that can be used for appointment reminder cards or information on referral bonuses.

Personalized Supply Bag with business card pocket Quantum Labs Toothcase

Create Better Exposure and Recognition

When you pass out gifts that are going to be used, it allows your practice to really stick with people. You can also donate them to schools and events to be used in gift bags or simply as giveaways. Now you are reaching a lot of people you never could have going through traditional marketing channels. With a small investment, you will be able to hand out items to potential customers that have the potential to bring you continuous new clients for a lifetime. Even if they don't reach out right away, they will see the item you gave them and in time it could lead to inquiries which could lead to new patients, which is ultimately the goal.

 

Personalized Products from Quantum Labs 

Maintaining your current patients and expanding your clientele is crucial to running a successful dental practice. One way of doing so is to give your patients high-quality gifts so they leave your office with a great last impression. We understand that while everyone values quality, not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend each year on giveaway products. Therefore, we introduced our own line of personalized or "Practice Building" products: high-quality toothbrushes, flossgoodie bags and even lip balm at a fraction of the price you would pay for the major brands. So, instead of an ordinary business card, give a gift of personalized toothbrushes or lip balm that customers will use and think of your practice.

 

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact us by phone at 1-800-328-8213 or online.