It’s almost October, officially marking the beginning of the Fall holiday season. For dental hygienists, Halloween isn’t the only exciting event to look forward to! October is National Dental Hygiene Month, a celebration of hard-working dental hygienists and an extra-special opportunity to promote great oral hygiene in our communities. Read on to find out more about National Dental Hygiene Month 2022 and how you can celebrate it in your practice.
What is National Dental Hygiene Month?
National Dental Hygiene Month is a collaboration between the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Colgate. It is a time to shine a spotlight on the hard work our hygienists do and celebrate their dedication to creating healthier, happier smiles.
Throughout October, Colgate works with the ADHA to offer free continuing education courses, events and resources to hygienists, along with exclusive promotions on Colgate products and services. National Dental Hygiene Month is also an opportunity to amplify the important health messages promoted all year round, helping dental hygienists extend their reach and positive influence in their communities. As dental hygienists, we can talk about National Dental Hygiene Month with patients, creating a moment to give patients extra encouragement and reminders on oral hygiene.
If you’d like to get involved in this year’s National Dental Hygiene Month, here’s a selection of ideas to get you started.
6 ways to celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month
1. Put dental hygienists in the spotlight
This is the perfect time to highlight the work you and your fellow dental hygienists have been doing. Introduce yourselves on your practice’s social media channels and share some fun facts about yourselves so that your patients (and prospective patients) can get to know you better. You can also let followers know about the different ways you get involved in your community, highlight any achievements from the year, and promote any events you have coming up.
2. Get the practice Instagram-ready
Create a custom hashtag for the month, set up some themed social media photo props and/or backdrops in your waiting room, and encourage patients to take some fun photos with you and the team. Not only will this promote your practice on social media, but it can take some of the anxiety out of a dental visit and create more positive associations for your patients.
3. Run competitions for patients
Competitions and games are great for engaging patients of all ages. Create different competitions for different groups, all based on the theme of dental hygiene, and promote them in your office and on your social media channels. Examples might include:
Drawing or coloring competitions
Funny caption contests
Guessing games, e.g., how long is a piece of dental floss?
“Two truths and a lie” starring your hygienists
Voting contests, e.g., funniest pet smiles
Online scavenger hunts
Some practices offer hygiene-related prizes like toothbrushes, while others go for more tantalizing options like toys, tickets or coupons. The latter might be more appealing, but a lasting incentive to maintain good oral hygiene habits once the competition is over is great.
4. Hold a candy buyback
Halloween falls on the last day of National Dental Hygiene Month, but you can still use October to promote a candy buyback scheme at your practice. This involves offering to “buy” any excess Halloween candy from your patients by the pound in exchange for cash, coupons or other incentives. Not only will you be promoting your practice, but you’ll also be saving hundreds of little teeth from an overload of sugar!
The Halloween Candy Buyback Program has partnered with charities that send the candy as part of care packages to troops serving overseas, so you can send them your candy haul knowing that it will be going to a good cause. You can also register with the organization to have your candy buyback listed in their directory, but there’s no obligation to do so.
5. Get active in hygienist communities
If you’re not doing so already, National Dental Hygiene Month is an ideal time to get active in communities like the ADHA. Sign up to find out about local events and meetings, where you can network and build relationships with other dental hygienists in your area. This is of course valuable all year round, but for events like National Dental Hygiene Month in particular, this will give you the opportunity to share ideas and perhaps team up on local activities.
6. Follow events on social media
Throughout National Dental Hygiene Month, Colgate and the ADHA will be posting event information, sharing resources and hosting live events. Last year, when the theme was Celebrating Resilience, both
used their channels to highlight stories of resilience in the dental hygienist community, share self-care tips and resources, and host Instagram takeovers. Follow Colgate and the ADHA on Instagram and be the first to learn about the exciting events planned for this year!