Monday, September 29, 2008

"Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex!" Featured in Forbes Article

When I attend dental conferences, much of the talk is on social media and online marketing. Many of my dental colleagues are just waking up to the power of marketing yourself on the Web.

Over two and half years ago, I read an article about search engine optimization. I knew nothing about SEO, but I did know I wasn't getting the traffic I knew I could get. So I hired an SEO marketing specialist and in the last two years have ended up developing YouTube videos, redesigning my Web site, starting an e-newsletter, and writing articles plus another e-book, which is in progress.

The cost has more than paid for itself -- which you can read about in this Forbes article, Try These Innovative Marketing Techniques by Maureen Farrell.

In it, Ms. Farrell talks about tactics small businesses can use to market themselves -- and one of them is using an e-book to spread your message, which is what I did with my Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex! e-book.

More importantly, however, I've become quite knowledgeable about online marketing and now read books, such as David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing and PR, and articles I find in Investors Business Daily and other publications.

Becoming knowledgeable about online marketing has also had an unexpected result: when I attend dental conferences now, I often know more than the presenters touting their marketing expertise -- much of which is dated. And, I've found that many dentists still carry a misunderstanding about the Web and SEO and are hesitant to embrace social media.

So, for you dentists out there reading this, here is my advice: learn about Web marketing and social media from marketing experts who work with many types of companies, not the "experts" in the dental industry. Take some chances, spend some money, and develop a name for yourself online. Yes, it does take time and effort, but the result is definitely worth it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boost Your Oral Health I.Q. in Ten Minutes or Less!

Looking to brush up on the basics of oral hygiene and boost your overall health at the same time? AOL Health has put together a quick slide show, What Your Mouth is Telling You, that covers the essentials of dental health in a fun format:

Bad breath could be a sign that you overdid it on the shrimp scampi – or it could be a red flag for something more serious, from an abscessed tooth to diabetes.

When you brush and floss as instructed by your dentist, you’re helping to keep your heart healthy as well (but you knew that if you read this blog!).

Jaw pain can be the result of a tooth infection, stress-related tooth grinding – or it could be a warning sign for coronary artery disease. The ache could also signal the onset of cluster headaches.

"What Your Mouth is Telling You" also includes a section called “Chew Wisely,” which provides everything you need to know about choosing foods that will benefit your mouth and teeth, and delivers a few surprises along the way. Sure, we all know that apples are good for our teeth. But raisins, cheese and parsley?

Be sure to check it out!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The LA Times Agrees with Me About Halloween Candy

Last year I wrote a blog post about letting kids enjoy their Halloween candy.

The idea is really not that far-fetched -- as evidenced by the LA Times and their most recent Health article, "It's the candy season so let the kids indulge."

The Times and the dentist they quote, Dr. Mark Helpin, both agree with the assertion I made last year in a similar release I sent out to the local media.

The reason it's ok for kids to eat candy, as I stated in the release, is because lactic acid is produced when chewing food. This acid decreases the pH of the mouth, creating an acidic environment, which can leave the teeth vulnerable to cavities. However, studies have shown that as long as children and adults practice good oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice a day, eating candy isn't a problem.

What is a problem is nursing a sugary soft drink or sucking on hard candy all day. Coating the teeth in sugar for extended periods of time will cause cavities, but letting your child eat candy as a special treat will not do any harm - except to their waistlines if they over-indulge.

I'm glad Halloween is approaching -- even though I'm a dentist, I love to eat candy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our Dental Team Celebrates Success

This time last year it was myself and Mary, my office manager, in our Boston cosmetic dentistry office.

It used to be very quiet . . . but not anymore! That's because we had lots of changes in the last year, including:

>> Hiring Dr. Carlos Abboud, one of the premier periodontal specialists in the U.S.

>> Opening a new family dental practice in Dedham.

>> Hiring hygienists to help with routine cleanings in the Boston office. We also hired an RN, who started last week, to oversee IV sedation with Dr. Abboud, who uses this technique when performing periodontal and cosmetic surgery for our patients.

Having Dr. Abboud means we are now a full-service cosmetic dentistry practice that can perform full mouth reconstructive and periodontal plastic surgery procedures, including bone grafting, gum grafting, mini dental implants, and gum enhancement.

Due to all these exciting changes, we now have fourteen employees! Wow! Some days I can't believe it.

To celebrate our success, we spent one evening last week at F1 Boston racing go karts. My good friend of many years, Frank, beat all of us. Dr. Abboud ran a close second.

The picture is of me holding the victory flag. It's been a wonderful year!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Small Business and YouTube a Perfect Match

As you can tell from some of my blog posts, I've been learning how to develop videos for YouTube in order to help educate consumers about dentistry and oral health.

I've learned a few things developing these videos -- lessons I was able to share with the Boston Herald's Women's Business news section.

In an article titled, "You can develop a video marketing campaign -- on a limited budget" I share six ideas to keep in mind when creating YouTube videos.