how to subscribe

Easily follow Hygiene Help blog posts by submitting your email address on the right hand side of this page, or by clicking the Facebook button

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Billion Dollar Bully-YELP

Click to read more about Kaylie
I received an email last week from someone (Kaylie) who found my blog and was hoping I would share her information with my readers. I receive emails from people multiple times a week requesting the same thing and rarely do I even consider what they are trying to promote. This was different- I couldn't wait to help her spread the word of her project-

Over the past 7 years I have developed a hate-hate relationship with Yelp

Incident #1: My first problem involved multiple listings for the dental office I work for. I contacted their company numerous times and then got our marketing company involved hoping they could make some progress in getting our information listed correctly on their site. After 3 weeks and no change I finally sat through their sales pitch and told the Yelp rep that I would "love to advertise with you but I dodn't feel comfortable because you are unable to fix this small issue". And like magic...hours later we were down to one accurate listing on their site.

Incident #2: We have 32 reviews (all 5 stars) but only 2 of them show up as recommended. Admittedly Yelp is not super popular in the midwest so most of these people have only ever written one review...and it was for us...because we are pretty freaking awesome (I'll save that info for another day ). However- how on earth did they filter out someone who has written 50 + reviews? I'll tell how- because we don't advertise with them! Again multiple discussions and vague explanations of how they filter reviews- but once I show interest in advertising, but identify my road block as this review not posting- magic happens and it shows up.

The film had a very successful kickstarter campaign and is getting ready to launch it's Indiegogo campaign. Please help spread the word so we can get this documentary fully funded and shed some light on this internet bully.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Kicking the Habit at 3 Years Old

 I am a full time hygienist and the mom of two wonderful, totally different children.

Jackson is 7 and I would describe him as the worlds easiest child-from birth. (I do realize this could change but I am keeping my fingers crossed!) When Jackson was born I refused to let him have a pacifier or suck his thumb. I was determined to promote optimum jaw formation from day one- I fought a good fight and won!

I sucked my finger until I was in 2nd grade and as a result I have a narrow high vaulted palate,cross bite...headaches, neck pain... I also had huge tonsils and a few other issues that lead me down a path of occlusal related problems. If you aren't familiar with Myofunctional Therapy  its pretty interesting, I'll save this for another day but I really wanted to protect my kids from having the same problems I've had.

4 years later I delivered my daughter Kennedy. She is spunky and strong willed, determined, and a hand full- from birth. Maybe even during my pregnancy. This child wouldn't sleep- didn't want to be held. We had ultrasounds, changed formulas, gave gas drops- you name it we tried it. What made her happy? Her fingers... her fingers made her happy and quiet and she would sleep. So I happily let her suck not 1 but 2 fingers.
I would share pictures of my cute little girl and in almost every picture her fingers were in her mouth. Of course my dental friends were cringing inside- and truthfully I was dreading the day we would have to try to break this habit. I honestly could see her sucking those finger until she was 15, she is that determined.


I decided to try a product that I had heard of Mavala Stop- it tastes terrible. When I say terrible I mean the worst thing you have ever tasted, worse then the worse thing you have ever tasted. If you try this for your child DO NOT get it on your fingers- seriously DON'T!!

I put it on Kennedy's fingers after dinner, she kept forgetting and trying to suck her fingers and freaking out. When she went to bed the same thing happened. I had water for her to drink and the taste was so bad she got a little gaggy. The first night was a long night, she had a difficult time falling asleep and she would forget and again the horrific taste would cause her to need to drink a ton of water. We survived , the first night was the worst. There were times that I wished I could just wipe it off her fingers and we could all rest peacefully. Trust me its not an option,it doesn't wipe off!

In my world it was necessary that we let her develop this habit, but it was also necessary that we break the habit by the time she was 3 and a
                                                half. She may have hated it for a couple of nights but life long she will
                                                thank me.

You can purchase Mavala stop at Walgreens and on Amazon:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ideas for Celebrating Birthdays In Dental Offices

I have always loved birthdays, I try to celebrate mine for the entire month!  My children are 3 and 7 and I make a really big deal out of their birthdays as well. As a rule I take my birthday off of work, I also take my kids birthdays off- I work full time and I feel that the least I can do is give them my undivided attention on their special day.

Most of my coworkers are a little less enthusiastic about birthdays- but thanks to my supportive bosses we have managed to pull off some pretty fantastic birthday celebrations.

One of my favorite ways to celebrate is with a Facebook post- I think its always nice to see how much other people appreciate you and to read their comments-

When one of our office administrators turned 50 we had to make sure EVERYONE knew- so we made huge signs for the doors entering the building and to put out by the road. She seemed to really appreciate all of the attention...

When one of our doctors and office manager turned 40 on the same day we decided to reflect back on their lives- our patients really loved looking at their pictures...

One of our doctors is turning 60 next year and I am hoping we can organize a little after work surprise party complete with a roast. One of my patients hired a professional comedian to roast her husband and I think this could be a lot of fun...for the right person.


If you have any birthday celebration ideas I would love to hear from you email me at

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Raising Dental Fees- How often and how much

Recently my dental office started looking at raising our fees, this is something that tends to happen somewhat sporadically for us. According to Dental Economics these fee increases should happen yearly: read more

We are a fee for service office so our patients really notice if our fees increase- rarely do these changes fly under the radar.

As with most dental practices we are always trying to acquire new patients so we don't want to price ourselves out of the market for patients who are calling various offices looking to change dentists.
We also offer the latest in technology, high end services, excellent customer service, and are constantly attending continuing education classes which of coarse translates into higher fees.

If I go to a five star hotel I don't expect to pay the same rate I would at  a Motel 8 even though I'm essentially accomplishing the same thing at both places.

We have found that getting an idea of what your competitors charge can help to guide where you want to set your fees.

Visit to see the average fees being charged in your zip code broken down by CDT code.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Ideas for Children's Dental Health Month

5 Ways to Teach Children about Dental Health

To celebrate Children's Dental Health Month  a lot of schools and childcare groups will invite dental health professionals in to educate and share dental information.

Here are a few fun ideas to consider if you are trying to put together a presentation:

Idea #1

Visit the ADA's website for lots of great information and ideas- including this flossing demo that uses legos to demonstrate flossing.

Idea #2

Mama bee from the hive has some fun suggestions as well- using the marshmallows as teeth also allows for a good opportunity to talk about "bad" foods for teeth

Idea #3

Teaching mama shows how to demonstrate brushing and cavaties with an egg
An "Egg-Cellent" way to Learn About Teeth

Idea #4

Infographicszone offers some interesting facts- these would be great to send home with the children you spoke to for the parents. Including information about yourself/ dental practice and contact information as well.

february is children's dental health month 1

Idea #5

Printable tooth brushing chart- Howdoesshe

tips for taking care of tiny teeth

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spreading the Word- How to Get More New Patients

For years we have known that word of mouth is the best referral source. In today's technological world "word of mouth" has evolved to key strokes, and the outreach is much more extensive. It has become more important then ever to get the "word" out online about the services that you offer in your dental practice and positive reviews and testimonials from your patients.
In addition to giving potential patients valuable feedback that will most likely effect their decision, this online activity can really help with your website SEO.

I have included a list of different sites you can direct your patients to asking them for a testimonial or just a few words of how you have helped them achieve dental health, get out of pain or let others know what a friendly, happy team you have.
Make sure that you check out the sites and establish a profile with pictures an accurate information.

Many of the sites have strict policies and will remove you from their system if you or your team members are found to be the ones leaving the reviews.

Ask patients who say they are happy with your services to leave feedback on one of the sites listed below. Consider offering an incentive such as a drawing for free whitening.

  •    (person must have a Facebook account)

   Scroll to recommendations on the Facebook page's timeline- find recommendation field

  •    (requires an account)

  •   (requires an account)

  •   (requires an account)

  •   (need an account or Facebook account)
  •   (no account needed)
  •  (no account needed)

Friday, January 11, 2013

I am NOT a salesman- Part 1

When I decided to pursue dental hygiene as my profession I envisioned myself helping patients by cleaning their teeth and educating them on their dental health.  I think that I imagined that patients would be grateful for the service I was providing them- similar to  the way I appreciate nurses when I go to the hospital.

The reality of the profession that I have chosen is that a majority of patients don't value the service they are receiving,  their main objective is to get in and get out as quickly and cheaply as possible. To make the job of a dental hygienist even more of a struggle we are also trying to give the dentists that we work for the result that they are looking for- happy satisfied patients who want to schedule their restorative treatment.

Dentistry has evolved and it can be a challenge as a dental hygienist to evolve with it.

We are dealing with people -obstacle 1.

 We are usually identifying problems that they had no idea existed before their visit- obstacle 2.

We are attempting to create enough concern that the patient wants to part with their own money to fix the problem (thanks to laughable insurance coverage) without scaring them away-obstacle 3.

After numerous seminars, workshops, conferences on how to get patients to accept treatment (or be a better salesman)  I finally had the chance to meet with a consultant that I feel gave realistic suggestions and strategies to "ethically diagnose"  and present treatment in a way that makes the patient want ideal treatment.

I am not a person who feels comfortable forcing,tricking or talking down to someone to get them to do what I want. With a lot of coarses I have attended in the past I sit back thinking "I could never say that to a patient, because I would not want someone to say that to me." I also have had the thought that some of these suggestions sound degrading. And it always starts to feel like something is wrong with me for not feeling comfortable enough to ask my patient what I think is a  ridiculous question, or even throwing out somewhat threatening statements.

Example: How important are your teeth to you? Would you like to keep them?

Ok... so you should ask this of all your patients to evaluate their level of commitment and concern for their teeth. If you propose treatment and they object you have leverage to state "well Mrs. Smith I thought that your teeth  were  very important to you, but I see that you have changed your mind so we can do nothing and wait for the tooth to fall out..."  

WHAT?? what hygienist  feels good about this conversation, NOT me!! It makes me feel like a slimy salesman- which I am not! I am advocate for my patient and their health.

Suppose you went to the eye doctor and he began the appointment by asking you if you like your eyes and if you wanted to keep them- it would be ridiculous, that is what the dental patient thinks.

Over my next few blog posts I will share with you some of the ah-ha moments I had during the past 2 days.

I urge you to visit this site you can try the online coarse for free for 30 days and I know it will change the way you talk to your patients.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...