“Hey – I heard flossing doesn’t do anything!”

You are probably aware that last week the latest dietary guidelines issued by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services quietly and without notice dropped any mention of flossing . At the same time, The Associated Press reported that officials had never researched the effectiveness of regular flossing, as required, before cajoling Americans to do it.

Chances are your patients don’t read anything printed by the Department of Agriculture, but they certainly watch The Today Show and all of the other “light news” outlets that seem to delight in reporting the story. After all – everyone likes to think that their hocking hygienist was wrong all along.

This is just what we need – one more reason to get people not to floss!

A close look shows they are not saying flossing is not effective; just that there have never been any really good studies on the subject. But although this is anecdotal – as dental professionals we see first-hand the benefits of flossing every single day!

So how will you answer the inevitable question:

“Hey Doc! I heard that flossing doesn’t do anything! Do I even need to do it?”

Try something like this:

“Well Melvin, every day in this office we see that flossing does a great job in helping to prevent gum disease, and gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. There is no question that flossing removes plaque and debris lodged between your teeth, and that is certainly good for your overall health.

It’s kind of like showering every day. There may not be any great studies showing that it’s good for you, but it should be part of your hygiene routine – and flossing should too! All of us do it, and we still highly recommend that you do too!”

Or you could just say:

“No problem – don’t floss. May we set up your denture appointment?”

Are You Guilty Of This?

As we travel around the country speaking to fantastic groups such as the American Academy of Dental Group Practice in Las Vegas last week, we often notice something that frankly really stinks.

You see, over the last twenty-two years we have been up-close and personal with many dentists and team members. And it’s amazing how many of them have downright rotten breath!

Whether it is from pungent foods, coffee, dehydration, or amazingly, perio disease – it seems like we have seen (and smelled) it all.

Of course we realize that everyone has occasional bad breath, body odor, or other personal maladies. But there is simply no place for that in the dental office.

Your dental co-workers are like your extended family. And everyone must agree that it is our job to alert our fellow team members (doctors included) about things such as bad breath, unsightly boogers, unzipped flies or other wardrobe malfunctions, food on face, eye or ear bunnies – okay, no need to gross you out – you get the picture by now.

It really is important, and all of that stuff reflects on your office and perceived ability to provide high quality dental care. So make a pact that instead of being offended, we will all thank a fellow team member when they say to us

“Your breath smells like freshly ground horse manure, there is something weird in your nose, and plaids and stripes don’t match.”

Actually, it should be said with kindness and caring and received that way as well. It’s all part of being on the team!!

But if you are afraid of insulting a chronic offender in your office, simply print this email out and discreetly place it somewhere where they will see it. You can even use a highlighter if there is a specific condition you wish to point out!

Dentists and Hygienists – It Ends Tomorrow!

The best ultrasonic scaling units are the Cavitron line – not much doubt about that one.

There is also not much question that NOW is the time to get the best price you will ever see on both the Cavitron Plus Ultrasonic Scaler AND the Cavitron Plus Ultrasonic Scaler with Air Polisher. But this offer is only good through Friday December 23rd. Just how low is the price? We’ll tell you in a second.

Remember – buy now and save on your 2011 taxes. Wait a few days and the tax savings won’t kick in for a year!

This offer is for M Club members only – but if you’re not a member, don’t worry. Membership is FREE – and once you join you will immediately begin getting amazing pricing on your dental supplies, fantastic rewards, the best customer service in the business, unannounced members only sales, special treatment at Madow events, and more! It just takes one phone call – 1-855-THE-M-CLUB.

To find out how much you will save TODAY by purchasing the best ultrasonic scaler ever made, and to find out what happens when ten or more people do this (you won’t believe this one!) – just click here!

Pick Of The Week!

Are you doing anything to recognize or reward your patients on a regular basis? This (and maybe not your beautiful restorations) is what gets people to talk about you and spread good things about your practice to others.

Do you have a “No Cavity Club” for kids which is posted on your Facebook page or written about in your practice newsletter? Do you have a monthly drawing for a free whitening or a “Chic-Flic” pen?? Do you give cool presents to those who refer others?

These kinds of things really go a long way in getting others interested in your practice. Your patients won’t talk about your excellent crown margins. But stick their kid’s picture somewhere or give them a little “lagniappe” and watch what happens!

If you’ve been to TBSE (there is still time for 11-11-11!!) or one of our “Love Dentistry, Have Fun and Prosper!” seminars, you know that we always incorporate some live music into the learning experience.

Recently we had some Madow Brothers guitar picks made by Steve Clayton Custom Picks, a company which makes custom guitar picks for major rock stars, local acts, and everyone in between. Well – they liked our picks so much that they named them “Pick Of The Week” and featured them on their website. Very cool!!

Are we telling everyone? We sure are! And out of the thousands of people that read this message, will some of them order custom picks from Steve Clayton? No doubt about it!

The lesson? Recognize your patients. Give stuff away. Make people feel special. It makes them feel good – and helps your practice too!

Is Your Dental Practice Drying Up?

Did you know that over 1800 drugs, both prescription and over the counter, can cause dry mouth in your patients, including 8 of the 10 most frequently used medications? The list seems to be endless, but includes:

Antacids such as Prilosec and Prevacid
Antianxiety medications such as Xanax and Valium
Antidepressants such as Zoloft and Celexa
Antihistamines such as Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec
Anti-hypertensives such as Norvasc
Anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin and Naprosyn (Alleve)
Cholesterol reducing drugs such as Lipitor
Hormone replacement therapy (Premarin)

And the list goes on. Even diarrhea medication such as Immodium AD can cause dry mouth! (Guess it dries out everything!!) It seems that practically every prescription or OTC med has dry mouth as a side effect.

So, as part of your health history, be sure to ask about prescription AND non-prescription drugs. Many patients believe it is not necessary to inform you about over-the-counter medication they may be taking, but that simply isn’t true.

If your patients are taking any of these medications (or any of the over 1800 that list dry mouth as a side effect) it may be a good idea to make in-office fluoride a part of their hygiene visit. Besides protecting your patients’ dental health and saving you some headaches (root caries are a bitch to restore!!), you will also add to your production!

Recently we did an interview with Anastasia Turchetta, RDH, where she gave twenty productive and educational facts for your dental practice such as this one. Many of them had to do with tips for dealing with our aging population along with other things that will help your practice AND bottom line! It was a fantastic eye-opening session, and part of our monthly Madow Brothers Audio Series. Recent interviewees have included Dr. Roger Levin, Dr. Marty Goldstein, Dr. Ross Nash, Dr. Howard Farran, and many more! To check it out and get two CD interviews absolutely free, click here! It’s the best way to get fantastic continuing education without leaving home!