How to Capitalise on Oral Health and Hygiene Growth
The key benefits of practicing good oral hygiene are well known, with great strides made over recent years to the point that brushing twice a day and flossing between meals has become second nature to many.
During this time the dental industry has witnessed an ever-growing shift towards being a more preventative operation with a huge emphasis on oral health.
But that doesn’t mean more cannot be done to promote oral hygiene to patients. Not only is preventative care less expensive (and far less invasive) to patients than emergency care, promoting oral hygiene to patients can be highly beneficial to a dental practice too.
Growth in demand for oral hygiene
With the explosion of online video calls brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, people are noticing their teeth and their smiles more than ever before. A generation that was already more conscious of oral aesthetics are now more actively searching for solutions to naturally improve or maintain the look of their teeth.
Data from Google shows a 63% increase in UK users searching ‘white smile’ in the first four months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, and a 53% increase in people searching for ‘best whitening toothpaste’.
This presents a clear opportunity for dentists to promote more oral hygiene and whitening products to their patients.
Highlighting ALL the benefits of oral hygiene
Among the many benefits of oral hygiene, patients are more likely to be aware of the following:
- Reduced chance of tooth decay
- Reduce tooth sensitivity
- Reduced likelihood of cavities and subsequent need for fillings
- Reduced chance of losing teeth
- Fresher breath
Then there are the issues related to bad oral health that don’t tend to be as well understood by patients. These include:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
Several studies have been able to make a clear connection between the likelihood of having the above problems and having infective oral hygiene. Highlighting these lesser-known risks with patients should be considered a way of promoting and encouraging oral hygiene.
Patients should be given tailored advice on oral hygiene during examination, outlining the potential risks of poor oral health and benefits of using fluoride products depending on their individual needs.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends adopting a patient-centred approach and creating dental plans with your patient or their carer to prevent and treat oral health problems both in surgery and at home.
NICE advises dentists and DCPs should be trained to deliver this patient-centred oral health advice in a way that uses reflective listening and shows empathy to help develop rapport with patients.
Stocking the right oral hygiene products
Having conversations about good oral health with your patients can provide opportunities to increase your practice revenue through the sale of suitable oral hygiene products.
Kent Express’ most popular oral hygiene products, interdental clean brushes and toothpaste sales are up 35% and nearly 50% respectively in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2019 to give some indication of this growth market.
Having the right oral hygiene products in stock will ensure you can offer the best possible preventative care to suit the individual needs of your patients.
When searching for oral care products, always keep an eye out for multibuy promotions which can provide significant savings when buying in bulk.
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