The Times They are a-Changin’
Educating Gen Y Families with Mighty MolarMan and the Dental Home concept.
Bob Dylan had it right, The Times They are a- Changin’. Gen Y is the most “plugged in” generation. Nearly 90% of Millennials use social media (compared with 76% of Gen X-ers and 59% of Boomers) … text, email, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the list goes on. With so many different ways to communicate, what’s the best way to educate our Gen Y parents and their children?
“I can strike fear into the hearts of many dentists with a single word: children” – Chris Salierno, DDS, editor at Dental Economics
One of the things I hear most when speaking with general dentists about treating more kids is that it’s not profitable, or that it’s too difficult to treat them. These seem to be the biggest hurdles for general practices to overcome. So how do we do it, and is it worth the effort?
I would argue that yes, it is most definitely worth the effort. If you can create an environment that is safe and fun for children, you’re likely to acquire the the whole family as patients as well.
Let’s not kid each other, this process isn’t going to be a flip of the switch. It will require leading and training your staff, and implementing the “Dental Home” concept. The Dental Home concept is the ongoing relationship between a dentist and family with children starting ideally no later than 12 months old. This relationship is the key. Imagine if a child is excited and eager for their first appointment because they have been learning and building that relationship from such an early age. If you have children of your own, you are familiar with the unpredictability and inquisitive minds of a child. They are young developing minds, and if they are taught that the dentist isn’t a scary place, seeing them as a patient can be a very smooth, fun and extremely rewarding process.
Gen Y are not only the most “plugged in”, but are also very health-conscious. Parents are more pragmatic about the buying process, with a focus on the environment, health and fitness, organic foods, and products that support a cause or charity. So how do we reach this generation? What’s the best way to successfully and effectively engage their children?
Think back to the earliest memories of your childhood and the cartoons and comics of your time. I still remember cartoons where they pulled out a tooth by tying it to a rocket, bowling ball, or door. Cartoons captivate and ignite children’s imagination. The Mighty MolarMan Experience, coupled together with the Dental Home concept and a little training on how to work with children, will change the game for general dentists. The characters were created with a primary goal of breaking down the fear barrier that many children have of going to the dentist, and the apprehension that many general dentists have of treating little ones.
Don’t do the same old thing, think outside the box and find fun ways to present what you have to offer to Millennials and their kids through all the channels that are available to you. Use the Dental Home concept coupled with The Mighty MolarMan Experience and change the view on treating children.