May 2022 Volume LVII Number 3


Feature Story: Mouth Monster Marketing

November 2019 Volume LIV Number 6

Mouth Monster Marketing
Utilizing the Mouth Monsters in Your Practice
By Dr. Jarod Johnson
The American Academy of  Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) first launched the Mouth Monsters in January of  2014. Over the last five years, the campaign has grown in scope and has been highly successful. Tooth   D.K, Tartar the Terrible, and Ginger Bite-Us have become popular and are wonderful tools to engage with patients at your practice. The campaign does an excellent job of  keeping dentistry fun for kids, and provides a strong educational message for parents. It has been easy to in- corporate into my office as the AAPD is always producing new content.
Creating a brand, or shared vision for a dental office is an important aspect of  marketing. It can be done in a variety of  ways. whichever way the office chooses to brand themselves should be in alignment with the office's goals for patient care. There are a lot of  opportunities for the dental office to create a personality that is welcoming to children. Many offices will choose an overall theme that is friendly to kids, such as one focusing on superheroes, a jungle, ocean, farm or the mountains. Other offices will correlate the name to common landmarks in the surround- ing area, for example, member Dr. Brittany Adamiak who practices in Nashville, Tenn., has chosen to name her practice Green Hills Pediatric Dentistry, after the enclave Green Hills.
While it is important to have an overall brand presence that fits with the office's values, using the Mouth Monsters as part of  the dental office exhibits afffiliation with the AAPD. Specifically, with the Academy's web- site for caregivers A strong association with the AAPD amplifies trust in parents with the dental office. I have personally found the use of  Mouth Monsters in my office to complement our branding to be very successful.
The AAPD is continuously creating new content; I recommend visiting the Mouth Monster Hub frequently, and following the AAPD on social media.
The Mouth Monsters can be used to promote education, fun, and your office. Since every dental office has different needs, not every office will utilize them in the same way. This allows one to customize their use to fit the specific needs of  their practice. These are a few ways that I have highlighted the Mouth Monsters in my practice.
Dental surgery can be a scary situation for many children. One of  the biggest hurdles for many kids is separation anxiety from their parents when heading back to the operating room. One of  my best uses for the Mouth Monsters was the creation of  a Mouth Monster Truck. The truck was made using a child sized motorized vehicle, and adding custom decals of  my office logo, as well as the Mouth Monsters. It creates a more positive and fun experience for children to travel to the operating room, and I have noticed a huge improvement in the number of  children that come back with a smile on their face instead of  tears in their eyes. It has also helped instill confidence in parents that they are in the right place.
To create a truck, it is important to work closely with the hospital or surgery center. Select a vehicle that has a seat belt for safety and the ability of  a responsible adult to override the direction of  the vehicle. It is also important that the hospital or surgery center create standard work docu- ments for it prior to the purchase-this will help make sure it is used safely. Our office allows other surgeons to use the Mouth Monster Truck, and we have had parents comment on the positive experience their child had when undergoing surgery for other medical procedures. In return, our    office is marketed to possible new patients and allows for many more children to have a positive hospital experience.
Wishing your patients a "happy birthday!" can be the icing on the cake. While automated systems are useful for sending out appointment reminders, many of  them also have the capability of  sending e-mails to patients on their birthday. Our office uses a fun e-mail template with Tooth D.K. eating a piece of  cake. Feel free to edit the template to brand your office: https://www.canva. com/design/DADOQ1fZoJo/remix. We often receive responses back from parents thanking us for the impact we have made in their child's life. It is one more opportunity to connect with patients. The AAPD also has a birthday image that features The Mouth Monsters:
"Window and door decals can be very successful, especially when an office has street visibility. They help draw attention to the office as people drive by and attracts the eyes of  parents and chil- dren that the office is focused on Pediatric Dentistry. Get creative with the office staff and market- ing team for ideas on how to draw attention from those passing by the office.
Make the AAPD logo and the Mouth Monsters the first thing families see when they walk in the door. When they see that your office is affiliated with the AAPD, rapport between you and the parent will be established immediately. Parents will know they are in the right place. The logo can be placed on a front window or door along with the Mouth Monsters. A company can also make a custom rug to place as a doormat in the entryway. The guidelines for the use of  the AAPD logo are available online: using-the-aapd-logo/.
Screen savers are a great way to protect patient information and ensure HIPPA compliance. They can be automatically setup to come on the screen after a few minutes, or when the computer is locked. It may be helpful to involve an IT company to help set this up. Generally, when a staff member leaves the computer, it should be locked to prevent patients from browsing and searching for information. In most instances, the images for a screen saver can be stored on the server, and individual workstations can be setup to load the images. This will make it easy to change out the images over time. The AAPD offers a wide variety of  images that can be used for patient education and marketing. They can be accessed on the website at
Temporary tattoos are also a fun way to market a dental office. Many children will get excited about the idea, and the Mouth Monsters are the perfect cartoon characters to meet the fascination of  kids. They are a very cost-effective marketing strategy, as each tattoo is similar in price to a sticker, and they will last for days after placement. Adding one's practice logo below to the temporary ink will create a lasting image in the community.
Stickers are also a great reward for kids that do well at their appointment. Consider having Mouth Monster stickers available in addition to the office's normal collection of cartoon characters.
Who doesn't love a vacation? The AAPD offers plush Mouth Monsters. They can be used to market your office when children are on their vacations. One may have seen the AAPD posts of  Tooth D.K. around Chicago prior to the 2019 Annual Session. Allowing a family to check out a plush doll and post pic- tures while they are on vacation can add great fun to an office. Be sure to have the family tag one's office and offer an incentive to post the images. Some incentive ideas include: allowing the family to keep the plushie or offering an entry-level electric toothbrush if  the family returns the plushie and posts a minimum number of  photos.
Kids love to color. The AAPD has provided coloring pages for parents and offices to down- load related to the Mouth Monsters. There are a wide variety of  coloring activities posted on the website. These activities can be provided to children in the waiting room or be offered for children to take home. One idea is to create a coloring contest for the dental office and award a prize for the kids. It could also be possible to sponsor an art project at a community art cen- ter in conjunction with oral health awareness. Recently the AAPD released The Little Teeth League: bring-the-little-teeth-league-to-life-with-color/.
The AAPD provides its members with access to a social media toolkit. This can be useful for members to consult when deciding what is appropriate to post on social media and what is not. In general, being active on social media in a positive way is beneficial to the dental practice. Offices should focus on build- ing a relationship and providing educational material. when a family is at an appointment, we can provide focused one-on-one patient education, but only for a short period of  time. One can create a brand that has more potential to engage patients in oral health education through social media.
For instance, let us take a non-dental related problem, i.e., a leaky faucet. It is well known that plumbers can fix leaks, but they cost mon- ey. So, if  there was an easy fix, wouldn't one want to save money? Commonly, people will turn to the internet and social media to find an answer to the problem. what if  a plumber had a highly rated post that saved someone money so one wouldn't need their services? Surely that plumber would get the business over another if a more serious problem arose, because they al- ready built a trusting relationship, even though the customer never called.
The same can done in the dental profes- sion by using the Mouth Monsters to create educational content that solidifies the office as The Big Authority on Little Teeth. Plus, it will raise awareness of  dental disease and prevention within the community.
Another way to provide a way for patrons to interact with your business is by placing a Fat- Head on the wall of  a Mouth Monster for patients to pose with. Offering a small giveaway to those who post the picture to their social media page provides one more opportunity to gain visibility with families.
Most of  the Mouth Monster content can be adapted for placement on a poster for display  in the office. The ""wanted Posters"" included in the Mouth Monster Defense Kit, are perfect to display in a hallway or treatment room. If  the kids have had an awesome visit and are Mouth Monster-free, they can be provided with a certificate and be a part of  the office's ""No Cavity Club."" within the kit there is also a brushing calendar that can be provided to patients. Families that complete the calendar and brush two times a day for two minutes each, could be incentivized with a reward certificate, or one's office could offer a small prize each month for a completed calendar. Check out the Mouth Monster Defense Kit online at: https://mouthmonsters.mychildrensteeth. org/mouth-monster-defense-kit/.
Looking for ways to engage patients around the holidays? From the start of  New Year through St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the AAPD has your office covered. There is Mouth Monster content available to celebrate holidays at the office. Followers will quickly become familiar with the characters and the campaign.
Patient Education
The Mouth Monsters are a great membership benefit. They provide members with a way to directly connect with their patients and provide an educational experience. when an office affiliates with the Mouth Monsters it can help solidify the relationship with the AAPD and provide families with confidence in the provider they have chosen to treat their children. As pediatric dentists, our goal is to establish relationships with families and provide the best dental experience for children possible given the circumstances. Generating excitement around Tooth D.K., Ginger Bite-Us, and Tartar the Terrible in the office is in alignment with the mission of  the AAPD to, "advocate poli- cies, guidelines, and programs that promote optimal oral health and oral health care for children."
As pediatric dentists, we make a positive impact on the quality of  life of  children within our communities. However, dental decay remains prevalent in the United States, and is still the number one chronic disease of  childhood. while most of  us see underserved children, there is still an unmet need for children in the United States. I fully support the AAPD Foundation's mission of establishing Dental Homes for children in need. If  this publication has inspired you or provided valuable information that will help grow your office, please consider making a donation to the AAPD Foundation with your annual dues or online at Every new individual donor and every gift counts. Together, we can all make a huge difference toward the Foundation's goal of  providing Dental Homes for ONE million kids by 2022.
Dr. Jarod Johnson received his D.D.S. degree from The University of  Iowa College of  Dentistry in 2013 and his certificate in pediatric dentistry from the University of  Nevada, Las Vegas, School of  Dental Medicine in 2015. He is also a diplomate of  the American Board of  Pediatric Dentistry and holds a position as an adjunct assisting professor in pediatric dentistry at The University of  Iowa.
Johnson is the owner/manager of  Arctic Dental in Muscatine, Iowa, and is an active member of  the community, serving on the board of  Musser Public Library. Dr. Johnson and his wife, Laurie, have two children, Lydia and William. Together they enjoy cooking, grilling, and
exploring the outdoors."

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