Vanity: “An excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.”

While some people might sneer at vanity, I agree with Winston Churchill when he called it, “That vice that promotes so many virtues.”

The National Research University Higher School of Economics found that people spend 1/6th of their lifetimes enhancing their appearance. Dental offices are in the business of creating longer, healthier and happier lives. Vanity is a motivator and is overlooked in the dental field. It’s time to bring it forward.

After each hygiene visit, hand the patient a mirror and show them their clean, bright smile. Give them a moment to congratulate themselves on their dental care and appearance. Most people are visual learners – look at their smile together and listen to what they have to say! Also, take a shade reading once a year of all adult patients. Utilize motivational interviewing and listen to your patients’ thoughts on the esthetics of their smile,

“How do you like your smile?

This easily opens the conversation gate to orthodontics, whitening, and cosmetic restorative cases. You don’t know unless you ask; it is important! I often ask dental team members, “What is it that you enjoy most about your career in dentistry?” and 9 of 10, will answer, “Helping patients be healthy.” The research is clear- A beautiful smile is linked to happiness, confidence and success. We are all “so vain.” Use that to motivate your patient to better health.