by Lory Laughter, RDH, BS
A person can find almost anything in the world of Facebook. We can connect with actors, artists, consultants, and even psychics in this Facebook realm of almost-reality. It only makes sense that someone can find a dentist or dental professional among his or her childhood friends and long-lost relatives. In my group of 700 friends, there is no less than 42 dentists or dental offices represented — and that is on my personal page, not my business listing. (There may be more, but I got tired of counting.) While generally present for marketing purposes, I’ve also gleaned useful and insightful information from the Facebook world of dentistry. This column will be devoted to sharing a few of my favorites.
Dr. Adrian Fenderson practices across the street from the dental office where I’m employed. We connect in person several times a year — I follow his sage words on Facebook almost daily. Recently this quote appeared in my news feed courtesy of Dr. Fendersen — “Every moment of worry weakens the soul for its daily combat.” A remarkably true statement for both life and career. The profession of dental hygiene is undergoing change and we can either face that fact with excitement for the future or fear of something new.
Dr. Chris Kammer also has one of my favorite pages to stalk on the social media site. While we have only met a few times in the real world, his love of life and his infectious energy make his page a perfect way to start the day. Among the music videos and fun photos, he includes noteworthy links to the American Academy for Oral and Systemic Health website and newsletter. In between his humorous postings of auditioning for American Idol, a reader can come across this insightful comment: “Procrastination is a safe and effective way to deal with decisions.” I chuckle at the sarcasm, and then cringe because so many of us follow that motto.
Cooke Orthodontics is an office in Napa, Calif., where I live and work. In addition to being an excellent practitioner, Dr. Mary Cooke and her staff are a ton of fun. Their wall includes news of upcoming events, such as their annual back-to-school ice cream social, oral health tips, and fun facts relating to health and dentistry. A reader can learn a lot of fun facts by visiting regularly, such as “18 yards — the amount of dental floss bought each year per person. 122 yards — the amount that should be bought each year.” Perhaps my favorite fun fact was posted back in July, and it said, “38.5 total days are what an average American spends brushing teeth over a lifetime. 73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.” As a person who greatly dislikes both activities, this statement gave me chills.
My favorite Facebook page belongs to a fellow RDH, but my reasons for visiting her words of wisdom are rarely professional. Senja Vail makes me laugh, think, ponder, and squirt milk out my nose all at the same time. Her offerings range from the insightful to the hilarious. In August her sage advice was, “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” A short time later she provided a laugh with, “Facebook, helping you spy on people one click at a time.” She sprinkles dental wisdom in from time to time and offers suggestions for getting through tough days. “Life is a lesson you’ll learn when you’re through.” While the quotes may not be original, they often come precisely when I need them.
Facebook can be a colossal waste of time, something most people will not dispute. But deleting and scouring through a cluttered newsfeed becomes useful when just the right words appear to clarify a question or define a purpose. Just such a moment happened in September when the words of Dr. Mitchel Friedman appeared on my monitor — “Celebrate the opportunity you have to labor at something that benefits all who receive it.”
What a great reminder of why we chose this profession and how we should approach it every day.
Lory Laughter, RDH, BS, practices clinically in Napa, Calif. She is owner of Dental IQ, a business responsible for the Annual Napa Dental Experience. Lory combines her love for travel with speaking nationally on a variety of topics.
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