Is Your Practice Making The Most of Patient Giveaways?

Have you ever stopped to think what your practice gains when you make a child smile with a prize or send mom home with goodie bags for the family? Prizes aren’t only an investment to demonstrate the goodwill of your practice: they’re one of your most underutilized marketing tools.

Make the dentist rewarding?!
As kids (and as parents, too!) we are naturally drawn to feeling rewarded. But when it comes to seeing the dentist, being told we don’t have a cavity may be the only reward we get.

Consider a child who has never been to the dentist before. At their first visit, everything from the lab coats, the smell of fluoride and the cleaning itself can be terribly intimidating. If all goes well, they’re told they don’t have any problems, and they’re sent out the door.

Don’t reinforce the wrong statements!
The trouble with preventive dentistry is, the better you are at it the less your patients may think they need you. They may also begin to even dread going to the dentist for fear of finding something wrong. If your only reward for your patients is letting them off the hook, you may never get them back into the office.

Why Giveaways Are Important

When push comes to shove, sometimes goodies are the first to go. For a practice hoping to expand and retain patients, this is a major mistake. Prizes and giveaways are one of the simplest and most affordable practice tools and create powerful patient connections.

1. Reinforce Good Behavior. Turn “You have no cavities!” into “You are an amazing patient!”. Positive reinforcement at the dentist is imperative to retaining patients. By rewarding your patient you give them the satisfaction and validation of coming to your office, while reinforcing their courage and motivation to care for their smiles.

2. Spread Healthy Values.  When customer service goes above and beyond for us, it’s hard not to leave a great Yelp! review or tell our friends about it. These days the difference is in the details. When you take that extra step to show you care, patients feel better connected to your values and your team. It’s also easier for your staff to book appointments if your patients feel they are making a date with a friend!

3. Focus On Positivity. Even dentists will experience some anxiety at their routine checkup. They also know that it is much more difficult to provide care to a patient who is fearful, uncertain, or unable to relax in the chair. By beginning the visit with an anxiety-reducing fidget toy, dentists give children the ability to focus on something other than the present moment of their cleaning or dental care, shifting their focus from dread to fun!

4. Reach Patients Beyond The Office. How would you like to show up at your patient’s birthdays, graduations, and company picnic parties? Custom giveaways travel beyond your office, so you don’t have to. And as much as you’d hate to say it, they probably put more of a smile on your patient’s faces than a call from you.

5. Create Memories To Look Forward To. Uncertainty is one of the biggest demotivating forces in making a commitment. What if my child needs a filling?How much will it cost? Will it hurt? When children can feel confident at the dentist knowing they will get a reward, moms feel a little more certain, too. Rewards provide certainty and makes good health worth celebrating.



Give Back To Gain More

SmileMakers gives you affordable tools to grow your practice and incentivize your patients to continue visiting you for their dental care. With an array of products ranging from wall decals to squeeze toys and build-your-own dental kits, your journey towards real patient growth and retention can start today! Visit to get started.