How One Ad Revolutionized Dental Hygiene Forever
Believe it or not, Americans have not always adopted the best hygiene habits we all consider part of our normal routine. For example, brushing our teeth has only become a regulated routine within the last 100 years or so. Not until the early 1900's when marketing expert Charles Duhigg created an advertising campaign for Pepsodent toothpaste did the idea of daily brushing come into question. He found that by identifying a cue and reward, he could fuel a particular habit. This idea is so effective that those basic principles are still used today for ad agencies all over the world.
After much research, Duhigg learned of the plaque that forms on teeth after not being cleaned for a while. He referred to this as "film" which he would use in his now legendary ad. He decided to exploit this cloudy, yellow film by arguing that "with pretty teeth seen everywhere, why would any woman have dingy film on her teeth?" This cue triggered people to brush their teeth to look more appealing. It was that ad that prompted Americans to brush regularly in a time where dental hygiene was an urgent issue. So much so that a decade after the ad had run, more than half of Americans were brushing their teeth on a regular basis. Since then, dental equipment sales have continuously been strong in the market.
Today, dental hygiene is just as, if not more, important as it was in the early 1900's. More people visit their dentists for routine cleanings and checkups than ever before. For this reason, dental equipment sales for things like dental digital imaging and portable dental chairs have increased. On average, new dental practices spend $500,000 for equipment and supplies. This is because retail costs for many of these items can have high price tags. For example, high quality dental chairs can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000. Dental X ray equipment can run about $4,000 to $5,000. Used or refurbished equipment is also available at more affordable rates.
Nonetheless, Americans care more about their oral hygiene more than ever before. In fact, almost three-quarters of adults factor in an attractive smile to the success of their career. All in all, one thing Charles Duhigg and rising dental equipment sales have taught us is that a smile is worth a thousand words.