If you own an orthodontic practice, you already have so much on your plate: running the practice, hiring staff, budgeting, creating an excellent patient experience, and more. What you might not have thought of is community involvement. While this may sound like just another thing you’ll need to handle, it can be a great way to get some affordable marketing for new and existing practices. People like supporting businesses who give back to the community, and there are many simple ways to incorporate community involvement into your orthodontic practice. 

Donate Oral Health Kits

This is a project that requires little time and effort on your part, while still giving back to your community. You should have all of the necessary components already! Create little kits that include floss, a toothbrush, toothpaste—really anything that someone would use for dental health. If you are creating the kits for kids, you could include some fun extras, like fake tattoos, stickers, bubbles, and more. Be sure to put a card for your business into every kit, so potential patients will have your contact information.

Host a Canned Food Drive

This is also a low-effort way to give back to your community, and it can involve your patients as well. Plan a canned food drive around Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time of year, set up a donation bin in your office, and let patients know they can bring in canned goods over the next month. Advertise this drive to local neighborhoods with flyers and on the news to attract non-patients to your practice as well.

Race as a Team

Participate in a local 5k. Pick one that supports a worthy cause and enlist staff and even patients to join your team. Raise money for the race and let your patients know you are participating. Give people the option of walking or running, so more people will feel comfortable participating. Make team T-shirts with your practice’s logo on them so your name is on display to potential patients as you and your team run or walk.

Not ready to tackle 3.1 miles? Volunteer to work a water table or pass out food at the finish line.

Smiles Change Lives

Participating in Smiles Change Lives is a great way for your orthodontic practice to serve your neighbors. This organization helps provide braces and orthodontic treatment to kids whose families can’t afford to pay for it themselves. With over 750 participating orthodontists, you’d be joining a growing team of orthodontists who are helping their communities. 

Provide Mouthguards for Sporting Events

Some kids want to participate in sports but aren’t able to afford the necessary gear, including mouthguards. Without mouthguards, kids can’t safely play football or other active sports, preventing them from getting exercise and making friends. By providing mouthguards to local sports teams, you can support local children through a low-cost donation that gets your name out to local families. 

Whatever activities you choose to do to support community involvement, post photos of the events on your social media pages to show you care and encourage others to help. Be sure you only include pictures of people who have consented to having their photos used. 

Increasing your practice’s community involvement not only spreads the word about your practice in a positive, cost-effective way, it also gives your team a chance to do some good and spend non-work time together.