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What Mighty MolarMan & Friends Can Teach Dentists About Digital Outreach

Mightymolarman.com, created by a dentist and an animator, aims to create a better dental experience for pediatric patients through educational animated content. Using its growing social media presence as leverage to help dentists bring education and resources to those who need it most, the Mighty Molar Man team has become an inadvertent role model for practices looking to adapt to digital communication. Continue below to learn more.
DMD Staff
PUBLISHED: Monday, August 14, 2017

Might Molar Man serves communities by providing dentists with physical products and online tools they need to succeed.

 
Molar Towne is a place populated by anthropomorphized teeth, evil bacteria and nefarious characters like Dr. D.K., a former family dentist dead set on getting his patients addicted to sugar.
 
RELATED: If all this sounds fictional, that’s because it is — Molar Towne and its populous are the brainchild of Dr. John U. Bond and animator Juan Molano, who set out several years ago to create an elaborate imaginary world where real-life children can learn about oral health and make positive associations with the dentist.
 
“I met Dr. Bond about four years ago now, and we teamed up when he was looking for an animator. We started developing cartoons and a children's book and started talking about doing an actual animated series for kids,” Molano recalled. “Our big focus has always been to create something to help children get over their fear of going to the dentist. When we created Mighty Molar Man and Friends originally, they were mascots that [Dr. Bond] used in his office to bring in more patients.” 
 
In those four short years, Molar Towne and its nearly three dozen residents have developed into quite the nonprofit social enterprise. Between the detailed character storylines, printable pledge certificates, Mighty Molar Man merchandise, and their interactive web presence, the Mighty Molar Man team has gone beyond the call of duty to educate children all over the U.S. about oral health. But Molano and Bond have not only given dentists the tools to help get pediatric patients excited about the dentist — they carved out a path for digital and social media best practices in the dental world.
 
Mighty Molar Man and Friends extends outside the realm of Molar Towne on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, where they engage their audience to find out what moves Molano and Bond should make next.
 
“We are very adamant about involving the community. We've gotten a lot of feedback on social media from the direction we're taking the cartoon to everybody using the products. We really try to stay in contact by asking, 'What can we make that's going to be beneficial for you, that you're actually going to be able to use?’” Molano explained.
 
The answer to that, Molano says, is tuning into the channels of communication today’s patients use the most. In addition to MightyMolarMan.com’s Find a Dentist function, characters Texter and Dr. P.H. — created in collaboration with the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health — serve the dual purpose of making communication and education easier for dentists and patients. Texter is the delegate for the app Text2Floss, while Dr. P.H. was designed for the app PH2OH.
 
“Text2Floss is an app that allows communication between the dentist and the patients through text. Around the country, texting is the main and the easiest mode of communication, so it allows you to put a patient on a tentative program where they receive reminders to brush and floss,” Molano said. “Ph2OH is an app that allows you to get a conversation about oral started with acidity in the mouth. Patients can actually get these PH strips and take a picture of their results to determine their pH value and learn how that contributes to oral health.”
 
With so many platforms, marketing your practice and connecting with patients can seem overwhelming to dentists who are new to online communication. But according to Molano’s research and experience, being a part of the digital landscape can be as simple as just posting content, especially when offices take advantage of MightyMolarMan.com’s social media reach and prowess.
 
The practices Molano works with tend to find success on Instagram thanks to its location search and direct messaging functions, which are a quick way to garner referrals.
 
“The one thing that I always tell offices that ask us what they should do is to find whatever works for them, put out content and not worry too much,” Molano said regarding which platforms dentists should focus on. “You can’t really go wrong with putting out content.”
 
For their own marketing purposes, Molano said he and Bond focus on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with Instagram being the best platform for audience engagement. Facebook is the best place for ad placements due to its cost effectiveness and control of a practice’s audience.
 
Paying attention to conventions and events in the industry is also a crucial piece of what Mighty Molar Man does to generate views.
 
“If we have a convention coming up, we research all the hashtags that they're using, and we'll search what all their followers from last year were doing. We spend about a good two weeks really diving into an organization, what the analytics for their followers are and what they're doing,” Molano said of Mighty Molar Man’s social media process. “Then, about two weeks prior to the actual event, we'll start spending time actually using the hashtags and trying to get eyes on what we're doing. Once you start getting those eyes, that's where we can start saying, ‘Here's what we have to help you in your social media.’"
 
In other words, Molano and his team rack up views so dentists can increase their traffic by interacting with Mighty Molar Man accounts. The organization also holds contests in which dentists print out Mighty Molar Man’s free pledge certificates and take photos with their staff and patients, which are then plugged into Facebook by an application called ShortStack. Molano says these interactive contests are excellent ways for offices to increase traffic from their communities.
 
Besides being an online intermediary between dentists and patients, Mighty Molar Man & Friends is, first and foremost, an educational animated series designed to be shared online. Practices should regard the website’s content as both a tool for patient education and a means to engage with their respective audiences. Currently, Mighty Molar Man users can look forward to a two-minute cartoon that children can watch while brushing their teeth, which Molano expects to be a hit with a diverse array of audiences.
 
“Don’t try to copy what other people are doing — just try to find whatever it is you want to deliver to your audience,” Molano advised.
 
To get started with Mighty Molar Man and Friends, visit MightyMolarMan.com’s For Doctors page.
 
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