Social media and oral health
Michael Sultan considers the power online platforms have over behaviours.
We live in a world fuelled by social media. Indeed, even though we may consider some of the better-known platforms a bit passé, there’s no denying that giants such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are still hugely influential and widely consumed by the masses.
It’s been estimated that there were over 3.6bn active social media users around the world in 2020 – an enormous figure that is projected to keep growing as accessibility to smartphones and internet services improve. So, with such a big audience, it makes sense that social media has become a way for people to share their opinions and recommendations. But how has social media affected dentistry?
It’s always good to start with the positives, and in some respects social media has transformed dentistry for the better for both patients and professionals. From a professional perspective, social media has really helped to strengthen the sense of community at the heart of the industry, and it’s easier than ever to connect to likeminded individuals who share your interests and who work in the same spheres as you do. Facebook groups have become an essential part of keeping up to date with some of the latest developments and for sharing opinions. Instagram has also had a positive impact for many professionals, especially those who do cosmetic work and can entice new patients by showing off their work.