Your patients probably aren’t going to be too thrilled that October is Health Literacy Month, even if we both know the huge importance of it. That’s because they haven’t learned how to celebrate it in style! Together, we can change that and help everyone have a healthier October – especially as everyone gets excited for Halloween.
Sharing Health Literacy in Your Office
Now, we know that you’ve already got great literature to give to your patients and their families in the forms of handouts, brochures, and reminders. But what if we, for the month of October, really made an effort to make sure that some of that literature got read – or even remembered?
Maybe that means that your office prints the health reminders on tooth pillows. Or maybe that your staff plays charades with your patients – using words from the dental hygiene brochure that nobody’s picked up (let alone read!) in months. Maybe they’ll read it for their next visit – so that they can beat their high score!
Getting Health Literacy in Your Community
We’ve heard of several dental and orthodontic practices that really take health literacy seriously in Octobers. Not only do they put out extra flyers, put out extra ads in local papers or websites, but they’re doing something beyond just providing the extra education. Many of these practices are providing a Candy Exchange Program for Halloween!
After the kids collect their ridiculous amounts of treats for Halloween, the kids can come swap their candy at selected practices for small prizes, big prizes, or maybe even some tooth-themed gear. The practices that we’ve seen do this are all then donating (and mailing) the candy to US Military personnel worldwide. The kids eat less candy, the military gets a taste of home, and hopefully everyone remembers to floss.
Taking Health Literacy to Social Media
Finally, another way to help your community (and beyond) is to host a social media post-a-thon. Encourage your patients to take selfies when they’re brushing, when they’re reading dental-related literature, or when they’re teaching somebody else the importance of proper flossing. The kids will love the chance to be corny, to post to social media, and they’ll love it even more if they can win a cool prize.
Make it Awesome. Make it Fun.
Yes, there are lots of different things to celebrate this month. But just because kids traditionally think that “health literacy” is something boring doesn’t mean it has to be. By making it fun and relevant, they’ll be happy to celebrate, share it with their friends, and the word will spread.
How will you celebrate health literacy this month? Exchanging Halloween candy for some awesome braces-friendly snacks? In-office Pictionary? We’d love to see and share some pictures! Just comment below or on our Facebook page!