In 8,760 hours a year, you only get an average of 3 hours to meet a single dental patient. How will you be able to make your patients remember your dental practice in the remaining 8,757 hours in the year? Read on if you want to know how.

The main secret is to encourage patient referrals and build good relationships with your patients. You only meet each patient twice a year and with all the daily distractions in their world, it may seem impossible for them to remember you. But it is possible if you stay in touch and plant your little reminder seeds in them.

Here are ten easy ways to help dental patients remember your dental practice:

Social media. You can engage your customers through social media posts, so don’t ignore Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest in your business.

Freebies. Give away quality items with your logo on them. Include your practice’s name, website and phone number. Some simple items that you can give are toothbrushes, calendars, magnets, lip balm and pens.

Cards. Send your patients a “thank you” or a special occasion card. People value old-fashioned, handwritten greeting card via postal mail.

Phone. There are valid reasons for you to call a patient; to continue care appointment reminders, refill reminders (for refilling whitening gel, tooth paste, electric toothbrush head replacement, etc.), thank you for your referral, post-op (just to check how they are doing), and special occasions like their birthday.

Letters. You can send out a letter if you wish to congratulate them on their completed treatment, for incomplete treatment, thank them for your referral, and welcome them to your practice.

Newsletter. Share your good newsletters including dental health tips, community news, recipes, dental education, special events, and special offer.

Emails. You can write various email topics like dental hygiene tips, continuing care reminders, office events, and special offers. But first, you have to secure their email address after their dental check up with you. Email communication is relatively easy, inexpensive and effective. Just make sure that you won’t spam your patient with too many emails.

Website. Maintain a user-friendly website – fresh, easy-to-navigate, and attractive. Include some videos, photos and information about your team – doctors, community events and special offers. Your customers can use this website to schedule appointments online, provide FAQs, dental services and education, social media pages, directions, office hours, contact information, and many others that you think are important.

Patient appreciation events. It is also effective to host a fun event with your patients like an open house event or an in-office Patient Appreciation Days. You can also include out-of-office activities like roller skating, movie theater, public pool, trampoline house and bowling. Encourage your patients to invite their friends. Don’t forget your imprinted giveaways and information about your office available at these events. Encourage them to also visit and like your social media pages.

Community involvement. Involve yourself in charity events and local health affairs or sponsor a local sport team