This Year’s Best Stocking Stuffers

Dr. John Callahan

My guess is we all have something special that we look forward to over the holidays. My special something is seeing what “Santa” has left in my stocking that was hung from the chimney with care. There are always a few “expected” items like a candy-cane sticking out of the top and a wind-up little toy that does some fantastic trick. And then there are the little things that I wouldn’t expect. Stockings really are the best.

In thinking about all the things that members of our great profession might want to hear about as we close this decade, I thought stuffing your virtual stocking with those items that your peers felt were the most interesting, important and impactful would be fun. The AAO keeps tabs on which articles, webinars, CE events are most viewed and shared. By clicking on the links, you are unwrapping the item. Some will not be a surprise but others…

Most of us have heard by now that the California legislature passed and the Governor signed a dental law regarding self-applied orthodontic treatment. The AAO has been active in this and other developments around the country and they were a registered supporter of this legislation along with the California Association of Orthodontists. You can read more about the AAO’s advocacy on direct-to-consumer orthodontics from USA Today or MarketWatch. Plus, you can always read up on the latest in Advocacy news at the AAO’s direct-to-consumer timeline on the member website.

Consumer Awareness:
The AAO launched our inaugural Instagram influencers campaign this past October as a new facet of the AAO Consumer Awareness Program. For those who are unfamiliar, a social media influencer is a person whose relationship with his or her audience is so strong that the individual impacts purchasing decisions much like the decisions young parents face regarding orthodontics and their families. The AAO targeted our campaign to Instagram on World Smile Day. The 16 mom influencers’ posts were viewed by a combined audience of nearly 400,000 followers, of which 30,500 engaged with the content. You can view the highlights from this campaign on the AAO Instagram page under the World Smile Day icon.

It’s always nice to save a little cash before the holidays! It’s also not too late for early bird registration at the AAO’s Annual Session and Winter Conference. Annual Session 2020 will be held from May 1-4 in Atlanta Georgia. Winter Conference 2020 will be held from Feb. 7-9 in Austin Texas. Register today to take advantage of early bird pricing.

I have personally experienced being a part of a great partnership. Often orthodontic partnerships get a bad rap. We all know someone who has been in a partnership that ultimately failed for some reason. But for every failed partnership there are great successes. So what makes partnerships work, or not? This stocking stuffer is my favorite from this past year and members can access the recording for free by clicking on this link from the Business of Orthodontics Webinar series. Partnerships: Exploring One of Dentistry’s Fastest Growing Trends.

Looking for a good opportunity soon after the holidays to participate in a relevant and informative AAO Webinar? On February 5, the AAO will be offering a live webinar entitled, “Manipulating Curve of Spee with Aligners: Control Deepbites and Openbites.” Join William Dayan, DDS on February 5, 2019 from 7:30-8:45 PM CT. Learn more and register here.

I hope you enjoyed “opening your stocking!”

This is also the time of year to thank all of those volunteer leaders who help keep our profession strong. My tenure on the Board of Trustees has given me some insights into what it takes to really advance our member’s success through education, advocacy and research. As others have said, it takes a village. So, as I finish this year’s annual holiday post, I want you to know that EVERY DAY I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF YOU. All the leaders and staff that make our organization tick. All the educators, including the volunteers who take time away from their practices to work with our residents.

And, to all our members without whose support we would not be able to speak with meaning in the halls of Washington and state/provincial capitals. So, thank you for being members of this great Association. It is all of you that make me believe that the golden age of orthodontics is ongoing, and our future is bright. Thank you All.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous 2020.

Warmest Regards,

John Callahan
Trustee- Northeastern Society of Orthodontists
American Association of Orthodontists