Spreading Dental Health Awareness Through YouTube

In Conversation with Whitney DiFoggio (TeethTalkGirl)


  • The motivation to educate and entertain

  • Starting and growing a YouTube channel

  • Developing a sustainable content plan

  • Debunking dangerous TikTok trends

  •        Donating dental health kits to those in need

          

Whitney DiFoggio (TeethTalkGirl)

Advocate for Dental Hygiene & Awareness

In Conversation with Whitney DiFoggio

 
 

The importance of good dental hygiene can’t be understated, yet, for many people, information about dental health isn’t easily accessible. Whitney DiFoggio fills that void by producing fun, accessible videos that allow individuals worldwide to improve their dental hygiene, steer clear of dangerous TikTok trends, and improve the overall health of their teeth.

Our team at Zircon Medical recently hosted Whitney DiFoggio, who goes by the moniker of TeethTalkGirl on YouTube, on our podcast series to discuss how she uses YouTube to spread dental health awareness in a manner both educational and entertaining.

Introducing Whitney DiFoggio, a dental hygienist committed to spreading dental health awareness through advocacy and YouTube videos

Whitney DiFoggio is a registered dental hygienist who professes to LOVE all things related to teeth. She is committed to improving oral hygiene standards, one subscriber at a time. She has been creating educational videos on YouTube under the moniker of TeethTalkGirl for several years, having amassed over 320k subscribers so far. She has also founded Happy Teeth, an organization that produces accessories for healthcare professionals. With each sale, the company donates a dental health kit with a one-year supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to those in need.

The motivation to educate and entertain

When asked about her motivation, Whitney said she loves producing videos about teeth and would do it even if no one watched. “But since people do watch, I read comments about people who listen to me and go to the dentist or start flossing. Seeing people improve their dental health and ask for more videos and dental topics motivates me.” Whitney loves that producing videos on YouTube allows her to become a part of a larger community of dental hygienists, dentists, and individuals who care about oral health.

Starting and growing a YouTube channel

Whitney says she had never intended to grow a massive YouTube channel. She uploaded her first video for fun in 2015, right after graduating from dental hygiene school. While waiting for her license to arrive in the mail, since she couldn’t practice until she had her license, she decided to make a video because she was eager to get started.

The first video was simply titled, “what’s the best mouthwash?” However, Whitney says the title was a little misleading because the video wasn’t exactly about identifying one specific mouthwash as the best. Instead, the video educated viewers on the different types of mouthwash available and how no mouthwash would make or break someone’s oral health routine. The video also talked about how mouthwash is simply one part of a larger oral health equation — brushing, flossing, and regular dental health cleanings are the other components.

Even though Whitney believed the video would only be seen by her mom, it quickly started gaining traction online. Soon, numerous strangers started engaging with the video and asked her to produce more content. She had to stop producing videos once her license came through and she started working, but she eventually returned to YouTube in 2018-19. That’s when she took on the mantle of producing YouTube videos diligently and regularly — two videos per week. 

Developing a sustainable content plan

Whitney says she produces YouTube videos in batches — 12 videos every 6 weeks. Fridays every 6 weeks are her filming days. Until then, she collects ideas and requests from her videos’ comments and tackles those topics. She records the videos every 6 weeks and gradually posts them every Tuesday and Thursday. When she first started, she produced videos every week, but that proved extremely stressful, so she started batching her content.

Occasionally, she breaks the schedule to produce an impromptu video on extremely topical and trending subjects, like on social media. However, most of her videos are pretty evergreen.

Debunking dangerous TikTok trends

Whitney says one of her most popular videos has been about debunking a TikTok trend about teeth whitening. Apparently, people on TikTok have been swishing hydrogen peroxide in their mouths straight out of a bottle for 30 minutes to whiten their teeth. The trend comes from an improper application of the fact that hydrogen peroxide is used for teeth whitening in professional procedures and whitening strips.

However, professional teeth whitening and whitening strips only target the enamel — the hydrogen peroxide isn’t supposed to reach the surrounding soft tissues and gums. But since people are using hydrogen peroxide to rinse their mouth for 30 minutes, they’re killing the good and bad bacteria in the mouth, leading to a dramatic increase in black hairy tongue. Whitney produced videos debunking this practice to discourage other kids from doing the same.

Whitney says videos related to teeth whitening usually perform the best, perhaps because everyone wants whiter teeth. But her second most popular category of videos is procedural videos that allow individuals to see what happens within their mouth during a dental cleaning. She says patients respond well to procedural videos because it makes them realize the actual practice isn’t as bad as the sounds of grinding teeth may suggest.

Donating dental health kits to those in need

Whitney recently startled a company called Happy Teeth, which produces accessories and apparel for healthcare professionals. The company donates a dental health kit to those in need for each sale. Whitney first came up with the idea for the company when she tried to purchase a tooth-shaped bag. She wanted a tooth-shaped bag to represent her profession but couldn’t find one anywhere. So she decided to make her own bag. She got together with her brother-in-law, who has a background in engineering, designed the bag and contracted a manufacturer to bring her vision to life.

However, Whitney didn’t simply want to sell the purse — she wanted to give back and contribute to society. She started donating a dental health kit with a one-year supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss with each purchase. The organization donates dental health kits in batches to homeless shelters, women and children shelters, health kits for low-income areas, etc. In some cases, the organizations they partner with also request workshops to help the recipients of the dental health kits understand how to use the products and improve their oral health.

Since the tooth purse, Happy Teeth has grown to include accessories for all healthcare workers — not just dentists and dental hygienists. They also produce backpacks for nurses that can be cleaned with disinfectant wipes without damaging the material. The bags also include compartments for loops, glasses, stethoscopes, and shoes, making them extremely convenient for healthcare professionals. When Whitney designed the tooth purse, she learned a lot about making bags, which helped her design a series of products for other healthcare professionals. And they are still donating dental health kits with each purchase.

You can follow TeethTalkGirl on Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn. You can also visit the Happy Teeth website to learn more about volunteering for dental health workshops in your area. And if you’d like to hear from Whitney directly, you can listen to the latest episode of our Zircon Medical Podcast.



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