#Education 19. Mar 2020

TikTok for dentists: What it is and why it matters

Staying up to date with the latest social media trends should be a priority for all dental practices. New features are rolling out constantly, and new platforms are typically emerging on a consistent basis, too.

TikTok is the new platform that’s rapidly skyrocketed to popularity, particularly amongst Gen Z (born from 1997) and millennials (born 1981 – 1996) users, and dentists should take notice, because this generation spends nearly one hour per day on the platform.

In this post, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about TikTok for dentists, including what it is, why it matters, and how to get started.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video-sharing social media platform that encourages users to create and share (amongst other things) snippets of homemade music videos. Users can share videos fifteen to sixty seconds long, which are often set to music. The videos commonly share someone lip-synching, dancing, or doing some sort of trick, almost like a modern-day revamp of Vine.

Watching short videos one after another can be incredibly addictive to users, encouraging them to binge watch content.

The platform was originally known as Musical.ly, which allowed users to create and share short music videos, but the company was bought out in 2017 and eventually became TikTok. While TikTok has expanded significantly beyond only offering music videos, with endless possibilities for content creation.

TikTok is a fun platform with an aesthetic somewhat similar to Snapchat, and it can help you connect with new audience members.

Why TikTok matters to dentists

Dentists should be paying attention to TikTok because it’s immediately relevant right now, even if it’s primarily relevant to Gen Z users.

It’s gaining popularity quickly with more than 1.5 billion app downloads. While it may be a fad in the grand scheme of things, the fact of the matter is that Gen Z users are highly active users, meaning that they’re engaged and creating content.

That being said, it’s also gaining popularity with other users, too. Older generations, including Millennials, are increasing their use on the platform, but they’re more “passive” users, meaning they’re watching but not creating content.

The platform, therefore, may be one of the most effective ways to reach these audiences, and there’s some solid evidence that backs this up:

Finding new ways to connect with members of your target audience is always a plus, and this is a platform with a highly-engaged, active audience. Despite the enthusiastic userbase, most dentist practices haven’t caught on yet, so you’ll be at a direct competitive advantage if you’re an early adopter.

It doesn’t hurt that this platform could help you reach younger audiences who maybe aging out of pediatric dentists or moving to new areas for college or a new job, and they’ll need a new dentist.

How to get started on TikTok for dentists

To truly get started, you’ll want to download the TikTok app. You can do this for Apple here, Google Play here, and at Amazon here.

If you’re interested in getting started on TikTok to promote your dental practice, there are a few key strategies and best practices that will help you drive results faster. Let’s take a look at each one.

Create a strong profile

Creating a strong profile on TikTok is a quick and easy process, but you need to put careful thought into it.

To start, you want to choose a username that is approachable but also still professional. This can be your own name, or the name of the practice itself. Choose your profile picture, accordingly, featuring either a headshot of the dentist or the firm’s logo.

It’s also important to share a fun, interesting profile bio that allows you to demonstrate your expertise while still creating rapport with younger audiences. Dr. John Yoo does this well in his bio, mentioning that he’s a kid’s dentist by date but loves “Kpop by night,” sprinkling in a few emojis to keep things fun.

You’ll also want to link your profile to your Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook profiles for maximum visibility and for sustainable content. Because of TikTok’s short length, it’s a great platform that can be used to encourage users to “pass-through” and see your other long-form content on additional platforms.

Always use hashtags

Hashtags aren’t a must-have for every platform, but they’re a major part of TikTok usage.

Hashtags on TikTok are a lot like hashtags on Instagram; you add multiple hashtags to each post so that you can be found by users searching for the topics you’re tagging.

You can see what this looks like in the example from Rodeo Dental & Ortho above. They made sure to include multiple branded hashtags along with the generic #dental.

While using industry-specific hashtags like #orthodontist, #dentist, and #bestsmiles will help you connect with people looking for your content, you should include other hashtags in at least some of your posts.

Options for additional hashtags include:

  • Location-based hashtags like #Paris or #iloveNewYork, which can help you connect with local audience members who could actually become patients. While TikTok does track locations (and shows users content local to them), the hashtags don’t hurt.
  • Interest-based hashtags like #lookgoodfeelgood or #rockandroll; if they’re relevant to your post, they can help you connect with an interested audience who may not have been looking for you but is receptive to seeing what you’re publishing. An overwhelming number of people don’t always go looking for dentists right off the mat.
  • Trending hashtags. Are there any immediately timely hashtags that might be trending or at least experiencing higher-than-normal levels of interest? Use them in your post for heightened visibility.

Make learning fun

TikTok is a fun platform, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also share valuable information on the platform. In fact, sharing great, useful information is a great way to connect with your audience and earn their trust, but you need to do so in a fun way.

Let’s look at an example. Here, Dr. John Yoo has an interesting, funny opening to his video, showing someone in costume trying to open a bottle with his teeth before Yoo explains how horrible (and expensive) this habit could be.

It’s difficult to convey a lot of much-needed information and be entertaining in 15-seconds, so you can use the same approach Yoo did in the example above: Capture the audience’s attention with your TikTok video, and then direct them to a specific and more long-form video off-platform on another site.

Keep your content visually engaging

Want to stand out in the feed of content on TikTok? Opting for visually interesting, attention-grabbing videos is a great choice here.

The video example above shows the process of creating molds for their patients’ teeth with bright pinks and yellows. It’s interesting to watch, and once you’re on their video, they ask you a question that will drive engagement and entertain users further: Would you rather step on a lego, or do a dental impression?

Ask clients to post about their visit

User-generated content (UGC) is powerful on all social media platforms, and TikTok is no different. Dentists should try to create content that’s designed to encourage UGC from their patients, including asking them to share about their recent visit. You can put out calls-to-action on TikTok for this, or ask patients in-office to do this for you.

Optimize for the “For You” page

When you open TikTok, you’ll see a stream of carefully-curated videos chosen just for you by the algorithm, based on the content you’ve interacted with in the past. This is the “For You” page, and it’s customized for each individual user.

Plenty of users want to end up on that page, even using #foryou and #foryoupage hashtags to try to land there. The best way to do this, however, is to just create great content consistently that will interest your audience; there’s no quick trick you can use to cheat the algorithm.


Já pensou em ir ao dentistas , dormir e acordar com o procedimento pronto ? Essa é sedação! Confere esse vídeo!!! ##dentista ##nodentista

♬ som original - thalescousen

Dentist Thales Cousen creates engaging content by talking directly to the camera while asking users if they’ve ever thought about arriving at the dentist, sleeping, and simply waking up once the procedure was done. Since so many patients are skittish, this would be something many would be happy to experience, capturing their attention.

Take advantage of native analytics

You can upgrade your personal account to a free professional account with the click of a button. When you do this, you’re able to access analytics on your posts. Here, you can track your video views, profile views, and follower count, in addition to seeing demographic information about your followers.


TikTok for dentists is another platform that dental practices everywhere will want to check out and consider adding to their social media marketing mix. It’s got an incredibly engaged audience, and there are plenty of dentists on the platform with tens of thousands of followers. Despite this, it’s not yet an oversaturated market, so at the very least create your profile and test out the platform to see how it works for you.