According to an article on, results from the first year of the More Than a Smile consumer awareness campaign show that mothers seeking orthodontic treatment for their kids most often use the Internet as a source of information. As a result, the AAO is launching a refined media plan for the second year of the campaign that will feature, among other things, a year-round presence on the Internet.

Over the next 12 months, the AAO will zero in on the 18.6 million mothers most likely considering orthodontic treatment for their children: women age 25 to 49 with children age 6 to 11. The campaign’s secondary audience will be women age 25 to 49 with children age 12 to 17. In the first year, the AAO targeted a more general audience: mothers age 25 to 49 who have children age 5 to 17.

The core message remains the same: Orthodontists offer the best choice when it comes to orthodontic care because they receive an additional 2 to 3 years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. The campaign will drive consumers to for more information about the specialty and to locate AAO-member orthodontists practicing near them.

From October 2006 through June 30, 2007, more than 438,000 people were first-time visitors to In addition, the AAO’s online presence generated 40% of consumers’ requests for names of orthodontists in their communities. Over the next 12 months, the AAO will devote a larger share of the campaign’s resources to maintaining a year-round online presence.

AAO-sponsored links on Google and Yahoo! will appear when individuals conduct keyword searches pertaining to orthodontics. The AAO has also refined the mix of Web sites that will feature the AAO’s banner ads. The banner ads will appear on the consumers’ favorite sites:,,,,, AOL, and Yahoo!.

The AAO’s online messages will encourage consumers to sign up for a periodic e-newsletter. In the first year of the campaign, more than 28,000 consumers requested the e-newsletter to gain more information on orthodontic treatment and tips for those in treatment. The AAO will also renew its free photo frame offer as an added incentive for interested consumers.

In addition to the online elements, the campaign will once again be present in print media vehicles. The AAO has selected Parents, Parenting, Scholastic Parent and Child, Working Mother, and Family Fun for its print advertisements. In Canada, print advertisements will appear in Canadian Family and Today’s Parent.

The AAO will run its 30-second ad on four cable television networks: Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Nick at Night, and ABC Family during the month of August and from September 10 through October 8. These networks have the highest Nielson ratings for the primary and secondary audiences.

This campaign has been made possible through a 2-year member assessment. The AAO House of Delegates approved the More Than A Smile campaign in 2006, and will consider extending the campaign when it convenes in May 2008.    

If you have questions regarding the campaign, contact Linda Gladden, director of communications and marketing, or Pam Paladin, marketing and member/consumer relations manager, at (800) 424-2841, ext 535 or ext 524, respectively.

The More Than a Smile consumer awareness campaign encourages interested individuals to request names of orthodontists in their community. To find out how many times your name has been given out, Log in to and select the "Consumer Awareness Campaign" link on the left-hand side of the home page.

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