Building Smiles with the Orthodontists (and Other Dental Pros) at the Cloud 9 Software Users Meeting

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Last month I got to perform for a group of dental professionals, at the Cloud 9 Software Users Meeting in Atlanta. (Cloud 9 makes practice management software for orthodontists.)

I'll spare you the jokes about how it was a bracing experience that I needed to brush up for — and no, my keynote wasn't scheduled to start at exactly tooth-hurty in the afternoon. (Ouch.)

But I do have a few fun notes and anecdotes for you that might help make amends for the paragraph above.

1. The event had a "Cloud 9 Goes Hollywood" theme, complete with a red-carpet reception. 

If you want to see what it looks like when a bunch of orthodontists kick up their heels and put on movie costumes (now that's entertainment!), you can watch a slideshow on the Cloud 9 Software website — including a quick a cameo from me. 

And no, I'm not in costume, except for my usual Dennis the Menace look.

I'm including a favorite photo with this post ... and I'm awarding extra style points for "Dorothy" in the Wizard of Oz group. 🙂

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2. This is the part where I try to walk that delicate tightrope between a brag and a humblebrag by telling you that I got a standing ovation from the crowd, but I really owe it to my nine-year-old daughter and her own dazzling smile — all thanks to a magic coincidence of timing.

3. So, get this: As luck (or the tooth fairy) would have it, my kid got her very first set of braces just three days before I was scheduled to address a national gathering of smile architects. 

And that led to the perfect photo op ...

4. I bet most of you reading this can easily remember a time when your dentist or orthodontist was no more kid-friendly than the Marlboro Man, and half as popular. 

But times have changed. Now at the dentist my kid chooses floss flavors that sound like a trip to Candyality.

"OK, sweetheart, would you like Cotton Candy or Grapey Grape?" Why not just offer Cherry Coke flavored mouthwash in a Slurpee delivery system? 

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Ah, the marketing gods these days leave no stone unturned. I don't blame them because I'm sure that getting a loyal paying clientele is like, dare I say it, pulling teeth. (Yes, I dare said it.)

5. I'm sure one reason why braces are in vogue these days is the set of color choices that rivals the 64-count box of Crayola. 

I will admit I was relieved that my kid didn't bite on Tickle Me Pink, Wild Strawberry, or Potter Orange. Not that there's anything wrong with those colors ... and those were actual choices.

6. Anyway, at the end of the show I shamelessly unleashed the photo you see here, with my daughter's shiny new silver-and-blue hardware in place. 

As you might guess, for this gathering it triggered more oohs and aahs than a forced proposal at a major sporting event. 

And then I was able to genuinely congratulate them for the way orthodontists (and their support team) help kids like mine build a smile on their faces that's as bright as the one they carry in their hearts.

Yeah, I guess it was kind of an easy point to score — but at least I can say I was sharing my honest fillings with them. (OK, I'm done. Thanks for being such a trouper. Don't forget to schedule your next cleaning on the way out!)

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In addition to appearing as a healthcare keynote speaker, Tim Clue is available as an education keynote speaker as well as a motivational speaker for business events of all kinds.