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How to Be on TV Shows:

Want to land a TV appearance? Positioning yourself as an industry expert in the media is a great way to use your expertise to your advantage. Think about what knowledge you have to offer, and how you can use that to pitch a relatable story. Applying your expertise and experience is a great way to get featured. Check out the video and read this post to see how Jonelle used her expertise as a pediatric dentist and tying it to current events to land in the media.

PR Client:

Jonelle Anamelechi, Children’s Choice Pediatric Dentristry & Orthodontics

Successful PR Topic:

Learning from a dentist more about how and why wearing masks all day relates to cavities and what kids can do to prevent them while wearing masks all day at school.

Why is this PR story relevant:

This is something that is occurring among many students during the lingering mandates of Covid-19. Specifically, children who have to wear masks in school all day. Dentists started to see that cavities were being caused by the constant wearing of mouth covers (even dubbing it “mask mouth”) and could answer people’s questions about this issue and what parents could do to help their kids prevent cavities. Considering the mask requirements in schools, this story was appealing to viewers because parents with school aged kids were being impacted by this.

Why this pitch appealed to the media:

The producer knew that this story would be relevant, and that people would want to learn more on how to prevent this from happening to them or their children. There are a lot of questions still when it comes to Covid-19 and the wearing of masks. It was clear that Jonelle had expertise to answer a lot of these questions and share the new “condition” of mask mouth and ways to prevent it.

Media outlet that was pitched:

NBCWashington, Washington, D.C.

Free PR Interview Transcript:

Face masks help keep us safe from catching and spreading Covid-19 and they’re part of our new normal. Yeah, but dentists say that those coverings can also be doing some damage to our teeth. News fours Doreen Gentzler joins us now to explain, Doreen.

Hi Leon and Pat. Dentists are calling it mask mouth with more cases of poor oral hygiene, especially among young people who have to wear face masks at school for extended periods of time. But doctors say there are four simple things you can do to try to prevent it.

It’s called mask mouth and dentists are seeing a lot more of it during the pandemic. Imagine an oven that is being basically framed by the mask, and the germs that are inside the mouth can’t get out, so they stay in.

Dr. Jonelle Anamelechi is a pediatric dentist at Children’s Choice Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in DC and New Carrollton. She says face masks can trap in bad bacteria, causing cavities and tooth decay, especially among young children who tend to breathe out of their mouth.

And so by doing that, that increases the amount of bacteria, dries out the mouth, and creates even more of an environment that could produce poor oral hygiene or poor oral health.

To avoid mask mouth she tells patients to brush their teeth at least twice a day and to drink plenty of water throughout the day, while they’re at school. That water bottle is now important to have and be full. Because then, they can take short sips to rehydrate the mouth, get some of that bacteria swishing around and out of the mouth as much as possible.

Dr. Anamelechi also tells parents to pack an apple in their child’s lunch. Because apple is nature’s toothbrush. And so if we need to refresh the mouth during the day, what a better way to put a snack in the lunch box or the book bag and they can have that during the day to continue to cleanse their mouth when they can’t get in there and physically brush.

Depending on the severity, this is what mask mouth can look like. You may even actually see bumps or lesions that come around the mouth.

It’s a big reminder of frequent changes of masks, having some of those backup or extra mass. If you’re using a disposable mask, it really shouldn’t be used more than once or twice. And then of course, laundering the ones that are the reusable mask.

Lastly don’t skip your regular dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar that build up over time. You can’t brush that off. You have to come to the dentist and get that removed which then makes it super important to keep up with those six months appointments for cleanings.

You may have already noticed that mask mouth could also cause bad breath and also gum disease, and it’s not just kids who are affected by this. Dentists say they’re seeing the same thing in adults too. I know what you’re thinking, one more thing to worry about and add to our long list of things. But with this there are some pretty simple solutions, just drink more water. Yeah. Yeah, it’s still not an excuse to not wear a mask.

You’re right. Absolutely. Good point.

All right. Thanks Doreen. Thank you.

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