People Magazine is hands-down the most popular magazine in my office. Care to guess what television channel is most frequently requested by patients? (and yes, we have televisions in each treatment room!) If you said CNN or CNBC, you’d be wrong…it’s the Food Network!
Men prefer Giada De Laurentiis (I wonder why?). For the women, it’s a toss-up between Giada and Rachel Ray. Of course everyone loves to see how much lard, Crisco or butter Paula Deen uses in a recipe, or for that matter, how big a spoonful of mashed potatoes she can shove in her mouth!
I’ve wondered about why the Food Network is so popular among patients sitting in the dental chair. Is it the beautiful imagery that artistic food presentation provides? Is it the cozy ambience that is created on the kitchen set? Or perhaps it’s the folksy banter of the celebrity chef that is so captivating. But maybe, just maybe, there’s something more profound going on.
I mean let’s face it; patients are by and large numb while they are in the dental chair. They have little or no sense of their lip or tongue, which is hardly conducive to a gustatory adventure). While receiving dental treatment, the most flavorful stimulation of their taste buds might be from the swish of mouthwash or the cherry topical anesthetic. Furthermore, after feasting their eyes on such appetite-enhancing culinary creations, they probably won’t be able to eat for several hours because of the anesthesia. So, what’s with the food?
Maybe it all boils down to the warm friendly ambience that is a signature trait of my office. It’s sort of the same feeling that Ann and I have at our house when our guests congregate in the kitchen. People feel well cared for and at home when coming for a dental visit.
And…the Food Network? Well that’s just our virtual kitchen where we chat while performing some exquisite dentistry. Either that, or people just like to look at Giada!