Orthodontic social media; 2023 update
I spend a lot of time looking at orthodontic social media as it keeps me up to date with developments and subjects to write about. Every year, I update my perceptions of the good social media sites. This is not an exhaustive list, and if I do not mention your favourite sites, I may have simply not seen them. I hope that you find this year’s update useful.
As usual, I shall start with Facebook
There are a lot of orthodontic-related sites on Facebook. These range from highly professional pages or groups to completely “off the wall” sites populated by the orthodontic fringe who wax lyrical about the nonsense they believe. I am only going to mention what I consider to be good sites. These are not in any order.
Evidence-Based Orthodontics. (6K members)
It is an excellent UK-based site that presents orthodontic theory and clinical cases with a strong emphasis on evidence-based treatment. Martyn Cobourne and Andrew DiBiase run it. They post a couple of times a week. The posts discuss recent publications, case reports, and personal opinions based on their understanding of the evidence. This group is also a vehicle for the excellent “Evidence-Based Orthodontics course” they run annually in the UK.
Orthodontics Mastery Group (11K members)
This is a discussion group for specialists, postgraduate students, and residents. It contains posts on clinical cases and research papers. It is extensive and covers many areas of clinical treatments. It also attracts many posts from other sites and is an excellent source of information.
Orthodontics Study Group (31K members)
This group is based in Egypt. It is very large and publishes mostly clinical posts and discussions. This discussion is always polite, non-confrontational and professional. It is well moderated and provides information ranging from basic questions about treatment to discussion on complex treatments.
Orthodontic Fundamentals (9K members)
Padhraig Fleming, a significant contributor to this blog, runs this group. The posts include information on clinical cases and current research papers. As with other groups, contributors put up information on clinical cases and events. Padhraig regularly contributes with concise descriptions of research papers.
Bjorn Ludwig runs this group. As with other groups, they provide clinical and research information. Bjorn posts a discussion on a paper every Monday. This group also attracts posts from high-profile members of our profession.
This is the smallest group that I follow. Their main aim is to have discussions about controversies in our specialty. The group achieved this aim and has addressed several important issues over the last year. Most notably, they bluntly challenge the view of KOLs and other salespeople.
Orthodontic Pearls (9K members)
I have followed this group for several years, and it has undergone a quiet revolution. I have been critical of this in the past. At one point, it was at risk of being taken over by highly paid aligner KOLs. However, the moderators appear to have addressed this issue, and it has now refocused on its primary aim of providing tips and tricks for your clinic and, occasionally, your life! The subjects range from basic to more complex mechanical issues, and the conversations are polite and professional.
I have highlighted Twitter accounts in the past, but these have deteriorated or disappeared. So, I do not follow these any longer.
This platform is becoming more popular, and I may be showing my age, but I don’t get it. I run an Instagram account to publicise my blog posts, but it is stuck at about 2,500 followers, and I am sure that this reflects that I am useless on this platform.
The great benefit of the posts is that they are short and to the point. They need to be because of the structure of Instagram. Specialists run most orthodontic sites and use them to promote their practice. For example, many posts include happy, smiling patients treated by “Dr Wonderful” and the obligatory piles of aligner boxes. Nevertheless, I recommend that you look at this platform.
The sites that I follow are
Padhraig uses Instagram primarily to publicise his posts and discussions on Facebook. However, his Instagram posts carry a fair amount of information you may read quickly and easily.
James is an Australian specialist practitioner. His Instagram post is excellent and is followed by 27K people. He puts up high-quality intra-oral images of his patients. These illustrate a wide range of clinical problems and their solutions. His information is brief and to the point. It is great to spend a few minutes on each post, and I still learn a lot from seeing such great clinical work.
This is a new site run by Padhraig and Chong Jun Ai from Malaysia. This initiative is in its early days, but it looks interesting. They have used Instagram to produce posts that highlight classic papers every week. At the end of the year, they will have highlighted 52 papers that they feel are classics. This is, of course, a considerable challenge, and I hope that it goes well. It would be great if you could have a look at this and follow the papers and discussion.
The other development in social media has been podcasts. Most podcasts are concerned with the orthodontic fringe, interviews with gurus, business promotion, and fake Orthodontic Universities. The only podcast that I regularly follow is Orthodontics in Summary.
This is run by Farooq Ahmed an orthodontist based in London, UK. This site mostly his podcasts, although he has ventured into blogs with other authors. I think that this is excellent. His podcasts are well-produced and clear. He bases most of these around interviews with other orthodontists and has discussed orthodontic matters with people with contrasting views. I also think that their blog posts are interesting and informative. It is well worth following this site closely.
I hope this information is helpful, if you want to suggest other sites that I have missed or disagree with my suggestions, just let me know in the comments section below.
Emeritus Professor of Orthodontics, University of Manchester, UK.