Review of Orthodontic Social Media. 2021 update.
Every year I review some of the orthodontic social media sites. Here is this year’s update. I hope that you find it useful.
I have taken the same approach as other years and reviewed the sites’ direction over the last year. Subjectively, we seem to have lost some of the sites, and this is a shame. I wonder if this has occurred because of the COVID pandemic influencing both writing and readership activity?
Orthodontic Facebook sites
While we have lost some of the blogs, there seems to have been an increase in Facebook sites. I will start with the most popular and high-profile Facebook sites. Some of these are good sources of information. Others, which I have previously recommended, appear to have lost their way.
Orthodontics Mastery Group (9K members)
This is a good, interesting site. It is run by Mo Almuzian, a specialist orthodontist who works in Scotland. His main aim is to provide educational content. As a result, the group contains good clinical posts and questions, and discussions of the contemporary literature. They only accept specialists and trainees as members of the group. I really recommend this group.
Orthodontics study group (30K members).
This is a relatively new group. It is run by Dr. Ramy Almogy, who works in Egypt. In many ways, this is similar to the Orthodontics Mastery Group. It contains posts on clinical and research questions. I like this group because most of the discussions are polite, and members act very professionally. It feels as though it is well moderated. Importantly, there is no name-calling, bullying, and aggression. This is well worth joining. The quality of the group is reflected by the high number of members.
Orthodontics (35K members)
I have reviewed this group several times before. It is supposed to encourage discussion on orthodontics in general. However, it is run by John and Mike Mew, who use the group to promote orthotropic treatment. Nearly all the posts are by Mike and John. Unfortunately, this group recently lost its way when it linked to a US-based podcast (Joe Rogan) which seemed to support their philosophy. Unfortunately, this podcast contains episodes with far-right guests and anti-vaccine remarks. Therefore, I would not bother with it.
Myofunctional orthodontics (13K members)
This is an Australian-based group. It is dedicated to discussing myofunctional orthodontics. Therefore, we may regard this as the “orthodontic fringe”. In the past, I have had serious “run ins” with the members of this group. These have not ended well. While, I am still critical of its content and the claims being made, it is still interesting to see what is going on. The moderators and lead myofunctional research personnel appear to be reducing the rhetoric. I follow this out of interest.
Orthodontic Pearls (8K members)
This was a group that I followed. It provides helpful clinical tips. Unfortunately, it has lost its way. It is starting to be dominated by the “usual suspect” KOLs. There’s have been several failures of the moderators to act when KOLs have broken the group rules. Unfortunately, they seem to be taking the same direction as a similar group called Orthopreneurs. Both groups are set up by orthodontists to provide simple clinical information, promote their own conferences, and even a band of orthodontists doing cover songs? Unfortunately, Orthodontic Pearls is another group that I would not bother with any longer.
This is a new group and I think that it was set up as an antidote to some of the other “show and tell and then shout at each other” groups. It aims to a place to generate meaningful discussion about controversies, concepts, and items of interest in our specialty. They request evidence-based postings and ask posters to declare all conflicts of interest if they have one. I like this group. As with some of the others, the discussions are professional and polite. There is no overpromotion of ideas and plugging conferences. They confine the membership to specialists and those in training. I really recommend this small but nice group to anyone who is interested in civil discussion about evidence-based orthodontics.
I mentioned this new(ish) site last year. This is run by Farooq Ahmed and he publishes great podcasts in which he summarises conferences and papers. He has also interviewed prominent orthodontists. He has shown great vision in setting this up. All the podcasts are gentle and polite discussions. I really enjoy listening to them. It is a really great addition to orthodontic social media.
I have looked for other blogs. Most of the other blogs are run as part of orthodontic offices or Societies. They do not appear to post regularly. So this brings us to our blog.
I feel that this has been a good year for the blog. We have posted several popular guest articles. I also think that Padhraig Fleming has made a significant contribution as co-editor. In fact, his posts are more widely read than many of mine…
Overall, our readership has held steady at an average of 35-40,000 hits per month. We decided to publish fewer posts(50) than last year (75). This is because we did not want to overload inboxes. The readership has now levelled up. I don’t think that it will increase much further. It is good to see that this has held steady over the past two challenging years.
Next year, I will be posting up all my lectures, and we hope to start a series of podcasts in which we will discuss research papers. I know that I said I would do this last year. But I was busy doing other things like being a COVID vaccinator. So I will do better next year.
I hope that this update on orthodontic social media is helpful to you. In general, I feel that there has been a reduction in good social media activity. I hope this improves next year.
Emeritus Professor of Orthodontics, University of Manchester, UK.