I think it’s safe to say that oral health isn’t usually at the forefront of our minds. Fortunately, ‘edutainment’ is here to put the education in entertainment, and keep us in-the-know.
With that said, we are pleased to introduce Doctor Gao (@doctorgao), the viral TikTok dentist who has raked in over 6 million views on his TikTok account, sharing with us on how much toothpaste to use, teeth-brushing techniques and oral hygiene tips, all while keeping it short, simple, and very pleasing to watch!
Doctor Gao’s career as a dentist stemmed from a love for the sciences and a desire to help others. He ultimately settled on this career after shadowing different types of healthcare professionals, and headed off to complete his education at King’s College London, the best university in the world for dentistry.
Doctor Gao has worked on a diverse set of patients in the UK and in Malaysia, and through his experience, he realised that it is important as a dentist to always apply the lessons learned in dental school within the context of their patients and their unique circumstances.
He acknowledges that he is early in his career still and has much to learn, but stands by the principle of always putting the patients’ best interests first.
Doctor Gao’s rise to viraldom is fairly recent. He has uploaded 9 videos to his account to date, with his most popular one raking in millions of views over less than two weeks. Dressed in scrubs and holding a toothbrush, he clearly shows the audience that the amount of toothpaste shown in toothpaste ads is “way too much” and demonstrates what is sufficient for children and adults.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown in Malaysia, I downloaded TikTok,” he told Health Expert. “I found myself retaining information I learned from watching TikToks easily because it was often conveyed in short, digestible, and entertaining ways. It got me thinking, ‘What if I could spread dental awareness this memorable way too?’, and so I gave it a shot.“
Since going viral, Doctor Gao receives multiple messages from the public with different dental questions, and takes the time to respond as much as he can. This has inspired him to continue to deliver good content through TikTok, because it shows how people are interested and willing to learn more to improve their dental health.
Doctor Gao declares himself a ‘huge newbie’ when it comes to filming Tik Toks and is equipped with nothing more than his phone and his phone stand when it comes to shooting his videos. However, this doesn’t mean that he takes his videos lightly.
He believes that patient education plays a vital role in the overall treatment outcome of patients, which ensures continuity of care and adherence. Social media acts as an extremely powerful tool to disseminate such patient education.
We have to say that we wholeheartedly agree.
It is not all work and no play for this young dentist. After the clinic, a typical day for him involves unwinding with family, playing the guitar and watching TV. Depending on his schedule, he keeps himself healthy by playing tennis or squeezing in a gym session.
He also considers singing a hobby of his which helps him unwind. Some of the videos on Doctor Gao’s TikTok account already feature his singing chops, and perhaps it’s just a matter of time before we see some fitness-dental content soon.
When we asked him what we should know about dental care, this is what Doctor Gao has to say:
“Consistency is key. Good oral care is adopting and practising good habits (e.g., going for regular check-ups, brushing for 2 minutes, spitting and not rinsing after brushing) consistently. This way, you prevent the onset of more severe conditions.”
We are pleased to have been able to chat with Dr Gao. Keep up to date with him on Tik Tok at @doctorgao.