Getting people to change the similes they use is like pulling teeth.
Dr. Samantha Woodson of Springfield, Massachusetts agrees. Dr. Woodson is a dentist and linguist that finds that old chestnut to be inaccurate.
“Talk to most dentists and they’ll tell you that pulling teeth isn’t really that hard. I mean, with proper anesthesia and the right instrumentation we can remove teeth painlessly and atraumatically.”
The literal minded dentist thinks it’s time that we start using a better analogy for what’s difficult.
“You want hard? Try getting your patients to floss.”
Dr. Woodson created a new marketing campaign for her office based on the this new turn of phrase. So far the “you think pulling teeth is hard?” campaign seems to be falling on deaf ears.
“I started using ‘it’s like getting your patients to floss’ in day to day conversation and people thought it was funny,” said Woodson.
One of Dr. Woodson’s team members, who chooses to remain anonymous, disagrees.
“No. They really didn’t. Patients love her and everything, but she’s not great at delivering a joke to start with. Most of them don’t really get it.”
Dr. Woodson explains how the new phrase came to her, “last year I was getting really frustrated trying to do some hiring. It was hard. So I put out on a dental Facebook group, ‘finding good employees is like trying to get your patients to floss!’ and it got more than 30 likes. So I figured I was on to something.”
Marketing consultant, Neo Reeves, said, “look, it’s not very good. But she’s willing to pay me to use it. So of course I created a comprehensive campaign around it.”
Time will tell if the saying catches on. But everyone knows it’s like pulling teeth to get people to change.