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Getting Teeth Talk Trending
Anthony Baroud has become a household name in a rather unconventional way. Unlike your typical media star, he isn’t acting on a soap opera or participating in a reality TV show. Instead, his fame comes from a more modern twist: being a social media sensation. Baroud, a third-year dental student, launched his YouTube channel, Dental Digest, in September 2020. Since then, he has expanded his reach to other platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
A Persuasive Smile
With his short and snappy video format, Baroud reviews toothbrushes and toothpastes while having a blast in the process. Utilizing plaque disclosing tablets and cheek retractors, he showcases before and after results and even playfully refers to the toothpaste as a “fat blob” as he slathers it onto the brush. By September 2021, his YouTube channel had amassed a staggering 5 million subscribers, just three months after reaching 1 billion views.
But despite his newfound acclaim, Baroud doesn’t take himself too seriously. In fact, he had a little fun with his early fame. After receiving the coveted YouTube Golden PlayButton award in July, he melted down the large, gold-colored metal plaque and made it into a toothbrush, which he then reviewed.
Bringing Dental Care to the Masses
However, Baroud’s lighthearted approach to dental hygiene carries a serious purpose – to raise awareness about the importance of dental care, especially among younger people who make up a significant portion of his fan base. Additionally, his social media presence serves as an outlet for his creative side.
Baroud explains, “I’ve always been a creator at heart and will always be a creator. I didn’t have a background in video editing, but my whole life I’ve been a creator, whether it’s messing around building a rocket when I was in middle school or building with Legos.” He recognized the evolving landscape of video content consumption, particularly the rising popularity of vertical format videos with short-form content that focuses on specific topics.
“I was at the start of that consumption,” Baroud continues, “so I really hit a goldmine of timing and recognized that it was critical to the success of my channel, Dental Digest.” However, his achievements were no accident. Baroud took a strategic approach to branding, even brainstorming around 50 ideas during his first year of dental school. One of those ideas was Dental Digest, a name he found surprising hadn’t been copyrighted or trademarked.
Drawing inspiration from renowned publications like Golf Digest, Reader’s Digest, and Architectural Digest, Baroud recognized the power of a strong brand name with the word “digest” in it. He wasted no time in trademarking the name and has ambitious plans for Dental Digest beyond a mere YouTube channel.
The Balance of Dentistry and Content Creation
Having a creative outlet is one of the reasons Baroud chose to pursue dentistry. He finds it rewarding to bring his vision of what he wants to see done to people’s teeth to life. With dentistry’s combination of hand skills and a creative process, there is much to love about the profession. Baroud explains, “There’s a lot to love, from creativity to the business side of it, the ability to improve. There are a lot of fun aspects about dentistry.”
Managing his video content alongside his studies can be challenging, but Baroud maintains a well-organized schedule. He starts his day around 6 a.m., working out for an hour before dedicating time to video editing, content creation, and email responses. After attending classes from 9 to 11 a.m., Baroud takes a break at home, enjoying a premade meal while incorporating more video editing. Then, it’s back to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for clinical work until 4 p.m.
“After clinic, I’m brain dead,” Baroud jokes. “So, for a half-hour, I clean or walk around or hop on the bike.” The remainder of his day is spent filming, editing, attending business meetings, studying other content creators, and scripting new videos, usually until approximately 11 p.m.
Despite the demanding schedule, Baroud finds joy in his work. He says, “I really enjoy the work. For me, I enjoy the work so much it is my balance. It’s creative freedom for me to do it.”
From Nervous Beginnings to Worldwide Recognition
It took approximately three months for Baroud’s videos to start gaining traction. His first video, a review of blue light whitening kits, was about six minutes long and took over a month to put together. Reflecting on that first upload, Baroud recalls the rush of adrenaline he experienced. “It was amazing,” he says, reminiscing about the nerves he felt. Since then, his video format has evolved significantly. He now releases two to three videos per week (approximately 140 in total) and continues to gain more followers. He has also started exploring longer-form dental-related content, such as attempting to escape a prison using floss.
Baroud shares, “From Day 1, I had this vision of how big it was going to be. I knew it was going to be as big as it is today. On YouTube, I have a little over 6 million subscribers; on TikTok, I have 10 million; and on Instagram, I have about 37,000.” His efforts paid off beyond his expectations. His YouTube channel has garnered a worldwide audience and was even the fastest growing channel in the world at one point.
He concludes, “My content has a very unique style that combines education and entertainment. It’s about finding your market, and luckily, my market is everybody because everybody brushes their teeth.” So, if you’re on the lookout for dental tips with a captivating twist, be sure to check out Dental Digest and join millions worldwide in smiling with Anthony Baroud.