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THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Blogs

Five reasons why I love blogging

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As dental students, we are always studying, which means half the time we are actually browsing the web for funny memes, Facebook updates, or YouTube videos. It also had lead to more and more integrated dental news, education and communication on the web. Social media and in particular, blogging, has a presence stronger than ever. I started blogging about three years ago, and continue to love it for many reasons. I enjoy being both an author of, as well as a spectator of several dental blogs. As I began the interview process when applying to dental school, I created my very own first blog, SayYestoDDS.  (http://sayyestodds.tumblr.com). Throughout my first and second years of dental school, I blogged almost everyday. Once third year started, I decided that was the end of my personal blog. In my late first year of dental school I was appointed to the Editorial board as the Electronic Editor of Mouthing Off, the national blog of the American Student Dental Association. Since then, I have been an avid blogger and found the NextDDS. I wanted to take this time to appreciate the presence of dental blogging and its amazing growth in the last couple of years. This idea of blogging about blogging came to me as I was reading the American Student Dentals Association's blog, Mouthing Off (http://www.asdablog.com/what-dental-blogs-do-you-read/). Their post talks about popular dental blogs and then asks their readers to comment on blogs they enjoy. 

1) Self expression: Blogging allows the author an outlet for self expression. As a student I think it's important for dental students as well as any dentist to self reflect. Seeing your work and being able to critique it and notice where you should improve is a great skill. It also allows you a time to be proud and show off your work! I remember in my first two years of preclinical work, I would get so excited about trying a new skill for the first time. It was constant learning and the blog was a really enjoyable way to track my progress.

2) Ask questions: While in school, and even after school, dental professionals will run into questions that require advice from someone more experienced. As a student, it's obvious that dental school can not possibly prepare us for every dental patient we will see. Often times for more difficult cases I will have to learn the hard way and then think, "I wish they had taught us/told us that in dental school." It's just part of the continual learning in dentistry. Concepts and ideas are always changing. The entire profession has many grey reason where only the most experienced dentists could understand its complexity. Many blogs often have forums, or sections for followers or readers to comment. For that reason, professionals can comment, offer advice, and give opinions about posts that asks questions or need clarity. 

3) Communication: Stemming from my last point, dental blogging has stirred up some incredible communication across the world. We even incorporated dental blogging into our schools curriculum. In my school's restorative class, we we're require to do a blog reflection on some of our pre clinical work. The blog was Diastemas.net and had many international bloggers in its audience. We discussed bonding materials we had used, different design preparations and logic behind them, and through that we had learned so much! It was incredible to be able to communicate pretty much effortlessly despite our geographical differences. Blogging is certainly a fantastic communication tool to send news and up to date, easy to access, affordable information and knowledge pretty much anywhere in the world. 

4) Free education: Like the NextDDS, many blog sites are tools of free education. Of course readers should always be certain that the educational sites are reputable. The idea of the dental blogs being free, or at least free to sign up, allows for a more open communication and invites readers to take a look. Being free allows all people interested in dentistry to access it. A large portion of questions may stem from predentals and dental students, looking for dental advice. The fact that most blogs are free is great in encouraging this communication to be possible.

5) It's fun! If you are reading this right now you already know that blogging is enjoyable. If you don't lIke writing them perhaps just reading and making occasional comments on dental blogs is your thing.  If you like expressing yourself and teaching others, maybe you should consider getting your own blog. I'm thankful that there are so many great outlets for dental blogging, and I hope you enjoy taking a look at some of my favorite dental blogs here: