7 Hook Formulas Every Dentist Needs For Social Media

“What the heck do I post on social media?”

“What do I even write about?”

We’ve heard this … ALL the time from dental practices.

And sure…

I could hand you a bunch of social caption templates.

But take a look at this…

U.S. adults will spend 13 hours and 35 minutes…Click to open link in a new tab… per day consuming media.

13. Hours. Per. Day.

In today’s world where people are more online savvy and demand brands to be more authentic…

Copying and pasting caption templates aren’t going to cut it.

So where am I going with this?

I’ll share with you the framework of a high-converting social caption – one that’ll prompt likes, comments,saves, and shares.

But that’s not all…

I’ll also unveil 7 formulas for the most crucia partl of your caption… the hook.

Seriously… You’ve got to nail this if you want to stop people from scrolling.

And be sure to stick around ‘cause I’ll reveal how you can get your hands on our free Social Calendar, packed with a whole year’s worth of social post ideas.

I’m Mel, the Marketing Director at Roadside Dental Marketing.

I’ve been crafting high-converting copy and content for dental offices since 2012.

I’ve written everything from social posts to blogs, videos, ads, and emails. You name it.

And through my years, I still hear the same pain point from dental offices nationwide…

“What the heck do I post on social media?”

I know, I know, it can be an uphill battle to say the least. I mean, you got into dentistry to help people. And now you find out part of that job is putting yourself out there online.

You didn’t become a dentist to become a TikTok

Fear not!

I’m here to help you out.

Let’s start with making a high-converting social caption.

Many offices fall into the trap of going for something very generic and boring.


Crafting a good caption is crucial for three reasons.

#1. It tells the story behind your visual content.

And storytelling is so important and I’ll spill the beans on why later on.

#2. The caption invites your audience to engage with your post.

If they engage with your post, the Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, any social media platform algorithms see your post as relevant.

When they see you as relevant, it expands your reach to other audiences.

This elevates your authority and, ultimately, wins you more patients.

It creates a snowball effect.

#3. It’s your golden opportunity to inject personality into your brand.

And this is crucial for today when people are craving connection and want to shop for brands that align with their values.

So you definitely don’t want to overlook the caption.

So what exactly makes a good social caption?

How do you add a little va-va-voom that gets people to engage with it?

3-part framework for writing a social caption for dentists

And I go to this framework every time I need to write a social post for Roadside and for our dental clients.

1. The hook

This is the very first line of your caption that makes people pause their endless scroll.

Take a look at this example on my screen. The hook on this social post is…

Did you know that your headaches could be teeth-related? 😱

And here’s a bonus…

Take a look at this graphic. It also has a hook… What do headaches and dentists have in common?

Doesn’t that peek your interest to find out what this is all about?

This may draw in an audience who are researching whether or not they have TMJ disorder. So it speaks to them to learn more.

2. Core content

This is where you get to share your expertise following your hook. Think of it as the meat and potatoes of your post, offering substance and value.

Let’s take a look at the core content of our example:

It’s called a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, and it often brings:

  • ✔️ Headaches
  • ✔️ Facial pain
  • ✔️ Jaw tenderness
  • ✔️ And more!

The core content of your social post could be anything

  • Hygiene tips
  • Answering FAQs
  • Giving details of a limited-time offer

It all depends on where your audience is in their buyer’s journey.

3. Call to action

It’s that invitation for your audience to engage with your post. This could be:

  • Like
  • Comment
  • Request an appointment
  • Share
  • Save this post for later

Let’s take a look at our example’s call to action:

🗓️ So book a visit today to make sure we can catch and treat TMJ early! (link in the bio) ☝️

Now let’s rewind a bit…

There’s one piece of this caption framework that’s crucial.

It sets up your post’s entire foundation…

And it’ll determine if people will scroll right on past you … or if they’re hooked and want to read more.

I just gave it away right there. Did you catch it?

That’s right… it’s the hook!

It’s the first line in your caption that stops people dead in their tracks and makes them think, “I need to see what this is about.”

As I said at the beginning of this video…

People consume 13 hours of media every day. They’re bombarded. So that makes it even harder to grab attention.

Your hook needs to stand out.

But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Copywriters have been utilizing the same hook formulas for years, and they’re still effective to this day.

I’m excited to share 7 of my favorite hook formulas that have engaged with audiences in the past.

I’ll share the framework to follow and some examples that relate to dentistry.

By the end of this video, you will not only be equipped with the know-how to craft killer captions but also have access to our free social calendar.

This calendar is our most popular resource. Last year alone, it was downloaded over 1000 times. That’s because it’s packed with social post ideas for the entire year.

Imagine never having to stare at your screen, wondering what to post next.

You’ll have…

  • A plethora of ideas at your fingertips
  • A caption framework
  • The tools to create a powerful hook

You’ll have everything you need to create amazing content for your audience.

Stay tuned at the end of this video to grab your social calendar. You don’t want to miss it.

Ok without further ado… let’s dive into the first hook formula.

Formula #1: Curiosity hooks

This is probably the easiest hook to create, and it’s incredibly effective.

Here’s why:

Curiosity hooks draw in your audience by presenting them with a question or a surprising fact, effectively creating a gap in their knowledge.

By nature, humans don’t like leaving questions unanswered.

So, when that first line is a question…

They’re driven to dive into your content to find the answer.

Curiosity hooks often follow a format that directly addresses the audience’s potential lack of knowledge or challenges their existing beliefs.

Here are some possible templates you can use. I’ll show them in this next slide. You can take a screenshot of this and save it in your arsenal.

  • Think you know how to ________? Think again.
  • Ever wonder the difference between ________ & ________?
  • Did you know ________?

Now let’s turn these templates into possible ways they can apply to dentistry. Feel free to steal these.

  • Think you know how to brush your teeth properly? Think again.
  • Ever wonder the difference between plaque & tartar? Let’s clear up the confusion.
  • Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body?

Those are curiosity hooks.

Formula #2: Open loop hooks

Open loop hooks are kinda like curiosity hooks, but they’re more of a cliffhanger.

You know how your favorite TV shows build up a bunch anticipation, drama, and you’re dying to know how it’s going to end.

But then the episode ends. And it drives you crazy, right? And you go, “I have to watch the next episode!”

This intentional omission creates what’s known as a psychological “open loop,” a compelling cliffhanger that leaves you yearning for closure.

The only way for you to find peace and close this loop is by engaging with your content all the way through to the end.

Open loop hooks often employ strategic phrasing to hint at groundbreaking revelations or essential advice without giving the game away.

Some possible ways to structure that could be…

Starting your hook with the word THIS:

  • THIS will change the way you think about ________…
  • THIS is why your ________ isn’t [working]…

Or you could incorporate a number – specifically the number 1 into the hook:

  • Not doing this ONE thing is sabotaging your ________…
  • The #1 tip to ________ your ________.

Here’s how you could apply it for dentistry:

  • THIS will change the way you think about mouthwash—it’s not just an afterthought!
  • The #1 tip to protect your enamel is simpler than you think.
  • Not doing this ONE thing is sabotaging your dental health—and it’s not what you think.

See? Now you even want to keep reading to find out more.

I LOVE open loop hooks. It can dramatically transform the way your audience interacts with your content.

Formula #3: Storytelling hooks

This hook is pretty straightforward. It’s telling a story.

It’s about leveraging storytelling right at the beginning of your content.

It could be a personal journey, a patient’s smile transformation, or a simple tale with a twist.

A storytelling hook should be relatable to your audience.

This works. Because our brains are wired to stories.

We’re not hardwired to understand logic and remember facts for long. But we understand and remember stories.

In fact, stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone…Click to read more in a new tab….

Take The Significant Objects project…Click to open link in a new tab…. It’s a perfect example of the power of storytelling.

Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn asked 100 creative writers to invent stories about $129 worth of items and then sold them on eBay to see if the stories enhanced the value of the objects.

The net profit was $3.6 million.

A well-crafted story can transport us, make us feel connected, and leave a lasting impression, far beyond what facts alone can achieve.

Storytelling hooks often begin with phrases that signal a personal or insightful story.

Some possible templates you could use…

  • How I ACTUALLY _____
  • Want to know the best ________ I ever [heard/learned]?

If you took those hooks and tie them to dentistry. It could look like…

  • How I ACTUALLY overcame my fear of the dentist (true story)!
  • Want to know the best dental care advice I ever heard?

Always remember to relate the story back to your audience. People are interested in themselves and if they see themselves in your story, then they’ll be hooked.

Formula #4: Controversy hooks

Controversy hooks are all about making a statement that shakes up the status quo.

These hooks usually give polarizing opinions or challenging widely accepted practices.

Now I’m not saying you need to go political or say something crazy.

But giving a different opinion does make you stand out and can attract the patients you want to serve.

Humans are naturally drawn to conflict and resolution; it’s why debates and discussions can be so engaging.

And when you present a viewpoint that goes against the grain or challenges a common belief, it naturally piques interest.

You could make a controversial hook with some of these templates:

  • Unpopular opinion, but _____.
  • If you’re still doing [old method], you’re doing it wrong.
  • The _____ NO ONE [agrees with/believes] that has made me _______.

These openings signal to your audience that they’re about to encounter an opinion that’ll challenge their own.

This sets the stage for engagement.

So let’s take those templates and apply them to dentistry. It could look something like this…

  • Unpopular opinion, but … fluoride is one of the best advancements in dental health. These 3 myths just aren’t true.
  • If you’re still using hard-bristled brushes in an attempt to clean your teeth better, you’re doing it wrong. Let me tell you why.
  • The advice NO ONE agrees with that has made my teeth healthier…

Cool, right? Nothing crazy. But you’re piquing interest.

Formula #5: List hooks

List hooks are the bread and butter of engaging content.

If you introduce your content with the promise of a list, you’re telling your audience that they’re in for content that’s structured, organized, and, most importantly, packed with value.

This could be tips, myths debunked, or must-know information.

And presenting it as a list makes it more appealing to digest.

Here are some formats you can use to create clear and specific list hooks:

  • [X] red flags for ______.
  • [X] simple things to ________.
  • [X] big lies you probably believe about ________…

Now if we took those templates and applied them to dentistry, it could look something like this…

  • 3 red flags for needing a root canal.
  • 5 simple things to do every day for whiter teeth.
  • 4 big lies you probably believe about sugar and cavities.

These lines set a clear expectation for the content about to be presented.

Formula #6: Benefits-focused hooks

A benefit-focused hook zeroes in on a common pain point that your audience has, and then it swiftly presents a benefit or solution.

These hooks are perfect for people who are in the middle of the funnel. They know they have a problem and are researching solutions for it.

Some possible templates that use benefits-focused hooks could be:

  • Get [benefit] without [thing your audience objects to].
  • What if [benefit] happened?
  • This ____ helped me _____ FAST!

Let’s take those templates and translate them to dentistry.

  • Get a brighter smile without giving up coffee or wine.
  • What if reversing gum disease happened without surgery?
  • What if teeth whitening didn’t lead to sensitivity?
  • This 15-minute daily routine helped me achieve fresher breath FAST.

Benefits-focused hooks work very well with dentistry because you’re able to present benefits without the pain points people usually associate with dentistry.

Ok… now let’s get to the last hook.

Many of these hooks have focused on delivering value and education. This works great for people who are in the top or middle of the funnel.

This last hook will be your go-to for people at the bottom of the funnel. AKA they’re ready to buy.

Formula #7: Scarcity hooks

Scarcity hooks tap into a potent mix of limited availability and the “Fear Of Missing Out” or FOMO.

They play on the idea that there’s a limited window to take advantage of an offer or opportunity.

And it creates a sense of urgency.

You see this all the time. Like when you shop for airplane and hotel tickets, you see small text that says, “We have only 5 spots left”

You see this all the time because it works.

In Richard Chataway’s book, The Behaviour Business…Click to read more in a new tab…, he shared a story about scarcity being used KFC Australia.

The offer was chips for $1.

They gathered all of their agency’s talented copywriters to come up with headlines for a Facebook Ads campaign.

They came up with 70 headlines, and they were very unique headlines.

Like … The Colonel never’s been so generous.

But here’s the thing…

The creative headlines didn’t get the most sales.

It was this one:

Chips for $1. Limited to 4 per customer.

Very simple scarcity. That’s how powerful scarcity is.

Scarcity hooks are absolutely brilliant to use when you want to light a fire when you want your audience to take action now, especially if you’re running a promotion.

But …. And this is a big but…

Use. Them. Wisely.

This source reports that people see 10,000 ads per day.…Click to read more in a new tab… 10,000!!!

People don’t go to social media to be sold to. They want to be entertained.

So, when you do use scarcity, make it count.

Here are some templates you can use to really drive home scarcity:

  • Only [Number] left in stock! Grab yours before they’re gone forever!
  • Last chance to get [Product/Service] at this price. Offer ends [Time/Date].

Now – let’s translate that into dentistry:

  • Last chance to get your dental check-up and cleaning for $79. Offer ends tonight!
  • Only 10 slots left in our exclusive Teeth Whitening For Life program! Grab yours before they’re gone forever!

What next?

Whew! There you have it.

7 hook formulas that any dental practice can use for social media.

Now that you have these formulas and a framework to create a killer caption, all you gotta do is practice. It may feel awkward at first.


The more you do it, the better. Follow the framework. It’ll come naturally to you, and you’ll be popping out captions and hooks in no time.


I promised you a social calendar so you can have social post topics to complement your hooks.

This calendar is 100% free. We just ask for your name and email so we can continue to send you valuable content about marketing.

You can find a link to our calendar below in the description. Every year, over 1000 dentists, dental office managers, and anyone running a dental practice download this calendar.

So I know you’ll find it helpful. Download it below:

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