From 'Guardians of the Gums' to 'Tartar Wars': Movie-loving dentist's billboards go viral

Jon San
Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

At first, it seemed too good to be true — especially in the age of easily Photoshopped social media posts. On Tuesday, an image of a billboard for Guardians of the Gums began to spread on Twitter.

The Guardians of the Galaxy spoof advertises ArDente Dental of Frankfort, Ind., and simultaneously reveals a competitively priced braces plan ($199/month), a Groot knockoff shouting “I am Tooth!”, and a female Star Lord brandishing a large toothbrush. Turns out, that plaque-fighting superhero is none other than dentist Jill Snyder.

“I’m so sorry. I had a patient,” Snyder told Yahoo Entertainment in response to a voicemail asking for details on this amazing marketing strategy. “I’m in shock right now,” she added.

A quick visit to Snyder’s site reveals a 30-second green-screen masterpiece showing Snyder and a colleague fighting off grotesque space aliens that (one can assume) are threatening the oral hygiene of the galaxy.

She commented on the recent Guardians of the Gums craze, saying, “Somebody drove past and somehow got a picture of it. It just kind of went crazy. We don’t even have a Twitter account!”

The internet ran with Snyder’s joke, providing puns of its own, including “protector of the molar system” and a riff on a song featured on the Guardians soundtrack, “Hooked on a Filling.”

But this isn’t Snyder’s first blockbuster spoof. “We’ve been doing movie-themed billboards for five or six years,” said Snyder. “Our patients like them.”

Just a few other highlights include a sendup of another well-known space odyssey, dubbed Tartar Wars.

We can only hope that these billboards too will get sequels and spinoffs. (Photo: ArDente Dental).

But the billboard that started it all is Woman in Black, with the simple tag line: “Fighting plaque.”

Another creative marvel from dentist Jill Snyder. (Photo: ArDente Dental)

While business will likely get a bump from all the buzz about the creative advertising, Snyder has another goal in mind. “I need to be on the ‘Ellen’ show,” she said.

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