Mouthwatering traditions

Nov. 1, 2009
Roast turkey is the customary centerpiece to gobble for many North American holiday feasts.

by Karen Kaiser, RDH
[email protected]

Roast turkey is the customary centerpiece to gobble for many North American holiday feasts. Preparing the tender turkey for the festivity often involves filling the bird with appetizing stuffing, basting, and brushing to brown the bird to perfection. Mouthwatering side dishes complement the juicy turkey, ensuring a tasty meal. Tasty baked bread and dinner rolls are often found at the table. Satisfying indulgence can also become customary during hygiene therapy. Some operatory products literally leave patients' mouths watering.

Keeping saliva from contaminating an etched field during sealant placement often requires rolls (the less tasty cotton variety). Without the help of an assistant, forestalling saliva from fouling the prepped tooth is at times tricky.

Pascal has a disposable product, the Isolator, which can position the cotton rolls to soak the spit. The Isolator is a purple, plastic device that holds a cotton roll on the buccal and a roll on the lingual aspect. The Isolator is not bulky, and, when placed, a single, gloved finger can maintain the position by resting on the plastic bridge that arches over the tooth and rolls.

Cranberries are also a complementary side dish for feasts, commonly canned whole or jellied. Cranberries also serve as a common brand of gloves and masks in dentistry. Cranberry S3 earloop masks are a comfortable procedural mask that protects against fluids, spray, and submicrons. The masks allow the clinician good breathability and fit while being worn. At times, our patients' breath is hard to tolerate because it is so rank with decaying bacteria. The S3 Mint facemask is mildly scented to filter out the foul odor for the clinician.

Delicious desserts complete our holiday meals; cookies, pies, and cakes make the mouth water in anticipation. To monitor saliva's buffering ability, GC America offers a spit kit (Saliva-Check). Use the kit to evaluate saliva consistency, hydration, flow when stimulated, and the pH level while at rest or stimulated (chewing the provided wax included in the kit). The information learned from the evaluation can educate the patient, which can then lead to adjunctive recommendations. Healthier spit encourages remineralization of teeth.

Various products contain the benefits of calcium sodium-phosphosilicate, casein phosphopeptide and amorphous calcium phosphate, arginine bicarbonate and calcium carbonate, or xerostomia-inhibiting moisturizers. The ingredients are often supplied in paste, rinses, and gum and offer enriching balance to the oral cavity.

Another dessert that is often the feast finale is fruit-topped cheesecake. DMG America offers a cherry cheesecake-flavored 1.23% APF fluoride foam that is equally luscious. Kolorz fluoride foam has a tasty tang that is palate-pleasing for the patient. It is a favorite flavor of mine. Kolorz foam is gluten-free and xylitol sweetened, offering protection against destructive caries. Sultan Healthcare has Topex Neutral (4 minute application) foam that works well when patients have cosmetic restorations.

Additionally, apply the flavorful foam fluoride using a product from Pascal. The Juicy Tray is a single-use tray that is flexible in the vestibule and gives added comfort when seated. It does not present as a disposable tray by any means, but much more sturdy. To boot, the tray is brightly colored, and young patients are receptive to its colorful placement. If the whiff from the fluoride is not enough to make the mouth water, then the Juicy Tray might get the saliva flowing because the tray is fruit scented.

Thankfully, products are available to assist saliva in times of plenty or in times of need. Taste temptation is offered by fluoride and other enamel enriching therapies. Enjoyable indulgence can become a tradition during the main course of hygiene treatment while using products that will have patients' mouths watering.

The author did not receive compensation for products mentioned.

About the Author

Karen Kaiser, RDH, graduated from St. Louis' Forest Park dental hygiene program in 1994 and currently practices at the Center for Contemporary Dentistry in Columbia, Ill. She has written several articles for RDH and other publications, sits on dental hygiene panels, and is an evaluator for Clinical Research Associates. She can be contacted at [email protected].