Swiss ingenuity in action

Anne Guignon, RDH, describes how Curaprox’s thoughtfully designed oral care line can be used to help your patients be successful in meeting their oral health goals.

Jul 1st, 2018
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Company’s products satisfy the ‘why’ of using oral health products

Nothing warms the heart of a dental hygienist more than seeing a successful patient. Not only do healthy patients keep their teeth longer, but their overall well-being is enhanced. In addition to patient benefits, actual clinical appointments are more comfortable for the patient and physically easier for the clinician.

If we expect patients to be successful, we need to arm them with tools that will work and products that are easy to use. The result is a win for everyone. Finding the right products for each patient challenge can be tricky. It’s all about the “Goldilocks principle”—figuring out exactly what is “just right” and will work in each patient’s hands.

Ingenuity, branding, and brush heads

The Swiss are known for attention to detail and high-quality products—think Swiss Army knives, high-end watches, and gourmet chocolates. This same focus extends to the home-care products made in Switzerland by Curaprox, a company that has been making oral hygiene home-care products since 1972.

As a county, Switzerland takes branding seriously. Only products actually made in Switzerland or made from Swiss-manufactured components are allowed to display the Swiss flag emblem on the final product. Armed with this information, it now makes sense why the majority of Curaprox products have the Swiss flag emblem. It symbolizes pride in quality workmanship.

Not all toothbrushes are created equal. A typical toothbrush is made with nylon bristles embedded in a plastic head and arranged in clumps. Nylon bristles absorb moisture and quickly begin to splay, especially when the user applies force during brushing. The Curaprox brush head is constructed differently. The brushing surface is reminiscent of a fine, tightly woven fabric. Due to the bristle density, every brushing stroke has the capacity to disrupt more biofilm. Many users describe the clean feel as comparable to using a power brush.

Curaprox brushes use ultrathin polyester filaments, a hydrophobic material that does not absorb moisture and springs back into shape many more times than nylon. Retained moisture encourages bacterial growth between brushings, but products made with polyester filaments dry out much faster than nylon. The Curaprox CS 5460 ultrasoft head contains 5,460 filaments that are 0.10 mm in diameter, which is four to five times more filaments than bristles in the average traditional toothbrush. The CS Smart toothbrush is perfect for adolescents and those with smaller mouths or limited openings. Its compact head contains 7,600 filaments that are 0.08 mm in diameter. The CuraKid CK 4260’s narrow, plastic-coated head is soft and perfect for babies and small children.

Adrian Lussi, a renowned Swiss dental researcher at the University of Bern, was involved in the development of the CK 4260 children’s brush. Lussi’s research papers on caries and erosion leave no stone unturned, and his understanding of the complexity of disease is impressive. His participation in the development of this brush is further proof of the Curaprox commitment to effective design.

Handles and specialty brushes

The brush handles are well-designed and visually appealing. The child’s brush features four raised concentric soft-plastic grippers, making it very easy for tiny hands to grasp. It also features a built-in base that lets the brush stand upright on the bathroom counter. All other brush handles are designed with eight Art Deco-style parallel surfaces that run the entire length of the handle. The sleek, modern look of this octagonal handle is stylish and functional. The brush handle is easy to rotate, creating a very comfortable, ergonomic approach to brushing. Any of the brush heads can be bent to create a contra-angle, making it much easier to access hard-to-reach areas, such as third molars or lower molars that have a lingual tilt.

Two other brush designs complete the portfolio. The 5460 orthodontic brush is designed with an inner channel of shorter bristles that will accommodate orthodontic brackets and wires. And the small-tufted sulcular brush is perfect for complicated, site-specific areas that are difficult to reach. Each brush comes with a clear plastic cover that provides ventilation and protection. Small colored ceramic stands, called feet, allow upright countertop storage.

Curaprox’s line of interdental brushes is interesting as well. Unlike a one-size-fits-all product, the CPS prime handles are color-coded to match the exact diameter of a patient’s interproximal space. The company created a unique autoclavable measuring tool, called the interdental access probe (IAP), so clinicians can prescribe the brush that can provide the best biofilm disruption and the highest level of comfort. The IAP looks like a color-coded periodontal probe. During the hygiene appointment, clinicians can gently slip the IAP probe interproximally. Colors on the probe correspond to the correct handle color and brush diameter.

The Curaprox interdental brush handles are reusable, an earth-friendly approach in our all-too-disposable world. The interproximal brushes use the same type of polyester filaments as the toothbrushes. Every couple of weeks, users replace only the wired portion of the brush. The technique is also different. The user slides the brush into the interproximal space, and as it is withdrawn, the filaments expand, like a miniature umbrella, effectively cleaning the space, so it is “one and done.” Most patients need only one or two different-sized interproximal brushes. It’s easy to carry them in your pocket or purse in the handy clear plastic protective pouch.

Whiter and brighter

Overall tooth whiteness and brightness is a big concern for many patients. There is increasing interest in using charcoal to accomplish this goal due to its ability to adsorb stain—a stain removal process that allows stains to attach to charcoal, an activity that is chemically different than absorption. However, powdered charcoal-based products can be quite abrasive. Curaprox’s Black Is White toothpaste, formulated with activated charcoal nanoparticles, can gently whiten teeth over time. The special nanoparticles remove surface stains caused by beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine. The toothpaste is currently being tested for effectiveness in reducing stain on smokers’ teeth.

This fluoride-based paste also contains hydroxyapatite and three enzymes that support the function of saliva and help prevent oral dryness. It has an RDA of 76, does not contain the foaming agent sodium lauryl sulfate, has a mild nonmint flavor, and the three-ounce tube fits TSA airline travel requirements.

People who are focused on maintaining white teeth often fret over having a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of their favorite red wine. If they are on the go and there is no time to brush, Curaprox has introduced a product to minimize the stains from these beverages. Black Is White sugar-free chewing gum contains activated charcoal that can help freshen breath while dealing with the stain particles from these popular beverages.

Committing to a “why”

Curaprox’s approach to developing and creating tools that support health makes sense. But the company’s focus is not limited to selling high-quality oral hygiene products; they have made a firm commitment to education. The company’s easy-to-navigate website is full of information that is well-written, concise, and easy-to-understand. Clearly the “why” of its products is a goal, not only for professionals but consumers as well.

So, will this line of innovative tools really make a difference to our patients? As oral health-care professionals, we have an obligation to understand the alternatives, and the best way to do this is take the time to personally experience new and innovative products. Personal experience and understanding can ensure that we offer our patients quality options that will help improve their health. Swiss-made Curaprox products can and will support better oral health.

ANNE NUGENT GUIGNON, RDH, MPH, CSP, provides popular programs, including topics on biofilms, power driven scaling, ergonomics, hypersensitivity, and remineralization. Recipient of the 2004 Mentor of the Year Award and the 2009 ADHA Irene Newman Award, Anne has practiced clinical dental hygiene in Houston since 1971, and can be contacted at anne@anneguignon.com.

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