Home care products you'll want to know about

June 1, 2011
My patients count on me, and I know yours do too, to keep up with the newest developments in oral health care and make appropriate recommendations ...

by Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH
[email protected]

My patients count on me, and I know yours do too, to keep up with the newest developments in oral health care and make appropriate recommendations for product purchases. It goes without saying that our home care advice should be customized and based on the patient's level of disease activity as well as their risk for progression of disease and their current home care routine. Our goal is to assist patients in meeting their needs in the most cost effective and efficient way possible.

When you are talking with your patients about their home care practices, remind them that adequate and consistent personal care is the cheapest and most effective dental insurance policy available. With that as the goal, I'd like to share with you some new and recent technologies.

During the second week of May at the California Dental Association's Spring Session in Anaheim, Philips Oral Healthcare launched their newest product offering, Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro. While flossing is something that all clinicians believe their patients should do daily, it's either done sporadically or not at all. The Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro is an alternative to string flossing, using microbursts of air and water droplets.

Here's what Dr. Joerg Strate, vice president at Philips Oral Healthcare, said about the new AirFloss Pro: "Since the technological breakthrough of the first Sonicare power toothbrush, we have learned a lot about fluid forces and their ability to remove plaque biofilm. Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro is a new technology chapter in the field of oral health care. It uses a unique spray of micro bubbles and a small dose of fluid to generate a[n] ... effective interdental cleaning action."

When it comes to safety, both the Sonicare AirFloss Pro and the WaterPik Water Flosser were subjected to safety testing where eight Durelon test specimens were exposed to a total of 2,000 spray pulses with either Sonicare AirFloss or WaterPik Water Flosser (at pressure setting 5). The results concluded that neither the Sonicare AirFloss Pro nor the Waterpik Water Flosser produced any obvious surface damage to the Durelon specimens with ESEM at 8x and 50x magnification. The Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro is safe to use with restorative materials.

Although the AirFloss Pro was compared to the WaterPik Water Flosser, it's important to note that the AirFloss Pro is not an irrigation device, but an alternative for those patients who just won't use string floss.

The AirFloss Pro features a guidance tip for targeted cleaning between the teeth and a one-handed, one-button operation. It's easy to use and, amazingly enough, it utilizes less than one teaspoon of water to clean between all the teeth, which can be done in about a minute. When it came to patient preference, 86% felt the AirFloss Pro was easier to use than string floss. When the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro was used in combination with the Sonicare FlexCare, 66% more interproximal plaque biofilm was removed than when using the FlexCare alone. Among patients who flossed inconsistently, 96% of them continued to use Philips Sonicare AirFloss Pro at least four times per week. Visit www.sonicare.com and request an AirFloss Pro lunch and learn.

Targeting hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity is as big a concern as plaque biofilm removal. In fact one out of three patients deals with the discomfort and limitations of hypersensitivity every day. To help us help our patients, Dentsply's Nupro and GlaxoSmithKline's Sensodyne joined forces earlier this year to co-brand the Nupro Sensodyne Sensitivity System featuring the science of NovaMin technology. This three-part continuous care system provides both professional use and home use products to combat hypersensitivity. Every clinician will want to be aware of what this new system includes and how it can help patients treat hypersensitivity:

  • Nupro Sensodyne Prophylaxis Paste with Fluoride and NovaMin provides immediate relief from tooth sensitivity as it removes stain during professional prophylaxis. NovaMin reacts with saliva, allowing sodium ions to exchange with hydrogen ions, raising the pH. At this elevated pH, calcium and phosphate precipitate as calcium phosphate, which crystallizes to build a new hydroxyapatite-like layer over exposed dentin and within dentin tubules, stopping pain and discomfort. It's also dye- and gluten-free.
  • Sensodyne NUPRO 5,000 ppm Fluoride Professional Toothpaste with NovaMin can now be dispensed by your office. This professional toothpaste uses the same technology as the prophy paste and should be used daily by the patient for enamel and dentin remineralization with NovaMin technology.
  • Sensodyne OTC toothpaste provides proven relief for tooth sensitivity and comes in five formulas, ranging from the original flavor to a full protection whitening formula. Sensodyne is also available in an Iso-Active foaming gel, which starts out as a gel and instantly becomes a microfine foam in the mouth, allowing it to reach interproximal areas for sensitivity protection. These OTC products can be alternated with the professional toothpaste at your discretion.

Visit www.nupro-sensodyne.com/products/prophy-paste for a special offer on the prophy paste (buy four boxes, get one free). While you're there, print out the product brochure for a competitive formulations comparison.

Orthodontic/implant home care kits

We are very passionate about helping our patients do what they should at home. For this reason, many of us spend a lot of time and money assembling home care kits for patients. Tess Oral Health offers high quality, preassembled kits for all your patients, including a brand new Ortho Kit.

Each kit comes in a spiffy clear zip bag with a pouch to hold your hygiene business card. The bags have a 3-inch space for custom imprinting for an additional 10 cents each.Kits for children, teens, and adults costs about $2 each for a box of 36 and include your choice of any age appropriate imprinted toothbrush and choice of 15M floss or Proxi-Floss; a two-minute timer; .85 oz. Crest mint toothpaste; and matching toothbrush Travel Caps.

The new Tess Ortho Kit includes a channel-trimmed, dual head, custom imprinted toothbrush; a channel-trimmed travel toothbrush; interproximal brush; a two-minute timer; relief wax; 15M floss, mouth mirror; and floss threaders (a packet of 10).

(Channel trimming allows for superior end rounding and polishing of each bristle for a better cleaning that is not harmful to tooth structure or gingiva compared to a "v trim" that allows for sliced and frayed bristles.)

The Ortho Kit comes in five color choices and costs about $3.85 per bag for a box of 36. Take advantage of the special introductory pricing on the new Ortho Kit – order three boxes and get one free. Order your kits from www.tessoralhealth.com.

When it comes to implant home care kits, TePe has introduced the "all in one solution." Headquartered in Sweden, TePe has been manufacturing oral hygiene products since 1965. A new Implant Kit provides three essential products for optimum implant home care:

  • TePe Implant Care features soft, rounded bristles with an angled neck and slim brush head, making it easier to clean the implant abutments, especially from the lingual and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • TePe Implant Brush features a two-row, soft filament brush that has an extra narrow brush head and a long, thin neck, making it easy to clean the buccal surfaces.
  • TePe Interdental Brush features a plastic coated wire to protect the implant efficiently, cleaning interproximal surfaces.

If you choose not to stock products, the TePe Implant Kit can be ordered online by your patients for $9.99 each, or you can have a supply on hand to give (or sell) to patients. The professional price is $4.99 each. Visit www2.tepe.com/us/order for both professional and consumer orders. I also found their patient website educational; you may want to send your implant patients there to learn more about caring for their implants www.implantcare.tepe.com). You can also contact TePe by calling (888) 644-8373.

I am a big supporter of home care kits! Once the patient has one of these, they can easily transport their products to and from appointments so you can review their use without having to re-dispense. These products will ensure your patients have the most effective and affordable home care routines to support the excellent clinical care you provide them. Drop me a note ([email protected]) and let me know about your favorite home care routines and products!

Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH, graduated from Loma Linda University in 1981. Kim is a co-founder of PerioFrogz.com and a partner with the JP Institute as well as a national speaker, author, and hands-on trainer.

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