Let’s face it, not every prophy is the same. Some patients make it easy, and some make you dread coming to work. Whether it’s a ton of calculus, plaque, bleeding, inflammation, or a combination of all of these, no one begins their day hoping for difficult patients. What if I told you a simple rinse used twice a day can help improve a patient’s oral health, potentially creating less complicated prophies?
Well, it’s true, as long as the rinse has the right ingredients and can be used daily. The ingredients of this rinse would have to break down biofilm, kill microbes (bacteria, viruses, and fungi), and be used regularly if we expect to see a decrease in calculus, plaque, inflammation, bleeding, and stain.
Preventing calculus buildup is incredibly important, not only for patients but also for us as dental professionals. Tenacious, heavy calculus in hard-to-reach areas impacts us ergonomically. The satisfaction many of us get from removing large deposits soon fades as necks and backs start aching. In 2004, musculoskeletal disorders caused by poor positioning accounted for $131 million of lost income for dental professionals!1 On top of this, if your instruments aren’t sharp or if they’re of poor quality, this will increase the time you spend in compromising positions. Less buildup allows for easier cleanings, benefiting both you and the patient.
We already know that calculus is formed from the lack of regular removal of plaque. Dental plaque or biofilm is the main etiologic factor for caries, periodontal, and peri-implant infections.2 The biofilm matrix holds complex communities that contain disease-causing microbes (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) as well as other toxic pathogens. Controlling biofilm is likely one of the most important methods of maintaining oral health and preventing and controlling oral diseases and potentially systemic diseases as well.
Because plaque triggers the inflammatory process, it adds to the body’s general burden of disease. In addition, “the oral cavity may act as a reservoir for pathogenic bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and affect distant-site or systemic pathologies.”3 It is understood in dentistry that someone cannot be healthy without oral health.
Bleeding (even light bleeding) is an indication of poor health. Many patients ignore bleeding and accept it as normal. They often blame us for making their gums bleed during the appointment. It is frustrating that their poor hygiene impacts their perception of the clinician. Patients simply need to increase their home care to have easier, more comfortable dental cleanings. Using a rinse can do this!
Stain is another challenge experienced during many cleanings. Patients expect to have all the stain gone when they leave their hygiene appointments. This can be an incredible task depending on the patient. Tooth staining is typically caused by a number of extrinsic factors. As a dental hygienist, I would prefer to avoid giving patients a rinse that causes staining and additional calculus buildup. Traditional products using chlorhexidine do this, and we all feel this frustration.
Patients have to be armed with the proper tools to help in between their appointments. Rinsing is easy and has high compliance. OraCare addresses the above challenges because the ingredients—activated chlorine dioxide and xylitol—can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and break up biofilm. This product does not cause any staining or additional calculus and can be safely used every day. OraCare is a rinse chosen by thousands of dental professionals because it helps create easier cleanings for the patient and the hygienist.
Bottom line, if a patient uses OraCare regularly, you can expect to see a decrease in calculus buildup, plaque, bleeding, inflammation, and stain, and an improvement in their oral health. You can learn more about OraCare’s revolutionary health rinse at oracareproducts.com or by calling (855) 255-6722.
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by OraCare. The content has been reviewed for editorial integrity per RDH guidelines. For more information on our editorial standards, see rdhmag.com/page/submission-guidelines.
- Valachi B. Positioning for success. RDH magazine. January 1, 2012. https://www.rdhmag.com/career-profession/students/article/16405973/positioning-for-success
- Guided biofilm therapy. Why is GBT a “game changer”? EMS. 2021. https://www.ems-dental.com/en/guided-biofilm-therapy
- Oral health topics: Oral-systemic health. American Dental Association. Last updated Sept. 23, 2019. https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/oral-systemic-health
Kristin Goodfellow, RDH, is the director of clinical education at OraCare. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from West Virginia University and her associate degree in dental hygiene from Allegany College of Maryland. Her outstanding chairside education earned her the Procter & Gamble Excellence in Patient Communication Award in 2013.