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Blow a bubble for those who can’t

April 1, 2018
Kim Miller, RDH, explains how your office can get involved in the Oral Cancer Cause Bubble Challenge. She also reviews a line of interdental brushes and a baby toothbrush that use Smart Grip technology, and she explains why you should consider recommending neem mouthwash to your patients.
Promoting oral cancer awareness, and interdental brushes with an ergonomic grip

Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH

The Oral Cancer Cause Bubble Challenge is easy to do and a great way to let your patients know you and your team are proactively screening for oral cancer. There are four easy steps:

1. Order and display your Bubble Challenge campaign box ($79).

2. Ask your patients and team members to shoot and post bubble photos.

3. Track the number of patients who participate.

4. Make a donation based on the number of participant posts.

Here’.s what comes in the campaign box:

• Promotional posters

• Social signs

• Sugar-free bubble gum

• Bubble gum front desk box

• Campaign instruction sheet

• Table tents

• Participation cards

• Buttons

• Balloons

• One medium T-shirt

• Oral Cancer Cause brochures

• Oral Cancer Cause stickers

• Pad of photo release forms

According to the Oral Cancer Cause website, “All donations will go to help oral cancer patients through [Oral Cancer Cause whose purpose] is to improve the quality of life for oral cancer patients through financial support so that they may face the world with peace and dignity during and after medical treatment.”

Get involved and show your support for Oral Cancer Cause. Visit oralcancercause.org and click “Bubble Challenge” to get specific details for each of the four steps and order your Bubble Gum Challenge campaign box today.

Smart Grip technology

Oral Prevent USA recently introduced a new line of interdental brushes made in Germany with Smart Grip technology. The ergonomically designed grips are soft and slightly inflated, providing a firm cushioned grip, designed to reach all areas of the mouth without bending the brush wire.

These brushes come in eight different color-coded sizes to meet the needs of every patient. The stable brush core, made of plastic-coated wire, features a double-layered bristle configuration to provide gentle and efficient interproximal cleaning.

The wire core ranges in size from .45 mm to 1.5 mm, with the brush size increasing incrementally as well. A convenient countertop holder is also available. Oral Prevent brushes are safe to use around bridgework and implants. The brushes are available individually or in a variety pack of eight, so patients have choices for cleaning around different types of restorations.

Oral Prevent also offers a unique Step One toothbrush designed for babies up to two years of age. The soft-grip handle comes in four bright color schemes and doubles as a teething ring with “pimples” to stimulate the tissue and reduce the “itch” during tooth eruption. The handle features a thumb ring for easy gripping and is easy for baby or toddler to hold. The handle is equally easy for the parent or caregiver to hold while helping baby brush.

The Step One brush has an extra small brush head and neck with very soft bristles to protect against injury. My favorite feature is the highlighted blue area on the bristles which indicates the correct amount of toothpaste to be used. Visit oralprevent.com to learn more about the company’s product offerings.

Neem mouthwash

More commonly known as neem, the leaves of the Azadirachta indica tree (native to India) have a track record of improving conditions such as mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, and halitosis, and as it turns out, neem has effective antiplaque and antigingivitis properties when used as a mouthwash.

A study comparing the efficacy of chlorhexidine and neem mouthwash to improve the oral health of patients with fixed orthodontics was published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice in December 2017.1 The researchers at Noorul Islam College of Dental Science in Thiruvananthapuram, India, reported that after one month, the patients using chlorhexidine and neem had significant improvement in plaque scores, gingival index scores, and Streptococcus mutans count, when compared to rinsing with water two times per day after meals. Chlorhexidine out-performed the neem mouthwash in all categories but was only statistically significant for gingival index.

While the authors acknowledged that additional studies are needed, the results of this study indicate that neem mouthwash is a less expensive and better-tasting alternative for chlorhexidine.

The study authors wrote, “Neem mouthwash can be used as an alternative to (chlorhexidine) as both mouthwashes show a significant reduction in (S. mutans) level. It also suggests that incidence of tooth discoloration or unpleasant taste is less common with neem than with (chlorhexidine).”

The next time one of your ortho patients needs a boost in oral health and a reduction in gingival bleeding, consider suggesting neem mouthwash. There are several brands on the market, including Theraneem Organix, Desert Essence, and Now Foods neem mouthwashes, which range in price from $8 to $14. You might also try and recommend neem dental floss and toothpaste.

As always, please contact me with product suggestions that you would like to see reviewed in this column. Email me at [email protected].

KIM MILLER, RDH, BSDH, is the co-founder of PerioFrogz.com, an information-based website providing free current oral-systemic research summaries and patient education downloads. Kim is also a coach with Inspired Hygiene, delivering customized hands-on training. She speaks internationally, writes articles and webinars, and enjoys clinical dental hygiene. Kim lives in Arizona and welcomes you to contact her at [email protected].


1. Nishad A, Sreesan NS, Joy J. Impact of mouthwashes on antibacterial activity of subjects with fixed orthodontic appliances: A randomized clinical trial. J Contemp Dent Prac. 2017;18(12):1112-1116.