Splish splash

Sept. 1, 2005
By the end of summer, many lawns suffer the effects of the hot weather and look dry and thirsty.

By the end of summer, many lawns suffer the effects of the hot weather and look dry and thirsty. People hope for a long, soaking rain to bring the once thriving blades back to life. If there’s no rainfall, the spritz of the sprinkler helps the glimmer of green return to the parched grass. Our bodies, like lawns, require a lot of water to fluorish during dehydrating temperatures.

The United States Geological Survey estimates that the U.S. population uses over 400 billion gallons of water per day. How people use the water varies. From crop irrigation to swimming pools, water is a necessary part of life. For quenching thirst, water is on the rise as the beverage of choice, especially in the bottled variety. In 2004, per capita consumption of bottled water reached 23.8 gallons per person, compared to 22.1 gallons the previous year. There is even an International Bottled Water Association that regulates the quality of water in bottles. Seeing bottled water as a commercial beverage (second only to carbonated beverages) and being widely consumed by the public is a welcome shift. Our patients use water to rinse their mouths after brushing, in professionally recommended irrigation devices, and in hydrating topical and rinsing products as well. How do some dental products use water?

When we think about water use in dental products, one of the foremost brands to come to mind is Waterpik. As the name implies, water is needed for many of the Waterpik oral cleaning products. The company offers several professional and personal options for stationary irrigating dental systems that our patients have used for years. These irrigating products have easy-to-fill reservoirs designed for use with massaging water.

A new addition to the product lineup is a hand-held version, which makes the water jet unit ultra-handy. The hand-held type is lightweight and rechargeable (no batteries to replace) so there are no cumbersome cords, and will hold a charge for about a week.

The pulsating jets of water are ideal for orthodontic patients who cannot manuever dental floss through the brackets to remove debris. Water and diluted antibacterial fluoride can be pulsated through the units and delivered to combat plaque and early demineralization commonly found at bracket sites.

With different pressure tips, users may go from a gentle cleaning (the brilliant blue colored tip) to a deeper jet (the clear tip) for a flushing clean. Patients appreciate a rinse with the professional air-water syringe to remove debris and residual prophy paste. With the use of a hand-held dental system, they can have that just-rinsed feeling at home.

If rinsing with cold water causes sensitivity, patients may use AcquaSeal-Benz from Acquamed Technologies. As the name implies, application of the AcquaSeal will seal the root surface against painful stimulus using the aqueous solution. This desensitizing swab is filled with fluid, and when the ringed end of the swab is activated by bending, the clear liquid fully saturates the opposite cotton tipped end as it moves down the applicator. The one-use dose coats sensitive root surfaces. After root planing and scaling or removing heavy calculus, applying the desensitizer on vulnerable surfaces eases post procedure alarm, and Acquaseal-Benz is tissue friendly.

When tooth surfaces need protection against caries at home, Pro-Dentec offers a 0.2 percent neutral fluoride rinse. This rinse, Citrus Splash, looks like water and rinses surfaces with a refreshing kick. All Pro-Dentec fluorides are dye free so there is no hint of tint due to color additives. Without fear of stain, cosmetic patients appreciate that the protective rinse keeps the tooth-colored restorations natural. The fluoride swish rinses onto tooth surfaces to provide tooth remineralizing, splashing away the possibility of tooth decay.

Calling upon the fun reminescent of a good water gun fight, Laclede/Biotene created a dry mouth moisturizing spray.

Laclede gets the soaking point across by offering a hygiene purple squirt gun with the ability to “hydrate” tissues.

The new spray is being introduced through promotional sample mailings. When the name of the game is to moisturize, the spray contains five moisturizers to maintain light wetness. This Oral Balance spray joins the line-up of dry mouth relief products, and works best when combined with other Biotene products. Dry mouth relief is just a squirt away.

Water is a primary ingredient for many dental products in both professional and over-the-counter moisterizing products. Invigorating spray and rinse products will successfully hydrate the tissues.

Also, peak body performance is maintained by consuming adequate amounts of water. Water is needed to rinse out pastes while brushing. Sensitivity from rinsing with water may be an indication that further treatment is needed to calm root surfaces.

Get your daily amount of water and use products that contain water to make a splash.

The author did not receive compensation for product endorsement. Wet your appetite and learn more by visiting www.waterpik.com, www.aquamedtech.com, www.prodentec.com, or www.laclede.com.

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].