Hygiene Pearls for Your Practice

Colleen Olson, RDH, BBA, reviews the Cervitec Plus varnish system by Ivoclar Vivadent and the TePe Interdental Brush Kit. Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, reviews the Gum Health Physical website by Colgate Professional.

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Cervitec Plus varnish system by Ivoclar Vivadent Inc.

By Colleen M. Olson, RDH, BBA

Ivoclar Vivadent's Cervitec Plus varnish system is an easy-to-use product that can benefit a variety of patients. We use Cervitec Plus in our office mostly for patients who are experiencing dentinal or cervical hypersensitivity, whether localized or generalized. With chlorhexidine and thymol, the varnish reduces bacterial activity in the mouth and can help to prevent demineralization and caries. This varnish system is also an excellent choice for patients who have xerostomia or trouble keeping the areas around their restorations clean. It can help protect restorations and difficult-to-reach areas around orthodontic brackets and bands.

Cervitec Plus is simple to apply precisely where it is needed. After the areas to be treated have been isolated and dried, the varnish is applied with the applicator brush and then dispersed with air and allowed to dry. The varnish dries clear, so there is no esthetic concern for patients who are heading into public when they leave the office. Unlike chlorhexidine mouth rinses, this varnish will not stain or discolor their teeth. Following professional application, patients should be instructed not to rinse, eat, or drink for one hour.

Available in single-dose and multi-dose units with Vivadent applicator brushes, Ivoclar's Cervitec Plus varnish is easy to apply, adheres well to tooth and restoration surfaces, and provides dentinal hypersensitivity relief and reduced bacterial load in the mouth. These factors make it a quality product to keep in your arsenal for those patients who may need help with bacteria control or hypersensitivity reduction.

MORE READING | Stain and sensitivity: A clinical nightmare


TePe Interdental Brush Kit

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By Colleen M. Olson, RDH, BBA

Walking down the dental care aisle at the grocery store can be overwhelming for our patients. A wide variety of options is available for every kind of oral care product: toothbrushes, toothpastes, floss, interdental aids, and mouth rinses, among other adjuncts. A big part of our job as hygienists is directing patients to the best tools to help them maintain optimal oral health. One of my favorite oral care products is the TePe Interdental Brush Kit.

The variations in width and handle type make this product suitable for many different kinds of patients. TePe Interdental Brushes are perfect for patients who refuse to floss, patients who have limited dexterity, patients with wide or oddly shaped embrasures, patients with tooth concavities, and patients who have areas of food impaction.

I am not a huge fan of beating my patients over the head with the "You must floss every day!" lecture; instead, I encourage them to find an interdental product that they will actually use and then recommend that they use that product every day. Some patients in our practice seem to be more willing to use an interdental brush than floss, so I almost always suggest the TePe Interdental Brushes as a flossing alternative.

These brushes are fantastic for patients with limited dexterity. The angled interdental brushes have a longer handle, and the brush is mounted at about 90 degrees, making the brushes easy to use in hard-to-reach posterior areas. Both the original and angled versions are effective at removing plaque and food debris in a variety of embrasures and tooth concavities.

One of the best things about the TePe Interdental Brushes is the wide array of available sizes. This makes it possible to find just the right size brush to fill an embrasure, slip under a patient's bridge, or use around an implant. At our office, we have a large sample kit that we use to help our patients find the perfect size interdental brush. The brush sizes are color-coded, so once we determine the appropriate size(s) for a patient, he or she knows exactly what to purchase.

TePe Interdental Brushes are available on the TePe website in packs of 6 and 25 and on Amazon in packs of 6, 8, and 25. Patients can also purchase multipacks on Amazon if they need to use a wide variety of sizes.

Some sizes of the TePe Original Interdental Brushes are also available in an ultrasoft-bristle version called Gentle Care. These brushes are meant for patients who may have delicate gum tissue due to xerostomia or recent dental procedures. The Gentle Care brushes are also ideal for patients in orthodontics or patients with implants or other oral hardware. All TePe Interdental Brushes have a plastic-coated wire, which makes them safe to use around all types of dental restorations.

When it comes to interdental care, many patients love to have options other than floss. The TePe Interdental Brush line is a go-to product in our practice that has helped numerous patients improve their oral health. I am glad to have a product we can recommend with confidence to patients who might need to try something different to keep their interproximal spaces free from plaque and debris.

MORE READING | Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, demos TePe's Interdental Brush Kit


Gum Health Physical (GHP)

Colgate Professional

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By Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD

A few weeks ago, I took my car to the dealership for its first oil change. After hanging out in the owners' lounge and gorging on trail mix, hot cookies, and free coffee, they paged my name saying my car was ready. When I came out to meet the service advisor, he handed me a piece of paper. It was a rundown of the results of the 18-point checklist of my car. Since my car has only 10,000 miles on it, all was in the green column!

We can all agree that our vehicles' health is important, but we can probably also agree that gingival health is even more important. I would bet that most of our patients know more about their vehicles' health than their gum health. We should be doing more to keep our patients informed of their gingival status, and Colgate Professional is giving us the tools to do so.

Colgate Professional's new website, Gum Health Physical, is a tool that allows you and your hygienists to accurately communicate with your patients their full gingival condition. When logging onto the website, you are first presented with a patient's tooth chart. Clicking on the individual teeth turns them red, highlighting problem areas. Moving to the patient report, we find further areas you can customize. By making a few selects such as "Treatment done today," "Patient-specific risk factors," "Recommended recall interval," and "Home care recommendations," we generate a gingival version of the 18-point check your car gets during an oil change.

There is also a free-form text area for personalized instructions. From this we can generate a printed report to give to the patient and a PDF for the patient's chart. The patient report is customized with your practice name, address, and phone number, which is a really nice touch.

The final piece of the GHP website is patient education. With very nice interactive visual demonstrations of periodontal disease and great video demonstrations on oral hygiene instructions and disease progression, these tools can help your hygiene team educate your patients. All of this is free, unlike most patient education systems-you can't beat that!

Colgate Professional's Gum Health Physical site is a great free resource to provide for your patients. Let's work together to make sure that our patients know more about their gingival health than they do the tread on their tires. Triple into the corner for Colgate!

Patient site: colgateprofessional.com/ghp

Clinician site: colgateprofessional.com/gum-health-physical


Colleen M. Olson, RDH, BBA, is an editorial director for the e-newsletter, Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator. She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from Texas A&M University in 2008 and worked in sales for five years. She graduated from the Blinn College Dental Hygiene program in 2013. She is currently a full-time hygienist in private practice in San Antonio, Texas. Colleen enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Zach, and their dogs, a Great Dane named Shiner and a shepherd mix named Duddley.

Joshua Austin, DDS, FAGD, is an editorial director for Pearls for Your Practice: The Product Navigator, an e-newsletter from DentistryIQ and Dental Economics. He also writes the "Pearls for Your Practice" column in Dental Economics. After graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental School, Dr. Austin associated for several years. During October of 2009, he opened a solo general practice in a suburban area of San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Austin is involved in all levels of organized dentistry and can be reached at jaustindds@icloud.com.

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