Hygiene Pearls for your Practice

Hygiene Pearls for your Practice May 2015

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GumChucks by OralWise Inc.

The most difficult part of dental hygiene might be converting nonflossers to flossers. Many patients just will not floss regularly, and we all must learn to live with that. I frequently find that dental floss itself is the major hurdle to getting patients to floss more regularly. When given alternatives, many floss-resistant patients are able to choose an adjunct that helps them debride interproximal plaque. One of our roles in helping our patients should be helping our nonflossers find tools that work for them and their lifestyles. Being familiar with the tools on the market is a responsibility of both the dentist and the dental hygienist.

A fairly new adjunct in the fight against interproximal plaque is the GumChucks product line from OralWise Inc. Named after the weapon, nunchucks, GumChucks have two independent handles that click onto a length of disposable floss. With the two independent handles, patients are able to achieve the C shape with the floss, so it hugs the roots of the teeth. Few flossing adjuncts could achieve this. The two independent handles also make flossing a bit easier for patients who have dexterity issues. GumChucks also offers GumChucks Kids, which are smaller and packaged with a comic book theme and a trading card to arm kids with the "weapons of plaque destruction." The other product in the line, Orthogami, offers a novel approach to flossing around orthodontic appliances, allowing the patient to sneak under the archwire to floss "in less than two minutes." OralWise is really doing some unique, creative things to help patients with home care. Check out their website, www.gumchucks.com, and order some samples. We could all use a few more "weapons of plaque destruction"!

Fluor Protector S by Ivoclar Vivadent Inc.

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The literature currently available distinctly shows that fluoride varnish is superior to other delivery methods. Foams and rinses are yesterday's products. Varnish should be the topical fluoride of choice in your office. I understand the irony in painstakingly cleaning a patient's teeth, only to slop a sticky varnish on top of them and thus deprive the patient of that freshly polished feeling. Unfortunately, however, it's just the cost of doing business when you are providing fluoride using the most-proven delivery method available. Now, selecting the varnish to use is a different story. There are hundreds of choices on the market, and selecting one can be an exercise in trial and error. In my practice, I want a varnish that is easy to apply, has low viscosity, and dries clear.

All of those qualifications are met with Fluor Protector S from Ivoclar Vivadent Inc. Most varnishes deliver a very concentrated topical dose of fluoride. Delivered in either a multidose tube or a single-dose unit, Fluor Protector S is no different in that regard, but its chemistry offers a fairly novel concept when it comes to fluoride concentration. When Fluor Protector S is applied, the fluoride concentration is approximately 7,000 ppm. As the solvent dries, the fluoride concentration rises dramatically-to around 30,000 ppm. Also, it's a low-viscosity varnish that allows the varnish to flow into the interproximal spaces for the most benefit, unlike varnishes with higher viscosities, which can be difficult to spread over the exposed tooth structure. Like all other fluoride varnishes, it is indicated for use in patients with a high risk of caries, dental hypersensitivity, exposed root surfaces, and postoperative sensitivity.

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