We’re always on the lookout for the latest in dentistry, and this newish entry to the world of burgeoning oral health products caught our eye. Developed by an orthodontist, it is a patented disclosing toothpaste (Plaque HD) which is designed to help patients with braces to brush better.
One of the greatest challenges when it comes to braces (especially the traditional metal ones) is brushing. Food and plaque tends to build up very easily, causing significant gingivitis to the point where the gums can grow over the braces and cover one’s teeth completely. This can also lead to extremely significant cavities, the cost of repair approaching the cost of the braces themselves. We’re talking thousands of dollars. Gulp!
But how does one know that you are doing an adequate job? For our younger patients who don’t brush well, we give out disclosing tablets (there are also mouth rinses). These tablets, which are chewed after an initial round of brushing, get incorporated into plaque that hasn’t been brushed off, turning these areas pink. Hence, one can actually see the areas that are being missed, and can go back and brush the pink off. Aside from a great educational tool, it is great fun for the kids to see their teeth turn pink.
Plaque HD incorporates this disclosing agent in their fluoride cavity preventing toothpaste. Instead of pink, it turns teeth green in areas that haven’t been brushed well (ie. plaque is accumulating) and serves as a visual cue for patients to go back and brush in those areas. The benefit of this toothpaste is that it’s a one step process – simply brush, look for green areas and then brush again until removed.
This is a fabulous idea that is a long time coming. It’s applications are not limited only to patients with braces but can be used by anybody who brushes poorly. It is a vast improvement from the traditional disclosing tablet route which is more labor intensive, messy and takes more time. The toothpaste retails for $21 (direct to consumer) which may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that even one small white composite filling costs significantly more. Think of the toothpaste as an investment for not only a beautiful smile, but a healthy one. We think this is a win-win for all.
The kids are back at school (mostly) and we’ve been on a little summer blogging hiatus. But we’re back! Some of us have been super busy over the summer, including our friend Mariah (who happens to be the daughter of our fantastic assistant Kris!) who recently got her braces on. Just in time to be styling them at school. She was super psyched to get them on, showing that getting your braces on is as easy as pie. So for anybody nervous about getting your braces put on, no worries – Mariah’s smile is proof positive that it is easy and painless. By the way, we love her T-Shirt.
We are big fans of the movies here at Dentistry For Children, so imagine our delight when we found out that not only is there a new “Monsters” movie soon to be released, but that Mike Wazowski continues to wear his retainer while in college.
Mind you, Mike Wazowski’s dentition leaves much to be desired, but we suppose, for a monster, he has a perfect occlusion.
A mantra that we repeat to all of our orthodontic patients is that we can straighten your teeth, but to maintain their alignment, retainers need to be worn on a consistent basis. If not worn, teeth have a tendency to shift back to their original positions, which in many cases, can lead to crowding and rotated teeth. The short of it? Wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist and enjoy a lifetime of compliments on your smile.
Now that’s something even Mike Wazowski won’t argue with.