There is an App for That!
To be toothless at the age of 34 is a travesty. Unfortunately in my practice I have seen patients in this situation. Periodontal disease strikes over 70% of Americans which can cause 20 million people to wear full upper and lower dentures. 1
The consequences of missing teeth include significant nutritional changes, obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease and some forms of cancer. This leads me to wonder, where is the education and knowledge to ensure that my patients will keep all of their teeth for a lifetime? How can I guide and mentor my patients on a daily basis to help them have a great smile?
The ADA states that only 40% of Americans are aware of the proper way to care for their teeth. To expand on that thought; only 33% are actually completing an oral care regimen that will ensure optimal health. 2
Personal trainers are needed to let people know that gum disease and tooth loss can be prevented.
We all know that brushing and flossing helps to keep our teeth healthy and plaque free.One of the most innovative power brushes on the market is the Oral-B PRO Smartseries power brush with bluetooth technology. Clinical studies show that the Oral-B power brush has rotation, pulsation and oscillation action which offers superior cleaning than a manual brush.3
The Oral-B brush has a pressure sensor to ensure proper brushing technique. The brush includes five different brush heads to meet all of your cleaning needs. The most exciting and newest feature of the power brush is the bluetooth technology that connects to an App on any smartphone. This App can motivates you to brush the recommended 2 minutes with a quadrant guide and sends reminders to complete other oral hygiene task.It also helps you focus on the most important areas of your mouth based on a dental professionals' suggestions. The app tracks your progress over time with graphs and charts and stores up to six months of data. This app is able to send text messages to remind you that you have not completed your daily goals.
Oral-B has introduced Test Track. This new program allows a patient to experience what a power brush truly feels like at their dental visit. After feeling the Oral-B power brush at work in their mouth, many patients realize what they have been missing. With the education and hands on knowledge they are using the brush effectively on a daily basis. As a dental professional, I am able to review relevant techniques that can guide my patients to discovering what their personal oral care regimen should be to achieve their goals.
For example, If I have a patient who has some inflammation in a certain area in their mouth, I can record that information on their personal App and every day they will be reminded to focus on that area.
My patient Katherine has seen great results since she started using the power brush. The Oral-B power brush has allowed her to perfect her brushing habits and has allowed her to be sure that she is brushing effectively. She states,” It is just so easy. I let the brush do the work. I know it is cleaning correctly because I can feel the difference. I love the new App! I can track how long I have been brushing each morning and night. It also lets me know if I am brushing too hard. I was a hard brusher. Also my hygienist can let me know if I am on track. It is like having a personal trainer!”
As a hygienist, I can guide my patients along their journey to healthy teeth and gums. I have found that patients love statistics and tracking their habits. That is why devices such as Fitbit and Jawbone are so popular. The new Oral-B bluetooth app allows patients to be in charge of their habits.
This new technology is also very helpful for caregivers such as parents or aids to the elderly and the disabled. The App allows them to keep track of brushing habits, progress in the oral care regimen, and time spent brushing.
As a dental hygienist, I am a prevention specialist. If I can educate my patients on how to prevent decay and tooth loss then I have fulfilled my duty as a professional. I can help reduce the need for dentures and improve the overall quality of life. The Crest and Oral-B power brush is one of the most effective tools available to help people keep their own smile.
Smiles create Happiness… Create yours!
- DiMatteo A, “Are Dental Implants Your First Choice?” Inside Dentistry, March 2006.
- The Public speaks up on Oral health care: An ADA and Crest and Oral-B survey. GFK Paper Media. October 2008.
- Grendel, J. Williams K, Walters P. Plaque removal efficacy of oscillating-rotating power brushes: Review of six comparative clinical trials. American Journal of Dentistry April 2013. Vol.26,No.2:68-74.
By Contemporary General Dentistry
April 28, 2015