Our office integrates a hygiene program into our practice that ensures excellence in oral care. It employs a standardized grading scale and feedback system for each of our patients so they can track their progress or lack of progress in maintaining healthy teeth and gums throughout their time in orthodontic treatment.
Ortho essentials includes distribution, instruction, and appointment monitoring of the use of the Philips Sonicare Toothbrush, PlaqueHD toothpaste, Glide Floss and the Philips Sonicare Air Floss. Our hope is to see a renaissance in oral hygiene and a decrease in white spot decalcification. At the start of orthodontic treatment each patient receives program instructions, views a DVD, and is asked to purchase, at a convenience price, an electric toothbrush and air flosser. At each office visit, patients are asked to "score their smile" on a 1 to 5 basis, with 5 being excellent and 1 being poor with a high probability of chalky white spots on teeth and swollen, bleeding gums. This standardized grading scale and feedback loop enables our team at each office visit to help our patients get their daily braces cleaning right.
By integrating digital photography of problems, we can help patients see why they were scored poorly and how to take corrective actions. With improved oral hygiene, our patients visit their family dentists with no decalcifications (white marks), minimal swollen gums, and no tooth decay. We request that those patients who chronically score 1 or 2 out of a 5 point system to see their dentist for more frequent cleaning appointments. Good oral hygiene is enabling our practice to spend less time in oral hygiene instruction and correction and more time advancing orthodontic treatment goals. Many patients are establishing oral health skills and habits that will last a lifetime.