An effective tool in the fight against caries
I’ve been practicing for more than 25 years, and in that time my relationship with caries has changed. Early in my career, we actually thought we might see the end of caries thanks to declining rates of the disease and increased access to dental care and prevention. That wasn’t to be, and instead my clinical observation is that caries is on the rise. Today we also battle increased nutritional risk, an aging population, and significant dry mouth due to everyday medications.
With all of the factors lined up against our patients today that can cause dental caries, we need to help them protect their dental health on many fronts. In addition to helping our patients understand how their food choices and home care play a significant role, we can maximize the time we have together and focus on prevention. It’s important to help patients understand that getting caries isn’t just about eating candy and not brushing your teeth. We need to change the things we can, such as consuming fewer sugary drinks and committing to better home care, but we can also tip the scale by strengthening the enamel, buffering the saliva, and activating the biofilm.
In our office, we share with patients every day that fluoride isn’t just for kids. In truth, I worry just as much about the adult patients in my practice getting caries as I do the kids. Fluoride replaces the calcium ions in the enamel matrix, changing the structure from hydroxyapatite to fluoroapatite, which is more resistant to the process of caries. But fluoride isn’t all we need to do. Streptococcus mutans thrive in an acidic environment, so it is just as important to buffer the saliva through the introduction of calcium and phosphate.
As part of a routine hygiene visit, you can give your patients the advantage of a one-two punch with MI Varnish™ from GC America Inc. MI Varnish contains both a professional-strength sodium fluoride application, as well as GC America’s unique RECALDENT™ (CPP-ACP) calcium phosphate buffering formula. RECALDENT (CPP-ACP) is a combination of casein phosphopeptides (CPP), which occur naturally in milk, and amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP). The CPP binds to the biofilm, pellicle, and tooth structure to increase the substantivity of the active ingredients of ACP and fluoride. This unique combination amongst fluoride varnishes improves the efficacy.
In addition to the clinical benefits, your hygiene team and patients will love MI Varnish. It is uniquely packaged to be easy and convenient and has a smooth application to the tooth. MI Varnish is transparent and does not add a dingy yellowish/brown color to freshly polished tooth surfaces. It is available in two refreshing flavors, strawberry and mint.
About the Author
Lee Ann Brady, DMD, owns Desert Sun Smiles Dental Care, a private restorative practice in Glendale, Arizona. Outside of her private practice, Dr. Brady teaches her own courses and presents at meetings internationally, and writes a clinical dental education blog on her website. Dr. Brady earned her DMD degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. She is the clinical editor of the Seattle Study Club Journal, a guest presenter at The Pankey Institute and teaches for the University of Florida College of Dentistry Department of Continuing Education.
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