Four orthodontists reveal what they give patients to help them clean their teeth

For this month’s “Chairside,” instead of asking one orthodontist several questions, we asked several orthodontists one question: What’s in your patient hygiene kit? Here are some of the answers that we got.

Alfredo Gilbert, DDS, MS Zaragoza, Mexico

In my patient hygiene kit I always include the following items:

  • toothbrush;
  • toothpaste;
  • dental floss;
  • gel with clorhexidine (with instructions that it be used for at most 2 weeks);
  • a dental mirror;
  • a bottle of Plax; and
  • a pack of Trident chewing gum.

I instruct my patients to chew gum after I place the brackets. In this way they feel a little less stressed and become confident that the brackets are able to resist the bite. Chewing gum also helps to keep the teeth and apparatus clean. Keep in mind that I work almost exclusively with the lingual technique, and so I have to increase my patients’ confidence.

Robert N. Pickron, DDS

Our patient hygiene kits contain one mesh bag filled with Sunstar Butler products:

  • one ortho toothbrush;
  • 12 yards of mint waxed floss;
  • go-between cleaners;
  • floss threaders;
  • one pack of Rincinol PRN;
  • unflavored wax;
  • a travel cap for the toothbrush; and
  • an instructional manual.

Straty Righellis, DDS
Oakland, Calif

  • Toothbrush (regular and travel);
  • Super floss;
  • wax;
  • Gel Kam; and a
  • Proxibrush.

Ari Y. Krug, DMD
Lakewood, NJ

  1. brush;
  2. travel brush;
  3. floss;
  4. floss threader;
  5. proxy brush;
  6. wax;
  7. a mirror (I don’t know why there is a mirror—it seems like every prepackaged kit has a mirror, though); and
  8. for patients with transpalatal appliances we add a monoject syringe to help clean out debris.

A lot of people give out disclosing tablets. I don’t think that anyone ever actually uses these. I only give them out when we are having a hygiene problem with individual patients and they need something to reinforce their skills.

At first I was getting soft pencil cases custom printed with my logo and then stuffing them with these items. Recently I found that I wasn’t saving anything on doing my own stuffing over ordering prepacked kits (from Ulan Orthodontics) who put my logo on them for me.

For a complete list of companies offering all of these items, check out the “Products for Patients” section of our online Buyer’s Guide.

My own childhood orthodontist (Albert Landucci, DDS, in San Mateo, Calif) gave out a WaterPik-type water irrigator. I think it is a great tool, and I have been investigating getting this for a reasonable price so I can do the same.