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31 Jul 2015 | Auxiliary

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Open up and drive: Oral-B introduces innovative program to trial power brushing

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Countless studies demonstrate the effectiveness of using power toothbrushes over manual brushing. Despite concerted efforts by dental practitioners to convince patients to changeover, however, there is often a reluctance to buy a power brush before trying it first.

Recognising this problem, Oral-B has created a world first Test Drive Power Brush Trial Program. Now available to dental practitioners around the country, there is absolutely no cost to participate in this innovative way to help educate patients on the benefits of using a power toothbrush.

"I could not have asked for a better initiative," said Melissa Bouchahine, an Oral Health Therapist at Churchill Dental Clinic in Sydney's Winston Hills. "It's such a great idea! So far, I've completed more than 100 test drives with patients and they really love being able to try power brushing for the first time.

"The Test Drive is also a great tool for helping existing power brush users refine their technique."

To facilitate the Test Drive program and ensure it is completely safe for patients and practitioners, Oral-B has developed a special version of its flagship Triumph 5000 SmartGuide power brush together with a triple protection hygiene protocol.

A specially-designed protective sleeve has been developed for the handle that works in combination with a new disposable brush head to help provide extra protection against soiling the handle. The new single use refill brush heads feature a sealing insert to prevent saliva from entering the handle. Finally, a cleaning and disinfection procedure in-line with international standards and in tune with your day-to-day operations completes the infection control protocol.

On completion of the Test Drive, the sleeve slides up the handle and over the head; the head is then removed inside the sleeve and disposed of. The handle is then disinfected, ready for reuse.

Oral-B supplies practices participating in the Test Drive with the Oral-B Triumph 5000 SmartGuide handle and an unlimited supply of barrier sleeves and brush heads, all at no cost. New sleeves and heads can be ordered online at any time through the My Oral-B web app.

Churchill Dental Clinic is a busy practice in Sydney's north west, operating 6 days a week with a team of four dentists and three oral health therapists providing comprehensive dental care. The Oral-B Test Drive Power Brush Trial Program has been embraced by the hygiene team at the practice with vigour.

"I ask every patient about their home care routine," Ms Bouchahine continued. "If they already use a power brush, I ask them to demonstrate their technique so I can coach them and give them tips on how to improve, based on what I see in their mouth. Patients are always very responsive to that; many power brush users still use manual brushing techniques so they welcome learning how to get the most from their power brush.

"Before the Test Drive became available, I would ask patients who use a power brush already to bring it in at their next appointment. Of course six months later, most had forgotten and we would have to improvise.

"Now the Test Drive is part of practically every hygiene appointment. There is no cost to the practice, but it adds significant value from the patient's perspective. It only takes a small amount of time to complete, but it's the part of the appointment they feel they get the most out of."

Ms Bouchahine said that a chart supplied as part of the program shows the various brush head options available from Oral-B and this aids in instructing patients in the best choices for their individual situations.

"When we do a Test Drive on patients who don't use a power brush already, they either love it or hate it. Most of the time, they love it because they feel they are doing less to accomplish more. But some people just don't like the vibration.

"As a practice, we have a focus on prevention and we see that promoting the use of power toothbrushes is a great way of helping patients achieve optimal oral health. In the past, all we could do was to recommended power brush use, whereas now, thanks to the Oral-B Test Drive Power Brush Trial Program, patients leave the practice excited to take their oral hygiene to a new level. It's a great initiative."

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