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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

practical prevention | indivdually trained oral prophylaxis Shi(cid:3)ing the paradigm to prevention at home Imagine that, in a world that knows the causes of paralysis, a major effort would still be expended in developing the perfect wheelchair instead of addressing the causes. In a world where patients strive for the healthiest smile, the dental profession still focuses on designing the perfect implant. How does one return to the basics of prophylaxis in dentistry? Success in prophylaxis can only be accomplished if practitioners teach and motivate themselves, their teams, their families and their patients about it. That is the vision of the iTOP programme, short for individually trained oral prophylaxis. This programme and concept have convinced thousands of dentists globally to rethink biofilm management, prophylaxis and oral health. How does iTOP work? AUTHOR: DENTAL TRIBUNE INTERNATIONAL Cologne, Germany, 20 °C on an early spring day: the Interna- tional Dental Show (IDS), the world’s largest trade fair for dental professionals, is in full swing. Over 2,300 exhibitors, more than 155,000 trade visitors and five show days hardly leave time for toothbrushing. Hall 11.3 is the location of a vast variety of oral hy- giene manufacturers. A large line is form- ing at the stand of a well-known brand for electric toothbrushes. Young women, most of them dental students or dental hygienists, queue to get the latest piece of perfect brushing equipment—free for everyone willing to wait. Upon arriving at the entrance, they fill out a form, watch a 10-minute presentation and receive the complete package, handed to them by a lovely hostess who just attended a car or food show, but considers this dental fair just as “fun and exciting”. At a corner of Hall 11.3, visitors come upon the Curaden booth, temporary home to the Swiss oral health care manufacturer many dental professionals are familiar with because of its colourful CS 5460 tooth- brushes. Passing by a range of interdental brushes, toothbrushes and toothpastes, attendees are keen to receive yet anoth- er fun and exciting bag packed with free cleaning tools. They approach the counter where a Curaden employee smiles and responds: “All you have to do is to queue up—and have your teeth brushed.” “Have my teeth brushed? I am a professional; I know how to brush my teeth,” is one of the politer answers. A few seconds later, the same professionals, albeit reluctantly, listen to dental hygienists or dentists in- troducing them to the comprehensive concept of iTOP. And that is where the magic starts! After a few words about the philoso- phy and technique, Anna, one of the in- structors, suddenly places a toothbrush into a young man’s mouth and starts brushing, only to ask him to brush her teeth a few seconds later. “I felt that you applied a bit too much pressure,” says Anna. “With this soft toothbrush, you only need to touch your gums with some of the bristles. Let me show it to you again.” They both spit out the toothpaste at the dental care station, repeat the brush- ing one more time—and the young man starts smiling. One short explanation, a single minute and the proper technique were enough to change his behaviour and future communication with the pa- tient. He was introduced to the principle of Touch2Teach, which asserts that, in order to teach something to your patient, you have to start with improving your own brushing. Having clear criteria, concepts and techniques is important if you are to transfer that knowledge to patients. A global concept Touch2Teach is the unique practical part of the iTOP approach, which differs in many ways from other prophylaxis concepts. In most seminars, instructors often demonstrate something with par- ticipants looking over their shoulder. The comprehensive iTOP concept combines four aspects: regular training, the right techniques and tools, and the neces- sary motivation to instruct dental profes- sionals, who can then transfer their new experience directly to their patients. All iTOP seminars are led by independent dentists and dental hygienists who have completed the training themselves. The 44 issue #1

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