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Kim Miller May 2005 column

April 1, 2011
Kim Miller, the author of the Haute Hygienist column in RDH, describes products she viewed  at the 2011 Chicago Midwinter meeting.

by Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH

At the writing of this column I’m on a plane on my way back to California from the Chicago Midwinter Dental meeting (CMW). The weather couldn’t have been better for Chicago in February; it was cold but not wet. The course rooms and the exhibit hall were buzzing with energy and enthusiasm, and I had the rare and pleasant experience of having lunch with our own Mark Hartley. If you have never taken the opportunity to attend the CMW, I recommend it. As one of the biggest meetings in the country, it offers a huge range of exhibitors as well as quality speakers and educators. It really was a bright spot in the middle of a dreary winter.I toured the exhibit hall in search of useful information, cool tools, products and technologies to share with you. I ran across some products to keep an eye on as design and function are improved, and I tested tried and true technologies and new innovations from trusted manufacturers. With more than 9,000 exhibitors from 658 companies with over 1,600 booths, there was no way to see everything, but trust me when I say, by the end of the meeting “my dogs were barking.” Here’s a product to try and a device to keep your eye on. Sylc SmarTip is a new, single-use, dry powder air polishing system that attaches to your existing handpiece air line with an adapter that seals off the water line. The SmarTip uses Sylc, the only air polishing powder that has 80% NovaMin, as an active ingredient. The SmarTip uses a single-use delivery system. The single-use pod easily snaps onto the handpiece fitting. The SmarTip design currently has the point of delivery about 3.5 inches from the grip, making it difficult to fulcrum without using your other hand for support, which makes it challenging to provide adequate evacuation. I understand they are working to correct this challenge. I love the technology of providing therapeutic air polishing with bioactive glass (trade name NovaMin), for those patients with hypersensitivity and exposed root surfaces. The bioactive glass desensitizes as it polishes by filling the dentinal tubules with a chemical compound composed of naturally occurring elements: calcium, phosphorous, silica, and sodium. NovaMin has been shown to promote regeneration of damaged tooth surfaces by creating an enamel-like layer to reduce hypersensitivity.1,2,3 The good news is Sylc can be purchased in bulk and used in any air polishing system capable of lowering the PSI to 35 to 45. Visit to check it out.I also had the opportunity to visit with the owner of an oral health care line called Durafresh. The active ingredient in these products is chlorine dioxide (ClO2), which targets sulphur compounds at the molecular level. They offer toothpaste, mouthwash, and a breath spray made in the U.S. with all natural ingredients. The toothpaste has a fresh taste and left my mouth feeling clean. If you prefer less foaming action, you will love this toothpaste. The mouthwash comes in mint and melon flavors, and I found the melon to be a really refreshing and nice change from the standard mint. They also have a moisturizing hand sanitizer, which you can use after hand washing to moisturize your hands and in between glove changes to sanitize. It’s not sticky so your gloves slip on, and it has a very pleasant smell. I like the lavender and rosemary fragrance. Durafresh also has a pet care line to help treat periodontal disease and halitosis in our beloved dogs and cats. Another unique feature is a commission structure that creates a revenue stream for your office. Over the years, many of my clients have not wanted to order, stock, and sell products. On the other hand, it is our responsibility to recommend products. Durafresh offers great products without the need to stock them, and they pay you a commission when your patients order. If this sounds intriguing, visit to try their products for yourself. You may want to order a couple of bottles of the mouthwash for your operatories so your patients can try it. Enter the promo code KMIL2YY for a 5% discount at checkout.

Did you know there is a certification rating for the quality of latex gloves? I didn’t, so I’m glad I learned about it. “The Standard Malaysian Glove (SMG) product quality certification scheme for latex exam gloves was developed by Malaysia in consultation with various relevant authorities including the U.S. FDA. Latex gloves with SMG certification, lightly powdered and powder-free, meet stringent requirements for safety and reliability equivalent to international standards and are manufactured at facilities that comply with these standards. The SMG scheme establishes standards not only for barrier performance, which is the single most important function of medical gloves, but also for protein and powder content, elements believed to cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to latex proteins.”4

SMG certification is carried out by the internationally recognized Malaysian Rubber Board, which has been conducting research on rubber and rubber products for over 80 years. SMG certified gloves are identified by a green SMG (powder-free) or orange SMG (powdered) logo. They are environmentally friendly since natural rubber and its products are biodegradable. SMG certified gloves have been rated for consistent quality, excellent barrier performance, comfort, fit and feel, high strength and elasticity, environmental friendliness, and minimal protein content. You can purchase SMG certified gloves from Burkhart, Patterson, Sullivan-Schein, UG Healthcare, and others. Visit for more information.

WaterPik just launched their water flosser for kids. This is not just a smaller version; it’s been scaled down to fit a child’s hand. It comes with a bright lime green transparent reservoir and a couple of sheets of stickers for decoration. The unit includes standard and ortho tips, also sized down for children’s mouths. You may be wondering about the practicality of teaching children to water floss. I did too, for about two minutes. Do kids get gingivitis? Do kids wear braces very young these days? The answers are a resounding yes! I bet you agree that it’s about time we start training children at a much younger age to take care of their mouths with more than just brushing. Most children do not have the fine motor dexterity to string floss until they reach about eight or nine. So water flossing is the perfect solution for kids six and up. Go to to check out the water flosser for kids.

I also want to mention the all-natural white kaolin clay toothpaste, Dentisse Natural Reflection. In an enamel polishing test conducted at the Health Science Research Center, Indiana University-Perdue University, Fort Wayne, Ind., and presented at the 2008 American Association for Dental Research (AADR) conference, Dentisse was found to produce the highest degree of polish available from any commercial toothpaste — maximum shine and maximum luster. Of the 26 toothpastes tested, Dentisse imparted the highest degree of polish with a score of 97, while the rest of the whitening/polishing toothpastes ranged from 38 to 80. I drink tea, and I’ve noticed a big reduction in staining since I started using Dentisse. Try this one for yourself and see if you would recommend it to your patients. Dentisse also offers a mouth rinse and lip balm. Visit for more information.

Finally, if you know someone facing board exams, I want to tell you about an innovative new game/study tool called Pass It, Dental Hygiene Edition. Visit for more information. Enter the promo code RDHmag for $20 off at checkout.

Email me and let me know if you come across any exciting new products you would like to share with fellow hygienists. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH, graduated from Loma Linda University in 1981. Kim is a co-founder of and a partner with the JP Institute as well as a national speaker, author, and hands-on trainer. She can be contacted at [email protected].

1. Burwell AK, Greenspan DC. Potential for Dentifrice Protection Against Enamel Erosion in an In Vitro Model. Abstract #116, Presented at 54th ORCA Congress, 2007 [Caries Res. 2007;41(4):268-334].
2. Litkowski LJ, Quinlan K, Pandya A. In Situ Comparison of Surfaces by Optical Profilometry. Abstract #1412, Presented at IADR 85th General Session, 2007. [J Dent Res. 2007;86(Spec Iss A):1412].

3. Jennings DT, McKenzie KM, Greenspan DC, Clark AE. Quantitative Analysis of Tubule Occlusion Using NovaMin®. Abstract #2416, Presented at IADR 82nd General Session, 2004. [ J Dent Res. 2004;83(Spec Iss A):2416]. Burwell AK, Greenspan DC. Quantitative Tubule Occlusion in an In Vitro Remineralization/Demineralization Model. Abstract #0568, Presented at Pan European IADR Meeting, 2006. [ J Dent Res. 2006;85 (Spec Iss C):0568(PEF)].
4. The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotional Council, product brochure and company information.