Online Exclusives

Putting Plaque in the Crosshairs

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | February 29, 2016

New toothpaste offers novel—and eye-catching—means to help consumers more effectively battle plaque.

Normally, if a consumer sees green teeth in the bathroom mirror during brushing, she’ll be concerned—to say the least. But if that consumer is brushing with a new toothpaste called Plaque HD, she has reason to smile—and keep brushing. That’s because she’s using aplaque-identifying toothpaste that its creator contends will help her remove up to four times more plaque than a standard toothpaste.
 
Plaque HD Plaque-Identifying Toothpaste, which was invented and launched by Dr. Lawrence Hier in 2014, contains teal disclosing agents that color and identify plaque buildup on teeth, which is a big issue.
 
As experts will attest, ineffective dental plaque removal causes demineralization, cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis, resulting in physical and cosmetic damage to teeth and gum tissue which can lead to swollen and bleeding gums and potential tooth loss.  Furthermore, it has been demonstrated in numerous studies that people with periodontal disease may have an increased likelihood to suffer from cardiovascular disease.
 
According to the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the prevalence of cavities in adults is very high, at 92%, in spite of the fact that many patients claim they follow the recommended oral hygiene guidelines. 
 
“Throughout the past 20 years, while practicing orthodontics, I felt the need for a better and more efficient way to improve our patients’ at-home oral hygiene,” Dr. Hier told Happi. “Upon attending seminars and conventions with colleagues, including orthodontists, general dentists, and pediatric dentists, a recurring theme was how difficult it was for both doctors and staff to ensure that patients and parents were achieving the proper level of oral hygiene care at home.”
 
According to Dr. Hier, parents and patients are often devastated when they get their braces removed, “only to discover that many of them have unsightly permanent scarring and tooth decay due to improper brushing.”
 
Dr. Hier continued to think of a better way to address the issue. His “a-ha!” moment came in early 2010, but as is often the case with NPD, the road to final launch wasn’t swift.
 
“Four and a half years of R&D later, Plaque HD professional plaque identifying toothpaste was born,” he told Happi.
 
The plaque-identifying component is derived from a natural plant source, noted Dr. Hier.
 
According to Dr. Hier, while there have been attempts over the years to create effective rinses with plaque-identifying qualities in them, “it has been my experience that people are hesitant to add additional steps to their regular routine. What differentiates Plaque HD from all other products is that the routine does not change at all. Plaque HD allows people to brush as they did before and encourages them to scrutinize their technique and ensure they have done a complete job.”
 
Recently, results about the paste’s performance were published in the International Journal of Dentistry and Oral Science. Participants in independent studies conducted in the orthodontic department at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry were separated into two groups, with one group brushing with a standard toothpaste and the second group brushing with Plaque HD. The presence of plaque on tooth surfaces was visualized by plaque-bound fluorescein, photographed, and digitally quantified to calculate the percentage of remaining plaque. Participants using Plaque HD demonstrated a 51% reduction in plaque, while participants using a standard toothpaste only demonstrated an 8.3% reduction.
 
According to Dr. Hier, a facility in Joliet, IL manufactures and distributes Plaque HD, which comes in Berry Bubble Gum and Fresh Mint variants and delivers what consumers have come to expect in a toothpaste; i.e., cavity-fightingand fresh breath.
 
“It has always been very important to us to avoid outsourcing to contract manufacturers in order to ensure that our ingredients are of the highest standards and cGMP are being carried out at the highest level in manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding,” he told Happi.
 
Currently, Plaque HD is sold through professional offices and on Amazon.com. It is available in a professional version for $21 and a retail version for $14.95.
 
According to Hier, Plaque HD 1000 dental offices in the US offer the toothpaste. In addition to online portals like Amazon.comand PlaqueHD.com, the formulation will soon be found in retail stores across the US, and will be launched in Canada this month.

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