One Of My Best Tips For Efficient Ortho Prophys

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Ugh. Your 30 min child prophy just showed up, right after school lunch, with a new full set of braces. This is about the time when I USED to shed a little tear as I knew I was going be be put behind in my schedule. Now when I have this scenario, I am excited for the change of routine and can complete it in the time provided. (Feel free however to schedule extra time at the next prophy visit if needed.) Here’s is the time frame ESTIMATION by minute:

  • 1m-HH
  • 4m-Radiographs (if needed)
  • 2m-Brush the patient's teeth/OHE
  • 10m-Polish, ultrasonic, hand instrumentation
  • 3m-Flossing
  • 5m-Exam
  • 1m-Fluoride
  • 4m-Dismissal/room turnaround

One of my personal biggest time savers to stay on the above schedule on an ortho patient is to disclose, hand them a mirror, and then have the patient watch me brush their teeth. This will give you a good head start on removal of materia alba and biofilm, which these patients usually have lots of, and at the same time you are doing OHE. I love a good BOGO (Brush One Get OHE). You could have the patient brush their teeth over the sink as well but I find that they take longer and still miss those hard to reach areas.

I used to hate flossing braces, as threading the floss through each time was a killer! Some time saving tips on braces are to use an ortho flosser such as the sterilizable handle from the company GumChucks with an ORTHOgami attachment, or you could use the platypus flosser or fish floss. Find one that works best for you by requesting some samples. 

Stay tuned in over the next few weeks to come as we have some videos on how to be more proficient  with the air powder polisher, ultrasonic and hand instruments on patients with ortho.