The Dental Geek Connects with the Creators of New Caries Protection Product, Tooth Tissues
Practicing dentists and husband-and-wife team, Drs. Jon Korn and Grace Lo, developed a new product, Tooth Tissues, to help protect children from early childhood caries (cavities). The Dental Geek was lucky enough to be able to speak with Jon and Grace about why and how this inventive new product was developed out of the family’s Connecticut home.
Dental Geek: Drs. Jon and Grace, this product sounds very useful for parents; can you tell us a little bit about why you developed Tooth Tissues, and how the development process took place?
Drs. Jon Korn and Grace Lo: Necessity is the mother of invention, and thus began our development of Tooth Tissues. In the middle of the night, our youngest daughter would fall asleep with her bottle. Like many parents, we were just exhausted, and the last thing we wanted to do was find a clean wet washcloth to wipe out her mouth. We soon discovered the advice we were giving our patients was not so easy to follow, so Tooth Tissues were born as a convenience product to replace the wet washcloth. They also have the added benefit of xylitol.
DG: What do the Tooth Tissues do, what are they made of, and how can parents ensure they’re safe enough for their children?
A: They are the first convenience solution to the wet washcloth. They are made of 100% bamboo wipes, moistened with an all-natural solution that contains xylitol. Tooth Tissues are made in the US.
They just achieved the distinction of displaying the Natural Products Association seal. The NPA is currently the only independent organization that sets standards as to whether a product is truly natural.
We purposely designed them to be as close to flavorless as possible, because we didn’t feel that babies needed an added flavor. Although the wipes have a vanilla yogurt smell from the natural preservatives, no taste is left on the teeth.
DG: How does the use of tooth wipes fit in with the traditional oral health regimen for children? Could they replace brushing or flossing?
A: The ADA recommends that soft tissues be wiped even BEFORE primary teeth have erupted. Getting babies used to oral stimulation using dental wipes will help the transition into using a toothbrush. Wipes can be used exclusively until the posterior teeth start to erupt, then, toothbrushing should be the primary form of oral hygiene. For older babies, kids and adults, wipes are a great way to clean when you don’t have a toothbrush handy, especially on the go or after a sticky snack. Something is better than nothing!
DG: At what age should children start visiting the dentist, and what common misconceptions exist about the right timing?
A: Ideally, by baby’s first birthday. This first appointment is mostly to educate the parents about the importance of diet and home care. Often, when we see kids at 3, sadly, there is already tooth decay.
DG: Do you think Tooth Tissues have a place in the pediatrician’s office, as well?
A: Absolutely; dental health and overall health go hand in hand!
We’re parents, so we know how life-altering and crazy having a new baby is. Since most parents visit the pediatrician a few times during the first few months, pediatricians are a great source of information. New parents often are not aware that oral hygiene should begin before baby has any teeth, or why they are so important, even if they eventually fall out. Pediatricians can play a large role in helping their patients get off to a great start with their oral hygiene.
DG: Do you have any recommendations for adult use, and can this product be used on canines, since maintaining a pet’s oral health can often be a struggle?
A: Tooth Tissues can be used for adults when a toothbrush is nowhere to be found. They are perfect for those people who wipe their teeth with napkins and far more hygienic.
Sorry, you can’t use them on your pets, the xylitol causes liver toxicity.
DG: How can Dental Geek readers find out more information about Tooth Tissues, and where can the wipes be purchased?
A: Check out our website, www.toothtissues.com, for a complete list of retailers or to purchase directly.