The 2015 UK Clinical Innovations Award has recently been won by an Australian company, Erskine Oral Care, for their new 'reverse and forward focus-tip' toothbrushes.
Known for their 'Piksters' interdental brushes, Erskine Oral Care have now developed their own patented toothbrushes including the forward and reverse focus-tip brushes, as well as a stain remover and a tongue cleaner.
The 'U- turn' design of the reverse focus head enables patients to properly access the lingual of incisors - a common area of plaque retention and calculus, especially when wire retainers are present. Soft bristle is trimmed to a blunted but 'focus'-like tip to enable good interproximal penetration, and good cleaning ability under wire splints. It is used with a poking, probing action rather than a conventional lateral scrubbing action. It can be also be used on palatal of upper incisors, and on the distal of molars.
Accepting the award in London, Dr Craig Erskine-Smith commented that he and many others had, for years, been manually heating and bending brush heads to get the right angle, and trimming
Bristles - however that was all unnecessary now.
The brush head is removable and replaceable, and the handle has a soft rubber thumb and palm area with enough tackiness to make gripping easier ensuring less muscular or joint strain making this product especially useful for the elderly and those with arthritis. This same handle also accepts the forward focus head, which is designed for cleaning operculums and around ortho brackets and wires. There is also the option to fit a stain remover or a tongue cleaner to the same handle.
Lingual wire splinting after orthodontics, or for periodontal mobility, is very common and very effective, but it is also very awkward for patients to clean underneath such wires, Dr Erskine-Smith says. He recounted one particular case that set this project in motion. A young, post-orthodontic patient with a lingual splint presented with alarming lingual gingivitis around the wire. On radiographic examination he had lost 2 mm of bone - almost certainly as a result of the plaque retention caused by the lingual splint and his inability to clean under it properly. 'I decided then to make a brush to not only address this problem, but also design it for general use in lingual calculus control, which is a more common problem.'
Dozens of different prototypes at different angles, bristle lengths and head lengths were developed, and eventually the final design was produced. The reverse and forward focus heads were then married up with the new developed Piksters Connect handle system - which incorporates an easy quarter turn, twist-on head.
Virtually all common toothbrush making machines could not make these brushes at this unusual 'U' turn angle. Nor were the standard machines able to cut the bristles to the required point. It has taken considerable effort to push these brushes through to completion. The launch has begun and the brushes have been very well received by dentists and hygienists at the ADA Brisbane, Euro Perio London and in Cologne at the IDS. A deceptively simple Australian design which delivers a comprehensive solution.
For all enquiries and ordering contact Erskine Oral Care 1800 817 155, or visit our website http://piksters.com/