The Miracle Mousse

Author : Dr. Rosa Ria Halili-Suguitan

As a health care professional in the field of Dentistry, I have always felt it was a priority to have long-lasting relationships with my dear patients. I love being part of my patients transition through life – from children as I care for their milk teeth, to my elderly patients who deserve the utmost care so they can enjoy the best possible quality of life. I strive to understand the needs of all my patients so I can then help them achieve a healthier oral environment and a more confident smile. However, encouraging them to make changes in their hygiene habits and take greater ownership for their oral health is an ongoing challenge, and I’m sure it is the same challenge experienced by most in our profession.

Oral health is recognized as an integral and indivisible component of every Filipino’s total health since nourishment begins in the oral cavity. But it is usually ranked last in an individual’s priority[1]. The National Monitoring and Evaluation Dental Survey (NMEDS) conducted by the Department of Health in 2011 shows that the prevalence of dental caries among Filipinos is 87.4%, while 48.3% for periodontal disease. My experience with new patients is typically they are using inconsistent brushing routines with a regular toothpaste, while families in lower-income households use alternative methods to clean their teeth such as saltwater gargles and brushing with baking soda. Thus, building awareness of the importance of oral health to make it a higher priority, and encouraging patients to build better habits with the patient-specific solutions I want to recommend is a challenge.

About 92.4% of Filipinos have tooth decay (dental caries) and 78% have gum diseases (periodontal diseases). (DOH, NMEDS 1998)

The 2018 National Survey on Oral Health of the Department of Health found that 85.2% of Filipino children aged five years old have dental caries.

They say, ‘change is inevitable’, it truly is. And I recognise that change depends on the influence of an individual so how can I influence other people so I can help them make positive changes?

About 5 years ago I went through my own experience of change that helped me understand one of the important ways in which I could influence others. My ritual was that at the start of the day, I would always brew a cup of delicious coffee. Now that’s a ritual that happens for many people every day but why it was important for me was it helped me manage my sensitive teeth. Yes, that’s right… coffee helped me prepare for that unpleasant sensation of sensitivity, but my dilemma was it was only a good fix first thing in the morning. I couldn’t spend the day drinking coffee without other undesirable side effects creating new problems in a busy dental practice.

So, one day while I was attending to my patients, I caught a glimpse of a box of GC Tooth Mousse Plus sitting on the shelf. I remembered reading it being described as delivering “vitamins for your teeth”. I then recognised I had never tried using the product myself and thought that if this is true, maybe it can help me with my sensitivity problem.

So, I did some more research on it and learned that it contains Recaldent™ (CPP-ACP) and 900 ppm fluoride. In basic terms, GC Tooth Mousse Plus has bioavailable calcium and phosphate working in synergy with fluoride to both protect and repair our teeth. The secret to its effectiveness is the calcium, phosphate and fluoride are wrapped in a milk-derived peptide which is brilliantly effective at binding onto our teeth. It forms a “super pellicle layer” which is immediately effective at desensitising and over time builds a fluorapatite barrier to stop the ongoing cause of the sensitivity. We also know the peptide penetrates and remineralises subsurface lesions, so it is very effective at reversing white spot lesions.

Armed with enough information to get me interested I decided to take some GC Tooth Mousse Plus home and give it a try myself. This is when I realised just how effective it was at desensitising. I found the best routine for me was to apply it every morning immediately after waking up. After applying I would let it mix with saliva in my mouth and I would swish it around as a sort of mouthwash for as long as I could while I prepared for the day ahead. Within a week I realised I was just not experiencing any sensitivity. What an improvement… no more twinges of sensitivity… this mousse is the real deal!

It reinforced to me that many patients are in discomfort and compromising what they do to get out of pain and that I can guide them so they can be out of pain. When you experience this process yourself it becomes so clear that a simple solution is there, patients are going to have less discomfort in future, they are going to enjoy certain foods that normally they wouldn’t (like ice cream!!!) and their quality of life will be better.

So how have I found I am better able to influence other people to make positive changes?

I communicate my advice in ways that are meaningful for them so they can imagine things will be better if they follow my guidance. To do this I firstly need to understand what is important for them and what impact a positive change could have for them. And once this is clear I need to communicate from my heart, with care & passion and with first-hand experience it is easy to communicate from my heart.

Fast forward to present, through the course of the pandemic, we have delivered GC e-Learning Series to support dentists who were impacted by the lockdowns and restrictions. I do think the “Teledentistry” topic was an important one to cover as via Teledentistry clinicians can show their patients just how much they care for them and want to help them. Being able to recommend preventive measures to those who are distant to their family dentist is exceedingly effective. This type of guidance, such as a recommendation to use Tooth Mousse/ Plus, helps patients feel in greater control over their oral health and helps reduce any concerns or anxieties about access to dental care.

I found the positive feedback that came after our e-Learning on Teledentistry was personally very rewarding as it wasn’t just my own patients that were now benefiting from this approach.  Being an inspiration to our GC e-Learning Series attendees is important to help share the good oral care habits and messages that clinicians can readily adopt into their daily practice. All our patients can benefit from this.

GC Philippines’ e-Learning Series started in March 2020 with various topics such as Preventive, Pediatric, Restorative, Prosthodontics to offer support for the dental profession by giving the latest tips and techniques that can be used in the dental office the next day.

GC Tooth Mousse is a safe product to use for babies’ teeth, is well tolerated by children and tastes delicious.

The success of this method relies as to how we can be advocates of a new system; therefore, we should believe that what we teach can truly bring change into one’s lives especially because it is backed up with research and our own (or our patients) positive experiences.

And just like Heraclitus used to say: “change is the only constant”.

Dr. Rosa Ria Halili-Suguitan
The young Doctor of Dental Medicine, Dr. Rosa Ria Halili-Suguitan has ardent interest and exposure in new technical innovations in dentistry. She is currently working as Professional Service Analyst at GC Asia Dental, Philippines. Dr. Ria had worked for few years as Faculty Member in University of the East – Manila College of Dentistry. She has been the Speaker at PDA Luzon Convention. Dr. Ria is a Member of Philippine Dental Association and International Association for Orthodontics. She is associated with International Association for Orthodontics – Philippines Section and Dental Faculty Club, UE College of Dentistry. She is the Alumna of Achievers’ Council for Excellence.

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