by Kris Potts, RDH, BS, FAADH
LeeAnn Winkler, BSDH, a hygienist at Miller & Miller, DDS in Plano, Texas actively advocates for Spry xylitol products to her patients. She has worked alongside Julie Wallace RDH with Drs. Chris and Matt Miller for the last seven years. She first heard about how the use of xylitol could impact a patient’s oral health at a state professional association meeting about six years ago. The office began its journey with xylitol slowly, at first just promoting the Spry Oral Rinse and the Spry Mints to patients.
However, not long after, LeAnn relates the story of a particular patient who was on a frequent recare schedule. This patient arrived for the appointment and stated, “You aren’t going to believe what you see." At their previous appointment, it had been recommended that the patient begin using the oral rinse morning and bedtime and the mints several times throughout the day to combat the effects of the heavy buildup present at each visit. Just a scant 4 months later, this patient presented with little to no plaque buildup or tartar! It was a defining “AH HA!” moment of how effective xylitol could be with no other changes in home care habits.

The office then began offering a thirty-day supply of Spry Mints and Spry Oral Rinse for patients to use. Due to the great acceptance by patients, they now offer blister packs of Spry Gum and SparX Candies in the “treasure chest” for pediatric patients. They gift a Spry Banana Brush Kit to new moms in the practice in addition to continuing to offer the mouth rinse and mints. The office keeps samples of the gums, mints and nasal spray on hand for patients to try.

With the addition of the Xlear Nasal Spray sampling program now offered, Miller & Miller intend to implement its use as a pre-procedural treatment on patients who arrive for appointments suffering from cold or allergy symptoms or those taking allergy medications as indicated on their health history review.

Miller & Miller has a patient-centered philosophy and continues to learn more about xylitol at every opportunity. Many on staff have benefitted from its use personally. The entire office now recommends Spry products because of the many ways it can improve the overall health and quality of life for their patients with recurrent caries, dry mouth and diabetes. Patients are educated that “sugar free” doesn’t necessarily equal “good for you” and have a display set up to show the Spry line of products that are discussed at dental visits. This allows patients to see what they will be looking for on the store shelves when they go purchase at the local Natural/Health food store. What a creative way to inform the patients of the benefits of xylitol while keeping storage and inventory manageable! Patients can see the care and concern offered by Miller & Miller and helping their patients have a healthy smile through the xylitol protocol is part of that.

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