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Upcoming: CariFree, the oral rinse that we will be suggesting

Just some news about an oral rinse that has been around for a while, but soon will be more easily accessible to the general public.  It’s called CariFree, and once we get the logistics down for you, we will be recommending it widely.  (Full disclosure: Dr. Wong has no financial interest in this product or company).  Here’s a photo of it, taken directly from www.carifree.com:

A screen grab from CariFree’s website showing the available rinses

This photo may seem confusing, but it’s quite easy to understand the appeal of this rinse.  Before we explore the rinses, let’s review why a rinse is even required:

CariFree, as the name implies, is a rinse aimed at preventing dental caries (aka: cavities).  Read here for a fuller explanation of how decay progresses.  Read here for our take on biofilm control.

Essentially, cavities are holes created in teeth after enough acid exposure.  This acid can come directly from the diet (acidic drinks or food) or from the stomach (vomitting, reflux problems), but also indirectly as a result of bacteria metabolizing sugars and releasing acids as a waste product.

If your problems are a result of the direct acid, then stop consuming those foods and try to get your reflux under control!  Your physician is well-equipped to assist.

However, the bacterially-generated acid can be controlled by CariFree.  So, without sounding too much like an advertisement for this product, here’s how it works:

There are two forms of CariFree: a treatment rinse, and a maintenance rinse.  The treatment oral rinse is meant for use over one month and will achieve initial reduction in bacterial counts and plaque.  The maintenance rinse is used daily to prevent decay.  Here is why we recommend it:

1) It contains xylitol.  Xylitol is a sugar substitute that cannot be metabolized by bacteria to form an acid byproduct.  As a result, pH does not drop to cause demineralization of tooth.  Xylitol will hinder the adherence of cavity-causing bacteria to the tooth as well as reduce plaque accumulation.  Over time, the levels of culprit bacteria are reduced.  (Reference here; one of many available.)  It can even aid in the remineralization of enamel.

2) It has a higher pH than other rinses.  By keeping the pH of a rinse above the point at which decay starts, CariFree will help place selective pressure on the bacterial population and shift it to a less cavity-causing one.  Over time, the dental biofilms will carry fewer cavity-causing bacteria as a percentage of the entire bacterial population.  Of course, keeping the pH well above the critical pH of enamel will facilitate remineralization of the tooth.

3) It contains fluoride (maintenance rinse).  Read here on how fluoride helps render teeth more resistant to decay.

How does one get one’s hands on some of this awesome stuff?  Well, the problem with this rinse is that since it doesn’t have as long a shelf life as stores would like to have, they are unwilling to carry it.  The rinse will soon be available by internet order in Canada, and once the details are finalized, we will announce the news!

Hope this has been enlightening!  For Dr. Wong to provide you with a personalized assessment of your oral condition, please contact us – we’d love to be your dental home in Barrie.


Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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