Thanks to the BOB-app, patients take ownership of their body

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Interview: “Thanks to this app, patients take ownership of their bodies”

Thanks to the BOB-App, Dr Matias Fontanetto’s patients are motivated to brush interdentally daily. Less inflammation, improved brushing skills and a reduction in probing depth are the direct results. (Image: Matias Fontanetto)


Tue. 20. October 2020


Getting patients to brush interdentally can be an arduous task, but the BOB-App does exactly that. BOB stands for “bleeding on brushing”, which is the motivation app’s crucial parameter. The BOB-Score tells patients their overall inflammation level, and a mouth map shows them exactly which size of interdental brush to use at home for each interdental space. As a result, patients are motivated to reduce their inflammation scores before the next follow-up. Argentine dentist and periodontist Dr Matias Fontanetto uses the BOB-App in order to motivate his patients to turn interdental brushing into a daily habit.

Dr Fontanetto, how do patients benefit from the BOB-App?
The app is an outstanding support for our daily clinical practice, and motivation is the key aspect of it all. After the bleeding interdental spaces and the necessary interdental brushes have been entered into the mouth map, the BOB-App functions like many other health apps aimed at creating new, healthy habits.

Patients are motivated to reduce their inflammation scores at home and come back for a follow-up. Patients feel empowered. Thanks to this app, patients take ownership of their bodies and want to improve their health.

How has the app changed your practice workflow?
Since I started using the app, my clinical appointments have become so relaxed. The mouth map is quick to complete, and all the information is automatically sent to the patient’s email address. Also, because the process of entering the patient’s information is so interactive and visual, it allows the clinician to take a step back and let the patient understand his or her own problem and what to do about it. The app really offers a framework for clinicians to become coaches to their patients and teach them about oral health.

When I was in lockdown during the pandemic, I was even able to keep in touch with one of my BOB patients through my phone and Zoom. We recalibrated the charts, and because of the mouth map, I could easily give advice remotely that was very clear to the patient. I hadn’t experienced anything like that before in my ten years of being a dental professional.

The BOB-App instils daily interdental brushing habits in patients, leading to less inflammation in the long term. For patients with a systemic disease, daily interdental brushing is a key to eliminating risk factors. (Image: Matias Fontanetto)

Has the app had an influence on your patients’ oral health in the long term?
If you can change your patients’ interdental cleaning habits at home, you will see their oral health improvement at each recall. When the BOB-Score decreases with each visit, you know there is a reduction of inflammation. For most patients, this score reduces considerably, and the reason for it is the patients’ motivation to brush interdentally daily. Before using the app, I had never experienced this, and there used to be no possibility of follow-up.

I notice that patients become very aware and thorough with their dental care routines. In clinical terms, I see less inflammation, improved brushing skills and a reduction in probing depth.

From your point of view, has using the BOB-App made being a dentist more fun?
The app offers a framework for me to give very clear, interactive, tailor-made oral hygiene instructions to my patients and make sure they follow up on the advice at home. Having this structure has changed the relationship I have with my patients, which has become more fun and flexible. During dental appointments, it feels more like my patients and I are on the same level. Also, the process itself is fun. After entering the patient’s bleeding and which brush to use, seeing the final score is pretty exciting for both me and the patient.

After entering the inflammation and correct brush size for each interdental space, a mouth map is mailed to the patient. Patients have a detailed overview of their oral health and know how to improve their situation at home. (Image: Curaden)

Lastly, why would you recommend the app to other clinicians?
I feel the app’s benefits are not only limited to dental hygienists. There is great potential for the app when it comes to improving treatment results in a number of fields, including orthodontic treatment, implant treatment and periodontal surgery.

From the patient’s point of view, the BOB-App is an amazing tool for instilling good habits. Patients with a systemic disease—take diabetes, for example—would be able to improve their prognosis. The BOB-App could be used for patients with other illnesses in order to reduce risk factors. In conclusion, BOB is preventive, and preventing is better than repairing. It’s taking care of the future.

The BOB-App in three steps:

  1. Determine the correct interdental brush for every interdental space. The IAP probe is a great tool for this. The colour indicated by the probe correlates with the necessary Curaprox brush.
  2. Enter the correct brush and interdental bleeding sites into the mouth map. The mouth map is automatically mailed to the patient or can be printed out.
  3. Thanks to the mouth map, patients can see where their inflammation is and which brush to use at home for each interdental space. Schedule a recall for follow-up.

Professionals who wish to try the app in their practice or clinic can sign up here.

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