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Mouthwash for 30 seconds or brushing your teeth for 2 minutes; if you only had one option, which would you choose? Although swishing is simpler and easier than brushing, there’s a reason dentists recommend the latter. The thought of only using mouthwash for the rest of our lives is, at best, cringe-worthy when imagining what the state of our oral hygiene would be! The same logic must be applied to ATP testing; some methods have fewer steps and give results in seconds, others have more steps and give results in minutes, which one is better? To answer this, we must know what the ‘extra’ steps provide and, importantly, what’s missing in the ‘simpler/easier’ test, like QC checks and steps to limit interferences (from the sample, testing conditions, etc.). Just because one method has fewer steps than another doesn’t guarantee it will produce better results. Physically brushing your teeth is proven to be better for oral hygiene when compared to using mouthwash alone, even if it takes a couple minutes rather then a few seconds. Some techniques/methods may have fewer steps than others, but this may come at a cost of sacrificing confidence and quality, especially when geared to an application that it wasn’t designed for.
Shawn Chamberlain, Technical Services Manager