Pediatrician develops unique, life-sustaining, cavity-fighting mouth wipe.
Dr. Ray A. Wagner, MD, MS, FAAP
Dr. Ray, as he’s affectionately called by his patients, received a wakeup call in early 2002 when a young patient – one that he had seen recently – appeared in his clinic with a very high temperature and swollen cheek. What caused it was something Dr. Ray hadn’t previously thought to check for – an infected tooth. Ashamed to admit to himself that, like many pediatricians, he had glossed over the oral care of this patient, Dr. Ray was galvanized into action.
Dr. Ray dedicated himself to researching pediatric oral health and thus took his first step on the path to establishing DR Products (Dr. Ray’s Products) with his wife, Marti. The flagship product, a wipe that contained xylitol, an ingredient long known by dentists to reduce cavity-causing bacteria, was christened “Spiffies,” by the ingenious Marti, and a company was born. Dr. Ray’s vision to this day is to improve pediatric oral health and eradicate the epidemic increase of Early Childhood Caries (cavities), or ECC for people of all ages.
Dr. Ray began his career in Tucson, AZ, working in private practice for ten years as a pediatrician. He had chosen to work with children, he says, because “it’s just more fun. You do a lot of well care, and it’s not just sickness [you see.]”
When family reasons moved Dr. Ray and his family to Texas, Dr. Ray worked on the faculty of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso. He later served as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, where he met his young patient that fateful day.
Now back in the beautiful Southwest, Dr. Ray is working at El Rio Community Health Center, further demonstrating his dedication to helping a wide range of patients, especially lower income families, where cavities are particularly widespread, maintain good oral health.
Dr. Ray has continued to grow the company, developing Spiffies “I Can Brush,” Tooth Gel, for children to use when they outgrow tooth wipes, as well as products that deliver the benefits of xylitol to other groups, specifically seniors and special needs patients.
In addition to passionately advocating for awareness of the epidemic rise of ECC via academic articles and spreading the word about Spiffies to other medical professionals, Dr. Ray is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at A.T. Still School of Osteopathic Medicine and actively participates in the education of osteopathic medical students and residents.
Ray A. Wagner is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and holds a medical license in Arizona.