Hey Kids! Masticate Your Way to Molar Health
Brushing FAIL? Chew some gum.
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
I can be a bit lazy about brushing my teeth. Don't be too grossed out, I still do it every day (often twice), but my technique sort of sucks and I don't always follow the two-minute rule. These (mal)practices have led my spouse and siblings to compare me on occasion to an impatient child. Actually, what has been specifically said is something like: "Are we going to have to buy you a toothbrush that sings for the recommended amount of time so you spend more than 30 seconds brushing your teeth?" Well, geez, that's an offer I can't refuse. Please buy me the Lady Gaga one.
And in the spirit of indulging in dental products designed for persons twenty years my junior, I also recently tried Orbit for Kids, a chewing gum designed for the younger set that promises to promote your child's dental health by 1) stimulating saliva flow 2) neutralizing plaque acids 3) helping to keep teeth clean.
On the first count, I can testify Orbit for Kids is successful as even after just a few hard chomps my mouth was much moister. Dry mouth is definitely uncomfortable and more importantly, spit helps flush residual food from your mouth, so yes, I can see this helping reduce the number of cavities the dentist finds during my next visit.
On the second count, I will sort of have to take their word for it that this excess saliva indeed neutralizes plaque acids. I haven't updated my home chemistry kit in a while and couldn't do a culture of my mouth fluids. But others with better toys, I mean equipment, seem to agree, so I'll buy it.
The third and final count, that Orbit for Kids "helps keep teeth clean" is, of course, pretty subjective. I will tell you that it managed to brighten my smile following a dinner of tomato pasta and red wine. I also noticed that all traces of the carrots (shreds of which tend to lodge between my incisors) I ate as a pre-dinner snack were gone.
Orbit for Kids appears to follow through on its three claims and I enjoyed my mastication experience. One final small critique: do children really only like regular and strawberry banana as flavors for chewing gum. Can't melon and lemon and pomegranate also be "fun flavors"? I think yes. Maybe that means I'm not a kid.
Still not gonna brush my teeth for two minutes, though.
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