Flossing just got fun and brushing just got better!

July 11, 2013
This unique flossing concept was born in May 2010 when Keith Allen and Jeromi Stewart met during a business convention.

by Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH

Introducing GumChucks

This unique flossing concept was born in May 2010 when Keith Allen and Jeromi Stewart met during a business convention. After a lunch meeting, Jeromi had something caught between his teeth and reached into his bag to pull out a homemade flossing device -- two plastic handles connected by a single piece of dental floss.

Jeromi's flosser was a stripped down version of what GumChucks are today; they looked like miniature nun chucks. He wanted to avoid putting his hands in his mouth, maintain leverage, tension, and make flossing easy. His nun chuck-like tool, which he had been using for 15 years, accomplished this.

A couple of weeks later as a fluke, Keith told his father about Jeromi's flossing device. Keith's father, who was not a regular flosser, thought he might actually floss if he had a device like this. This was the "ah ha" moment, and in short order Keith and Jeromi formed OralWise Inc., the manufacturers of GumChucks.

Fast forward to late 2012 when the GumChucks concept was realized and made available to dental professionals. Thank you, Marge Foran, RDH, from Helena, Mont., for contacting me and letting me know about GumChucks!

Bottom line, GumChucks are fun! They put a smile on my face, and I'm pretty sure they will put a smile on your face too. According to the manufacturer, the stated benefits include:

  • Two handles give users the ability to easily and naturally create the "C" shape
  • Two handles gives users the ability to keep constant tension on the floss by simply holding the handles in their intended position
  • The "fun" factor establishes an emotional connection with users
  • You can shoot the used tips across the room into the trashcan without ever touching the floss
  • The handles are BPA-free and come in a variety of designs

OralWise has built an entire would-be entertainment brand behind GumChucks, which features a series of cartoon characters ranging from Count Plaqula to Ninja Vitis and The Flosopher, which happens to have his own Twitter account with updated Flossophies. Even though GumChucks are fun, they are not just for kids. I love them and so do my family members.

There is also a video game app in the iTunes Store titled, "Weapons of Plaque Destruction." There are plans for an adult line, and an orthodontic line affectionately named OrthoGami. The tip extension will enable users to effectively floss with a full set of brackets in less than two minutes while using the "C" shape technique.

Be sure to visit their website and please note that new customers will receive 10% off their initial GumChucks order. Enter or mention code: RDH10 when ordering online at www.GumChucks.com, or by phone at (855) 424-8257.

Introducing the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum

Brushing just got better with the new Platinum version of the Flexcare, which made its debut at the California Dental Association
meeting in April. It will be available on the retail market this month.

You might be asking yourself what's new and different about the Platinum version? The manufacturer reports the primary differences and features of the Platinum are:

  • An InterCare brush head featuring anchor-free tufting technology -- in other words, the brush has more bristles than traditional brush heads and it's designed to clean better interproximally by allowing the bristles to be arranged in patterns to perform specific tasks1
  • Two sets of bristles -- light green and blue -- to remove plaque from between the teeth and remind users to change the brush head after three months
  • Improved brushing technique by giving the user an auditory and tactile signal via an internal sensor when more than 250 grams of pressure are applied
  • The ability to select the intensity -- low, medium or high for patient sensitivity and preference
  • Three modes of operation -- clean, white, and gum care

These features and functions present an opportunity for the hygienist and the patient to customize their brushing experience.

A recent (2013) study compared plaque removal by the Sonicare FlexCare Platinum and Oral-B Professional Care 5000 with Smart Guide. The study concluded that the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum was statistically significantly superior to Oral-B Professional Care 5000 in reducing surface plaque overall including in hard-to-reach posterior interproximal areas. Both products were safe to use.1 I encourage you to access the study online and contact your Sonicare representative for more information.

I've been using my Platinum for about a month now, and I think Philips really hit a home run with this brush. If you would like to try the new Platinum for yourself, Philips is offering it for the trial price of $65.99. There is a limit of one per dental professional.

As always, email me at [email protected] with your comments and suggestions for products you would like to see reviewed. RDH


1. Defenbaugh J, Liu T, Souza S, Ward M, Jenkins W, Colgan P. Plaque Removal in vivo study; Comparison of Plaque Removal by Sonicare FlexCare Platinum and Oral-B Professional Care 5000 with Smart Guide; Data on file, 2013

KIM MILLER, RDH, BSDH, is the co-founder of PerioFrogz.com, an information-based website providing free current oral-systemic research summaries and patient education downloads. Kim is also a coach with Inspired Hygiene, delivering customized hands-on training. She speaks internationally, writes writes articles and webinars, and enjoys clinical dental hygiene. Kim lives in Arizona and welcomes you to contact her at [email protected].

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