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Army Develops New Chewing Gum

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the losing-flavor-on-a-gunstock-overnight dept.

Science 302

IEBEYEBALL writes "The Army is developing a new chewing gum to help soldiers fight dental problems in the field. The gum takes the place of brushing teeth, which the soldier in a combat situation might not have time or means to do. This sounds like the perfect solution for the geek on the go!"

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Ummm... ok..... (-1, Troll)

DotNM (737979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015911)

.... but how about investing the money spent (probably millions) in making this gum into other areas?

Re:Ummm... ok..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14015936)

'Probably'? Why don't you find out how much was spent, and THEN flap your gums, if you want to continue looking like an idiot.

Never spent time in the field I take it?

Re:Ummm... ok..... (1, Insightful)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015964)

... how about the many millions that would have otherwise been spent on dental plans for soliders that could be saved by this gum being used gets put into other areas?

Re:Ummm... ok..... (0, Flamebait)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016063)

Why not just cut their benefits again while they're busy overseas? How else can we afford more tax cuts for the rich?

Re:Ummm... ok..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016100)

I made $31,000 last year after taxes. I got a nice tax cut. Am I rich? Or are you just stupid?

Re:Ummm... ok..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016127)

If you made so little you must be stupid or lazy. Just ask a Republican.

Re:Ummm... ok..... (1)

Agarax (864558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016165)

Why don't we just sit here and spout more leftist propoganda and lies?

Re:Ummm... ok..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016179)

I didn't hear any lies.

Re:Ummm... ok..... (0, Flamebait)

Agarax (864558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016210)

Lies and distrtion by the bunch of Socialists and bleeding heart liberals who infest slashdot and parrot off whatever crap they read on moveon.org to the other denizens here in a giant wanking session.

Re:Ummm... ok..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016240)

Why don't we just sit here and make egotistical ad-homine attacks, labeling everything we do not want to hear as unamerican, patriotic, leftist, rightist, far-left, far-right, democratic, republican, christian, conservative, liberal, partisian, or whatever-makes-your-left-nut-happy.

If you cannot add anything better than hate to a discussion, then just STFU.

RTFA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016071)

TFA says that a professor is developing it and the Army may be interested.

Re:Ummm... ok..... (3, Informative)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016198)

This is what's modded as "interesting?" First, the Army (if you RTFA) is expressing an interest in this - it's being worked on by a researcher outside the DOD. Second, countless products like this end up in similar form, used in the private sector. Defense-funded/initiated R&D produces all sorts of technologies and techniques that impact the wider economy. I'm sure plenty of long-haul truckers, pilots, backpackers and other folks will find something like this useful.

You ask "how about investing the money ... into other areas?"

There are undreds of thousands of people on active duty in our military. Their health is hard to maintain in the field, and anything that assists in that, even if it costs a few million bucks, is well spent. Better body armor, better vehicles, and yes, better overall health from reducing gum disease as a vector for infection (especially overseas). Get a grip.

Re:Ummm... ok..... (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016201)

" .... but how about investing the money spent (probably millions) in making this gum into other areas?"

um... is dental hygiene not important enough for you? Americans spent nearly $68 billion on dental services in 2002. [handsonhealth-sc.org]

We'll benefit from it, practically every technology for military use has filtered down to civilian use. Ever heard of the microwave? [inventiona...nology.com] Cell phone? [www.saab.se] How about GPS? [wikipedia.org]

If this only cost a few million I think this is money well spent!

Some people already do this! (5, Informative)

mpathetiq (726625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015912)

I know several who think that simply chewing a stick of gum after a meal is a sufficient replacement for a full brushing. Damn Trident marketing.

These people also tend to have the DemonBreath from Hell TM.

Re:Some people already do this! (4, Informative)

Mark of THE CITY (97325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015944)

Trident's ad pitch the virtues of sugarless gum. Dentyne uses, or used, the slogan "Brush your breath with Dentyne."

Re:Some people already do this! (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016076)

Most of the DemonBreath people I know of are coffee drinkers. I believe that even people with the freshest breath and cleanest teeth tend to get Coffee Breath (TM) after a couple of cups of coffee. I personally try to use a mint or chew some gum after a cup for that very reason.

BTW just to stay somewhat on topic, doesn't each MRE come with some instant coffee?

Re:Some people already do this! (2, Interesting)

Weh (219305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016149)

in europe there's already a gum called xylifresh that's supposed to clean your teeth

Re:Some people already do this! (2, Insightful)

puck01 (207782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016195)

I chew sugarless gum to make up for not brushing, but I do not believe it is as good as brushing. At the same time do you know for a fact it is not as good? I don't.

In any case, I work 30+ hours at a time, sometimes without a break or sleep and its all I have time to do. For me it seems to work, I've not had one cavity in the last 4 years since working like this. I did have one in the past when I brushed more regularly. I'm just one person, though, so take it for what it is worth (which isn't much). It would be intresting to see a well done study on the topic (if its not already been done)

Everyone. (5, Insightful)

joemawlma (897746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015915)

Why wouldn't they just market and sell that to everyone? I'm sure most people would buy and chew gum if it could effectively replace brushing.

Re:Everyone. (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015927)

Because they're still trying to figure out how to tie it in to some recruitment campaign.

Cue the... (2, Funny)

rolandog (834340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015943)

catchy advertisements?

"Enroll, and Blow"

Re:Everyone. (5, Insightful)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015993)

Give it to solders and if it doesn't work; oh well - we tried.
Sell it to the public and it doesn't work; "You owe me $1M for each tooth that fell out!"

Seriously, most stuff designed for the military eventually makes it into the consumer market. Just a matter of time.

Re:Everyone. (-1, Flamebait)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016032)

Except that it doesn't effectively replace brushing.

At one time, many thought that Java would replace C or C++ for desktop application development. However, actual use suggested that it often wasn't a suitable replacement. Sure, it has its uses for niche applications, but overall it's just not a suitable replacement.

Geek version (0, Redundant)

Morinaka (874174) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015916)

I know a few friends of mine who could use this, let alone the soldiers.

But the Army is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14015917)

...commanded by President Bush, who beat Gore in the 2000 election, so why is this on Slashdot?

NOT!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14015919)

They reason they are geeks is because they are NOT on the go!

Re:NOT!!! (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015963)

Yes but that doesn't mean that they shower and brush their teeth daily.

Of course I keep a toothbrush and toothpaste at work just to make sure I remember to brush daily.

Once Again, Correlation != Causality (4, Insightful)

Myriad (89793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016051)

They reason they are geeks is because they are NOT on the go!

<sigh>, when will Slashdot get it... once again, Correlation does not equate to Causality!

For example, sick people are not on the go. Geeks are not on the go, ergo geeks must be sick! Doesn't make sense, does it?

Now, that geeks are not on the go is supported by the fact that I'm sitting here on a lovely Saturday afternoon writing this. I'm certainly not on the go. However it's not because I'm not on the go that I'm sitting here posting on /., rather it's the other way around. I'm sitting here posting, which is preventing me from being on the go. Thus not being on the go is an effect rather than the actual cause.

Or something. I think I need some fresh air. :)

Blockwars [blockwars.com] : a free multiplayer, head to head game!

Re:Once Again, Correlation != Causality (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016069)

You do need some fresh air. You are talking smack.

And pitch blockwars in your sig, not your post.

I for one.. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14015922)

... welcome the new Xylitol Overlords

News just in from Singapore! (5, Funny)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015924)

Visiting Marine battalion jailed for life after found with chewing gum.

Re:News just in from Singapore! (1)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016033)

The ban was partially lifted, opening a whole new market to gum manufacturers. I read an article [entrepreneur.com] around this time last year where an entrepreneur had started a chewing gum company just to sell gum in Singapore.
Sure, there are regulations, but I doubt the US government would get into any trouble over it.

1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016181)

Is that Bushian newspeak?

treading gum... (5, Funny)

williamhb (758070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015925)

So when it gets stuck all over the streets the way regular chewing gum does, will it help prevent potholes?

Nothing really new there (4, Informative)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015929)

Nothing really new there, NASA astro-nuts had teeth-cleaning gum for years [nasaexplores.com] .

Re:Nothing really new there (5, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015948)

Meanwhile, the Russians just used a pencil.

Re:Nothing really new there (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016081)

*rofl*. Funniest joke I read in a while.

Re:Nothing really new there (1)

TenLow (812875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016147)

You sir; are teh awsome.

But really now, wouldnt a toothbrush and toothpaste be cheaper than developing gum a different agency already has from scratch? Or we could just play connect the dots on this one and have some inter-agency sharing.

I can see it now "Do you hate brushing your teeth? So do we. Join the army today and chew space gum after every meal!"

Re:Nothing really new there (4, Insightful)

Fox_1 (128616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015967)

Do you mean this paragraph from your linked article?
Astronauts can brush their teeth much the way they do on Earth, with just a few minor changes. They can't leave the water running the way some people do, and they can't spit and rinse the toothpaste. They must either swallow it or spit it into a towel. Astronauts do have several dental aids. In weightlessness, salivation becomes more concentrated, which can lead to more tartar forming on the teeth. To prevent this, many astronauts chew gum and massage their gums to keep their mouths healthier.
Because if that is where this happened before then you are really stretching your interpertation of the article. I see nothing here to indicate that the astronauts aren't just chewing normal gum because of spitty mouths. I do see something here to indicate that the astronauts brush their teeth like normal folks on Earth.
This product, if tasty enough, could really change dental care for children and others in situations where they don't have their toothbrush and clean water. It's kinda a natural evolution of gum, I'm just surprised that it's only in recent years that the whitening gums and now cleaning gums are being developed.

Wow (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016192)

I didn't know you have to massage your gum after you spit it out! I'm gonna go try it now!

Stupid, but I laughed (0)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015934)

In Soviet Russia, gum chews YOU!

where does it stop? (4, Funny)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015937)

First it's the microwaves and fridges and coffee makers in the labs/cubicles/dungeons that we work in. Then come along hyper-caffeinated beverages to keep you going longer and longer. Choose anti-glare screens. Choose ergonomic mice. Choose Microsoft f***ing natural keyboards with advanced wrist support and a line of shortcut keys at the top. Choose free soda and free sugar, pumped handily into your veins. What next? Briefcase-sized port-a-potties so that we never, EVER have to leave the glare of the monitor?? STOP THE MADNESS!!!

Re:where does it stop? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016020)

I will not be surprised that with time, it will be discovered that this gum does not work, or actually does more harm than good! In America, it's all about the money. Somebody is making money off this and another will make money solving the problems this gum will bring.

If the army wants good teeth for its soldiers, they should simply eat more natural foods. That's foods with less or no additives. Over the past 17 years I have come across many Africans in the US. I mean those who grew up on the African continent. What I have found with these fellows is that none of them has bad teeth. Many had never seen a dentist till they came to America. They have good teeth, why? Because they say, they did not eat any candy or junk food as kids.

Remamber, Vioxx was an approved FDA drug which was later discovered to be dangerous afterall.

Re:where does it stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016072)

That'll work well, because we all know it's easy to deliver fresh foods to front-line soldiers every day. It's not like it rots or anything.

And Vioxx isn't actually all that dangerous. It appears to cause more heart problems than it's competitors (though still very few), but it saves in other areas. And it's still safer than letting the patient experience the pain, with all the physical problems that causes.

But hey, we still have lawyers sueing the company on behalf of people who didn't die of the problems Vioxx causes, and stupid juries giving away other people's money.

Re:where does it stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016085)

they should simply eat more natural foods

Yes, because we all know that organic food stores are scattered all over the typical combat zone.

(rolls eyes)

Re:where does it stop? (1)

Lt.Hawkins (17467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016119)

Organic grapes and soy-bean-curd-tofu-chicken aren't exactly battlefield-friendly.

Re:where does it stop? (1)

kmmatthews (779425) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016039)

This from "caffeinemessiah (918089)".. You stooge.

Re:where does it stop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016151)

I thought you choose "electric tin openers"

Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (5, Interesting)

NCraig (773500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015941)

I've been told a few times that if you don't floss you might as well not even brush. I don't see how any gum could possibly be effective in the same way as flossing.

However, I'm impressed that the Army has finally found something of use for both soldiers and really lazy people.

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015982)

I don't think it is supposed to completely replace brushing, but to intercede when you are in the field, and don't have the time or ability to do so.

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (1)

sahrss (565657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015994)

I've flossed maybe 3x in my entire life, but I brush regularly. No cavities or anything. So I can stop brushing entirely, you say?! Nice! Slashdot has the most amazing medical advice! :-P

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (1)

NCraig (773500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016107)

Well, if you think Slashdot has great advice, then wait until you check out 21stcenturydental.com =/.

Daily Flossing Can Add 6.4 Years To Your Life [21stcenturydental.com] .

I'm sure there's a lot of exaggeration going on there, but I've seen serious research indicating that flossing does help prevent heart disease.

In searching for such articles, I found a bunch of "Real Age" web sites with lists of lifestyle changes intended to "add years to your life." This one [findarticles.com] takes the cake. Apparently getting a dog, having sex, not smoking, flossing, and going to bed early will double your life span. By this metric, Hugh Hefner will live forever (assuming he flosses).

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016015)

Well, not quite. If you don't brush at all (especially with the typical sugary diet) you'll get cavities in no time.

One of the important things about toothpaste in general is the flouride. The flouride helps calcium present in your saliva precipitate out, and prevent incipient cavities from worsening. My Dad by the time he was 20 had many fillings. Thanks to the better toothpaste formulations, I'm 33 and still don't have a single filling - no tooth pain - no gum bleeding. I don't religiously floss my teeth every day either. Just brush my teeth with flouride toothpaste after each meal.

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016079)

that's a load of shit. what keaps cavities out is not the floride, althought one of it's chemical properties does retard the microbes that can reduce enimal layers and leach calcium. It's the hot water recomended for not only comfort but to essectially disinfect your mouth. The scrapinaction from the brush removes gump.Tha's why in asian cultures, (along with their penciant to avoid sugers), their's little to no bacterial growth. The other reality is that although floride, does provide some limited molecular strengeth to teath, and calcium, their is mounting evidence it retards bone health, and intelectual development. That being said, ultimately any brushing with tooth past, rinsing, with comfortably warm water will help alot. Flos is also interesting because it's always sold as keeping gums health, win infact anthing that scrubs, and removes crud from between your teeth will do.

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016221)

that's a load of shit.

Pot, kettle

what keaps cavities out is not the floride, althought one of it's chemical properties does retard the microbes that can reduce enimal layers and leach calcium.

Your teeth are made of a mineral called hydroxyapatite. Hydroxyapatite contains a hydroxide ion. There is a bacteria in the mouth (called S. Mutans) that produces an acid. This acid removes the hydroxide ion from the hydroxyapatite, making your teeth much, much weaker, leading to cavitites.

Fluoride ions (from toothpaste, drinking water, etc) replace the hydroxyide ions, creating fluoroapatite. Fluoroapatite is much, much more resistant to acid than hydroxyapatite, so the teeth are much, much stronger. Far less cavities occur.

It's simple high school chemistry. I guess someone wasn't paying attention in class.

It's the hot water recomended for not only comfort but to essectially disinfect your mouth.

You actually think that the hottest water that you can stand will kill bacteria? I've got a bridge in New York to sell you.

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016086)

That's true as far as it goes, but keep in mind that just because a particular regimen works for you doesn't mean it will work for everyone. I had an uncle that had perfect teeth right up until the day he died of lung cancer at 45. I also had an aunt who smoked three or four packs a day until she died at 93 of old age ... but had terrible teeth. Each person's body is different in terms of the specific biochemical assaults it can withstand. Some we can simply avoid (don't start smoking) and others require varying degrees of ongoing maintenance (brushing, flossing, regular professional care, etc.)

Re:Sounds nice, but the dentist told me... (1)

onebuttonmouse (733011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016118)

I have no fillings and what my dentist describes as excellent oral hygiene. I have never used floss.

This is just like Trident (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14015946)

Only it costs $78 dollars a piece. Go Uncle Sam!

Finns had similar product already in seventies. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14015950)

The dental significance of xylitol was "discovered" in Finland in the early 70's, when scientists at Turku University showed it could prevent caries.

Xylitol-Jenkki, the first xylitol chewing gum in the world, was launched by the Finnish company Leaf in 1975.
http://www.xylitol.org/ [xylitol.org]

Re:Finns had similar product already in seventies. (1)

Ace Rimmer (179561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016023)

Ok...and now tell us what was wrong...

Re:Finns had similar product already in seventies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016038)

There is nothing wrong with xylitol.

Re:Finns had similar product already in seventies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016157)

Probably the U.S. companies have just been waiting for the patents to expire.

the perfect solution, except... (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015953)

...I see no mention of the taste. An alternative that tastes like acetaminophen would be enough to get me to brush three times a day.

But it seems like a solution without a problem, as far as geeks are concerned. It's not like brushing takes a long time, or is unpleasant. It's worse to not brush, in the short term and in the long term.

Noooo (4, Funny)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14015961)

The gum was the only good thing inside a MRE (other than the rare bag of Skittles).

Chew 'em if you got 'em (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14015979)

Teeth that is. The army was the first time I met 18 year olds who had dentures. There was, and probably still is, a class of people who believed that having teeth was a problem (especially if you don't take care of them) and that you should have them removed as soon as possible, usually before you drop out of school.

The army believed otherwise and encouraged you to at least keep a few. There were requirements to have some number of teeth to get into airborn and you'd see recruits desperately trying to keep their few remaining teeth to qualify for airborn.

Also, if you don't take care of your teeth, you gums get really sensitive, which is why some people don't like going to the dentist for a check up and cleaning. It was really something to see some big hulking badass practically crying in fear as they forced him to go to the dentist.

You don't brush your teeth, you brush your gums (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016000)

Yes, it sounds crude, but Howard Stern [howardstern.com] taught me how to brush my teeth. Don't brush your teeth - if you brush your gums gently, your teeth will get brushed anyway. Brush the outside (front) and inside (back) of your gums and kiss your cavities goodbye. Flossing is also an important and oft-ignored part of dental health. Yes, it's anecdotal, but suffice it to say that I haven't had any cavities since I started doing this.

As a side note: It really sucks to see an attractive person who obviously doesn't floss because when you get within 3 feet of them, the breath is unbearable. Floss daily and brush your gums.

Bad teeth? (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016001)

I've been burdened with bad teeth all my life. Cavities galore, crooked, cracks.

I always brushed and lossed. Flouride treatments and cleanings ahead of schedule. No good.

I have a mandibular excess, causing TMJ "pain" and massive nightly grinding. It was likely the source of my problem.

I saw a dentist in Poland about 7 years ago for a toothache. She explained to me the "conspiracy" of the ADA: pro-flouride, pro-abrasive cleanings, pro-short term fixes.

I did some research and found flouride is a poison that makes bones (and teeth) brittlel Yet I used it, drank it, showered in it.

I also found that most fillings are a massive amount of weak bonding agent, mercury and other toxins.

Finally I discovered, in my opinion, that many dentists are frauds like the chiro industry: fix you up enough so you still have to come back.

I stopped flouride intake (whole house filter, no toothpaste). I replaced my fillings (4-6 year lifrspan) with gold. I eat more friendly-bacteria.

My teeth are stronger. They don't hurt. Grinding hasn't ruined them much. My gums are healthy and my breath is significantly better.

The solution is mouth bacteria to consume the bad decay. Cut flouride, cut the US educated dentist. I now go to a foreign dentist who charges me WAY less per visit.

Re:Bad teeth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016036)

Dude, you're touched in the head. There's a reason that the main dental concern in the US is straightening teeth. The ADA is not an evil cabal, and flouridated water really does prevent cavities.

Re:Bad teeth? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016064)

Fluoride research on the web is very tainted by tinfoil hat wearers, but the offline research I reviewed shows that fluoride is positive only in baby teeth.

The history of water fluoridation is really interesting. I don't believe in the benefits.

Re:Bad teeth? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016140)

The history of water fluoridation is really interesting. I don't believe in the benefits.

Look at the many, many studies showing the incidence of cavities in cities with fluoridated water and cities without fluoridation, the effect of fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash. Anyone who studied chemistry in college can explain it to you. Fluoride prevents cavities, period. Anyone who claims otherwise is a scientific fraud and/or kook.

In fact, due to the popularity of bottled water (which generally isn't fluoridated), cavities are making a resurgence with many people.

Now if you want to argue that ingesting fluoride has side effects, or that it is possible to brush & floss sufficiently to prevent cavities without fluoride, that's another story.

Yup (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016059)

But no-thoothpaste is kind of... extreme. Fluorless thoothpaste products EXIST.

Re:Bad teeth? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016060)

Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? -- fluoridation of water? . . . Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? . . . Do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water -- why, there are studies under way to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mandrake! -- children's ice cream!

Do you know when fluoridation first began? . . . Nineteen hundred and forty-six. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh?

It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual -- certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.

Re:Bad teeth? (1)

Zardoz44 (687730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016078)

That was strange, love!

Re:Bad teeth? (1)

Anonymous Writer (746272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016137)

I have a mandibular excess, causing TMJ "pain" and massive nightly grinding.

Have you ever heard of Orthognathic surgery [stanford.edu] ? It's getting pretty sophisticated now, using CT scans to develop 3D models and Computer-aided surgical planning [materialise.com] to assist doctors with surgery. It costs a fortune, but some health funds cover it. The company, Materialise, can use colour stereolithography [materialise.com] to make a prominent nerve that runs along the lower mandible visible within a transparent model. This helps Orthognathic surgeons, because handling that nerve is one of the tricky parts of the procedure.

Re:Bad teeth? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016199)

Yup, been investigating it for about 10 years.

Unfortunately, the costs are tremendous, and I've spoken with many people online who had WORSE TMJ-related problems after the surgery. One lady spent over $160,000 and she's suicidal from the new pain. No thanks.

Plus, orthognathic surgery would change my profile and look -- in a notably good way (more attractive). My profile has always been part of my persona, even something I've sold myself with. Growing up feeling ugly and being able to turn it into an attraction is something one isn't so hip on getting rid of :) Even the lady loves the profile and gets mad every time I think about the surgery.

My TMJ-related pains are really reduced from smoking (which I haven't done in a few weeks now unfortunately) and exercise. I also find that getting rid of a pillow when I sleep really reduces teeth grinding. Chewing gum, in my case, helps with my TMJ-related pain, too.

I'm really interested in some new developments in growing natural teeth. I can't remember if its related to stem cell magic, but I know of 3 research studies right now that are regrowing teeth right in the jaw base. If that happens, I'll reinvestigate the orthognathic surgery.

For those interested in what my surgery would entail, the doctors would cut my mandible out of my mouth entirely. They'd remove about 1" of excess, reinstall it into my mouth, and grind my distorted chin to a smaller profile. Then, they'd extend my top toothline (maxillary) about 1/2", making my nose smaller and less hooked, and perform plastic surgery to reduce the rest of my nose profile. I'd have to have my teeth bound shut for up to 6 months, and the side effects of the surgery and medicine would mean puking often, but "fortunately" I'd be on an all fluid diet so I'd just puke back through my teeth. In the long run, there would need to be minor corrections.

Oh yeah, for up to 2 years before the surgery, I'd need braces to turn my teeth up to 20 degrees outward so when the actual surgery repositions my jaw, the teeth would fit. Very sexy, right?

Let me tell you about fluoridation, Mandrake (4, Funny)

Tetravus (79831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016194)

General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk... ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children's ice cream.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Lord, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper: You know when fluoridation first began?
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: I... no, no. I don't, Jack.
General Jack D. Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, Jack, Jack, listen, tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first... become... well, develop this theory?
General Jack D. Ripper: Well, I, uh... I... I... first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue... a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I... I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.
General Jack D. Ripper: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh... women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh... I do not avoid women, Mandrake.
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No.
General Jack D. Ripper: But I... I do deny them my essence.

Copied gratuitiously from the IMDB Memorable Quotes [imdb.com] section. So you see, it's not a US plot. It's a commie plot.

Re:Bad teeth? (1)

blibblub (92308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016209)

While I am a relatively new dentist (graduated from UCLA a few years back) I must disagree with you.
As much as you may think, there really is no major conspiracy going on.
I do agree that most of the dentistry in this country is horrible. But I assure you that dentistry in most countries outside the U.S is a lot worst. I specialize in root canals and a lot of the root canals coming from east europe (poland, russia etc) are just simply terrible.
Believe what you may, but I highly recommend you not follow one person's bad experience. I would never recommend getting dental work done in a 3rd world country. It might end up costing you 1/5th of what it does here, but you end up getting what you pay for...which usually ends up being really poor material and poor quality work.

Re:Bad teeth? (1)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016233)

Personnally, I have pretty good teeth, and I think it is mostly from avoiding all water... (I prefer ale anyway.) It's not only the floride in water, do you know what fish do in that stuff?!?

"Chewing gum on line, eh?" (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016003)

"I HOPE you brought enough for everybody!!"

"I didn't know there wuz gonna be so many!"

=BANG= -THUMP-

"Boy, is he strict!"

(Sorry, couldn't resist - with apologies to M.B. & Co.)

What does it do for the breath? (1)

brandido (612020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016005)

I think that is the more important question! I recall (not so fondly) meeting up with partners in computer engineering classes after we had been working on a project all night, and I must say the combo of no sleep, no toothbrush, coffee and cigarettes did not make for a pleasant breathing environment!

Other news: Cola to replace flossing (3, Funny)

geneing (756949) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016012)

In other news: Cola to replace flossing

Re:Other news: Cola to replace flossing (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016152)

Yes, and the latest research from the Air Force indicates that caffeine raises the heart rate and causes muscle twitching, thus providing all the benefits of an aerobic workout without the workout! Technojocks everywhere are rejoicing at this unexpected benefit from their favorite beverages, and are looking forward to growing massive pectorals while typing and pushing buttons on TV remotes. Brisk sales of caffeinated products are expected.

In the continuing coverage... (2, Funny)

carguy84 (897052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016236)

The French have declared a ban on all gum now.

This could be really dangerous! (4, Funny)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016029)

I mean, what if this stuff actually tastes good too? Frontline soldiers will be chewing it incessantly, thus rendering them an easy target for snipers in the dark, who will be able to spot them because of their gleaming white teeth. "OK men, keep your heads down, watch your backs and for God's sake, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!" I'd rather have plaque than a bullet in the gob anytime.

fido (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016054)

is this like those doggie treats that clean their teeth?

I came... (2, Funny)

crimson_alligator (768283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016062)



I came to chew bubblegum and spread freedom, and it looks like I'm all out of bubblegum.

Uh-oh...this ain't good. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016104)

Mr. Slugworth won't be happy about this one. Just when he's trying to regain market share in the wake of the Everlasting Gobstopper.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016117)

I've never been on a battlefield or anything, but it seems to me that a soldier would have bigger problems than gengevitis on the field... :)

Intentions are right (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016121)

If the US army didn't care about their soldiers they wouldn't be doing something like this. Soldiers are valuable and the US has reached a decision where they would rather expend steel than lives. Now, what really matters is that the US army is trying to encourage a higher quality of life for it's members.
Those brave kids are giving their lives right now for what they believe in. They deserve all the kinds of support that can practically be provided.

Re:Intentions are right (1)

TychoCelchuuu (835690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016225)

I'm not saying the Army hates people, because it doesn't, but they're not doing this because they just love the guys so much they can't stand to see their teeth less than shiny. At the beginning of the Iraq war, huge amounts of soldiers from the Fort Lewis Stryker brigade (I think) couldn't go in because their teeth were so crappy. This isn't a comfort thing, it's a "soldier will not be able to function due to pain/not being able to eat thier MREs" thing. The Army cares about the soldiers, yes, but no way it's going to spend lotsa money just to make them happy. It's all about combat readiness.

Oblig. Futurama Reference (3, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016132)

Fry: Big Pink! It's the only gum with the breath-freshening power of ham.
Bender: And it pinkens your teeth while you chew!

The Army needs to invest in Oragenics (2, Interesting)

Genevish (93570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016133)

Here's [oragenics.com] the solution. OK, it's a few years away, but the Army investing in it would probably help it along...

Airdrop on Britan (0, Flamebait)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016155)

I think we should airdrop these on Britian, special emphasis on London.

They don't need MRE's, they need dental care.

Just what the world needs! (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016160)

More geeks with gunked-up teeth, now that they have an excuse for not brushing. I hope this product doesn't hit the private sector!

(hint to newbie mods: I AM MAKING A FUNNY. CHUCKLE AND MOVE ON!)

Oh Ya Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14016162)

I'm sure dental hygene is top priority, when some terrorist is trying to take you apart with an AK-47 or RPG. How about ending the war and saving the tax payers millions of dollars.

G.

If your so nasty you chew and have a sink... (1)

marcybots (473417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016164)

If you actually have access to a sink and still chew this, you are one most nasty individual. This was developed for people who are in jungles and desterts, not slobs who dont want to take a two minute break from playing everquest to brush their teeth every few days, or god forbid brush their teeth after their shower. Reminds me of my girlfriend's father at the family picnic when he started calling someone fat and my girlfriend's sister said "shut up, when was the last time you took a bath" and he said "well I was out boating with my friends a few days ago and the boat capsized..." he thought that counted as a bath.

As good as they feel necessary (1)

stmfreak (230369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016167)

Having seen first hand the military's idea of medical dental care, I'm not surprised that they feel chewing gum can be an adequate replacement for brushing.

Xylitol gum (0, Interesting)

WORLOK (7690) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016183)

From what I gathered from recent outside reading which had references to the army, all this really is is gum which uses the sugar alcohol xylitol as the main sweetening agent as opposed to normal sugar. Sugar is used by bacteria to promote tooth decay whereas Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol which the bacteria can't use effectively. You can get Xylitol only gum at most health food stores, and some commercial manufacturers make it but usually, for some God forsaken reason, have to combine it with some chemical artifial sweetener, like Aspartame or something else. :(

I don't know if the military version has some other bacteria fighting agent, but nothing like that was mentioned in my reading of Xylitol gum whcih mentioned the US military.

They can save money by just buying the troops "Spry" brand Xylitol sweetened chewing gum.

The real important part (1)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14016216)

Can I get it off my show easier when I step on it?
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