Did you know there are dentists in the US Army? Keeping soldiers’ teeth healthy is a vital part of keeping soldiers healthy and ready to fight. But nobody can take a time-out in a real fight for brushing and flossing. Just like you, soldiers need to visit the dentist twice a year to keep their teeth at optimal health. So what happens when army soldiers can’t put everything down to take care of their teeth?
This has been a big problem for the Army. More than one of every ten soldiers evacuated due to disease had a dental problem. One solution they’ve been working on for seven years is a special gum. Soldiers going out in the field for training or operations are instructed to chew the gum for 20 minutes after meals.
Like sugar-free gum approved by the ADA, this Combat Gum increases the flow of saliva in the mouth. This helps wash away small bits of food and neutralize acids created by bacteria in the mouth. Combat Gum goes a step further, actually combating the bacteria themselves.
Even the Army admits that no gum, even Combat Gum, is a replacement for brushing and flossing. If you ever get to chew the peppermint-flavored gum, you’ll still need to visit your pediatric dentist at least twice a year, and brush and floss daily.