Gum Chewing gum is becoming more than just a flavorful chewy treat with the help of innovators under The Sweet Bites Team. It’s also helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Underdeveloped countries don’t have access to proper oral care. Therefore, the people living in these countries are unable to maintain the healthy mouths necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

According to the Huffington Post, close to 4 billion people worldwide suffer from untreated oral diseases. The average number of dentists to general population in Africa is 1 to 150,000. In industrialized countries the average ratio is 1 to 5,000. Due to improper care, adults and children in underdeveloped countries suffer from both deadly diseases like Noma and other oral diseases such as cavities and gingivitis, according to the World Dental Federation.

That’s where the Sweet Bites team swoops in to make improving oral health much easier. The team invented a chewing gum augmented with xylitol, a sweet-tasting crystalline substance that inhibits bacterial growth and reproduction. Chewing the gum is an inexpensive and painless way to prevent future oral problems such as tooth decay especially in young children. It has also been approved by the American Federal Food & Drug Administration.

Through Sweet Bites’ prevention of oral infections, the overall health of a person also improves. Recent research has discovered connections between improving oral health and decreasing life-threatening conditions including heart disease and cancer. Therefore, chewing the Sweet Bite gum for five minutes after meals would fight against these more harmful diseases that may not be treated due to lack of professional access.

Sweet Bites also helps communities and families looking to develop economically. The Sweet Bites Team hopes to inspire entrepreneurial women to sell the product in poorer communities which would help spur economic activity and growth. By propelling economic growth, poorer communities will develop while Sweet Bites continues to spread worldwide to underdeveloped countries.

Much of the new chewing gum’s success is based on donations from supporters. Although the invention is extremely new, the team hopes to impact 1.4 million Indian children in the near future. The more money the team is able to raise, the more kids they will be able to reach and help. If they see success and continue to raise money, the team looks to spread their idea to Kenya and South America.

Casey Marx

Photo: Flickr