Dentaltown Magazine spoke with OralWise, Inc., president Keith Allen and general manager Brix Gatti to learn about GumChucks, a revolutionary flossing system that has managed to put fun and ease into flossing. You heard us right: Flossing. Fun. Easy. Read on to learn how GumChucks makes this possible.
What is your background?
Allen: I do not come from the dental industry. I think my perspective as an accomplished media producer and entertainment executive with extensive branding experience lends itself to the unique and effective nature of GumChucks.
Gatti: I am a loud and proud dental hygienist, as well as the general manager of GumChucks. My passion for oral health led me to GumChucks, where I have been able to help bridge the gap between the more serious (and often boring) dental industry and GumChucks, a product that has ignited excitement and passion for oral health among dental professionals and consumers alike.
Tell us about GumChucks.
Gatti: GumChucks is a revolutionary flossing system that has managed to truly put the fun and ease in to flossing. GumChucks features two BPA-free handles representing miniature nunchucks, which are connected by a piece of disposable floss. The ability to maneuver the handles creates easier access to posterior regions of the mouth, ideal leverage, and most importantly, the ability to create the perfect “C-shape” with the floss. To top it off, when you are ready to dispose of the floss tip, simply press the button on either end of the GumChucks handles and shoot the tips into the trashcan. What began initially as a product for kids quickly crossed over as the optimal flossing device for everyone! Since then, GumChucks have been made available in a multitude of forms: ProFloss for adults, ORTHOgami for braces (ortho flossing in under two minutes without the use of threading!), and ProTech, the autoclavable version for chairside use with patients.
Where did this idea come from?
Allen: GumChucks was born in May 2010, when Jeromi Stewart and myself 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 unique invention, intended for his own personal flossing needs, was a stripped down, a rudimentary version of what GumChucks are today; they looked like miniature nunchucks. He wanted to avoid putting his hands in his mouth, maintain leverage and tension, and make flossing easy. His nunchuck-like tool accomplished this. A couple of weeks later as a fluke, I told my father about Jeromi’s flossing device. My 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 we formed OralWise Inc., the manufacturers of GumChucks. OralWise has now built an entire would-be entertainment brand behind GumChucks, which features a series of cartoon characters ranging from Count Plaqula to Ninja Vitis to The Flosopher. With embedded technologies and social media applications, GumChucks has helped to propel flossing to the modern age with current and relatable marketing tactics. These applied strategies position GumChucks for what it is: a faster, better, easier approach to flossing and a far more effective tool for communicating the importance of flossing and oral health to the end-user.
You are in an elevator. A man asks what your company does. You have 15 seconds before the door opens. What do you say?
Gatti: GumChucks is the only flossing device in the world that will allow you to create the perfect “C-shape” without ever having to put your hands in your mouth, or having to wrap flossing your fingertips causing cut off blood circulation. It is ideal for those with limited dexterity, large hands, braces, or the other 85 percent of the population who don’t like to or can’t floss regularly. GumChucks is faster, better, easier flossing.
What is the philosophy at OralWise?
Allen: To simplify oral health by making it more accessible.
How can a practice begin working with you?
Gatti: Visit our website, www.gumchucks.com, or call us at 855-424-8257 and we would be happy to provide you with any information you would like! OralWise is always pressing forward, striving to revolutionize the industry with new and better products. Stay tuned for more fun and unique oral health innovations to come!