At Hygienetown, we're lucky to meet many people who do great things in the name of dentistry, and our recurring "You Should Know" feature
introduces them to our readers. For this installment, we spoke to Cole T. Evans, the cofounder and president of Confadent Oral Technology, which
makes chewing gum with FDA-approved ingredients to improve oral care. Confadent started as part of a business plan competition at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. The idea won grand prize and took home $30,000 in funding. From there, Confadent went onto win another large cash prize—
this time on the national stage—to help make the business idea a reality. Evans and his team have continued to evolve and grow their brand of chewing gum into a product that they hope fulfills potentially unmet needs of oral health in way that no other gum or mint currently can.
Give us a brief history of
Confadent and its mission.
In high school, I had a summer internship with a large manufacturer of oral care products and noticed that there was no convenient solution for keeping your mouth really clean between brushings. Being an active person in athletics, business and enjoying the outdoors—who also cares about grooming and health—I'm not a huge fan of carting around a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash, so I set out to create a way to keep my mouth clean throughout the day in a convenient and discreet manner. Through a lot of trial-and-error, winning pitch contests to initially fund my dream, and then bringing together a bunch of talented partners, it's taken about four years to get Confadent to market.
Tell us about the science
behind your product.
Many gums on the market claim hygiene benefits based on their inclusion of the sweetener xylitol, a sugar alcohol that's been shown to aid in the reduction of plaque. We use xylitol as a sugar substitute, too, because it's a safe alternative to aspartame. However, Confadent is the only gum using FDA-approved ingredients that provide additional oral care benefits that reduce surface plaque, help protect gums and aid in fighting harmful cavity-causing bacteria. Of course, our gum also whitens teeth, freshens breath and increases important saliva production.
Our unique manufacturing technology allows Confadent to maintain the efficacy of our active ingredients—and that's what sets us apart. Our gum has FDA-approved active ingredients that are commonly found in toothpaste and mouth rinses—such as cetylpyridinium chloride, the major ingredient in many leading mouth rinses that kills bacteria that promote plaque and gingivitis.
Explain the consumer benefit that
makes Confadent gum worth the price
(approx. $2.65 for 8 pieces).
We created Confadent to provide oral care between brushings. We endorse and support good oral health care—we also know that proper mouth care isn't always convenient or possible. We recommend chewing a piece three to four times a day between your brushing schedule, and to use it when water or a clean washroom facility is not readily available.
It is recommended that we brush and floss two to three times a day, brushing for two minutes. A study by the Oral Health Foundation found that one in?10 people admit they regularly forget to brush their teeth, and one in three have never flossed their teeth. In another study, more than 50 percent of the respondents admit to brushing only once a day, and for only 30 seconds on average. Good oral health starts with regular brushing and flossing, and Confadent supplements proper oral care throughout a busy day.
What would you consider to be the
"best-kept secret" of the company?
All of us who have been chewing Confadent on a regular basis are getting great oral checkups! One family member told us that she no longer gets "the lecture" from her hygienist. It could be that just using Confadent also helps keep oral health in the forefront of our minds. When you know better, you're more likely to do better. We're eager for our customers to have that same experience!
As a company goal, you want to
"give back." How is Confadent doing that?
Confadent and Global Dental Relief (GDR) recently announced a new, three-year commitment to provide much-needed preventive fluoride treatments to children around the globe. Caring for teeth during childhood is the cornerstone to good oral health as an adult. GDR provides first time and ongoing dental care to children who otherwise lack the access or resources for care.
How can a practice begin working with you?
We have a program for distribution that is well-valued. Confadent sales can become a revenue stream and lead generator. We are not in retail channels, so the best places to pick up Confadent are on our website, on Amazon or in a dentist's office. For more information, visit confadent.com.