Bestmint by Ortek: A Disruptive Technology For More Than Tooth Decay
You can't put stuff like this in a SciFi plot. No one would believe it when the dentist said "eat lots of this candy please". No fiction: Ortek, Inc. is planning production of a candy that is reported to be more effective than sodium fluoride at preventing tooth decay. The active ingredient is an amino acid commonly found in nuts and whole grains. Some plausible outcomes from introduction of the Ortek "Basicmints", assuming widespread popularity, include: a gradual end to flouride drips at the public water supply; no more dental fluoride treatments for kids; the phoenix-like "anti-fluoridation" movement, which has periodicaly attracted support from either end of the political spectrum, derails; toothpaste market shares are tossed in the air and pasteless toothbrushing becomes fashionable; outlays for filings are reduced; and, the need for one of the remaining consumer uses of elemental mercury ...we're talking about amalgam production by dentists... is reduced. While press coverage seemed to infer the use of a "biotech" method in manufacture (whatever that means), details are unclear. The meta-story is much bigger than an ingredient list though. Brace yourself for many more such disruptive technologies that confound and confuse our world views.
From Biotech Week of November 24, 2005: "A new technology that was developed at Stony Brook University's School of Dental Medicine, and which can be incorporated into confections, will be used to market candy, chewing gum, and other treats"..."The technology, known as CaviStat, was proven significantly more effective than fluoride in a 2-year toothpaste study involving, 726 patients, according to a recently published study in the quarterly Journal of Clinical Dentistry (Volume 16, Number 3)".
"CaviStat contains arginine, an amino acid present in saliva, which is broken down by certain plaque bacteria which produce the acid neutralizing alkali. The arginine is linked and acts in conjunction with calcium, bicarbonate and carbonate, which are also natural to saliva, and provide additional cavity fighting benefits by patching and strengthening the tooth structure".