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GumChucks inspires patients to become flossing black belts

Sept. 27, 2016
As the effectiveness of traditional dental flossing techiques come under scrutiny, new flossing methods have received increased attention. GumChucks is a unique product that reimagines how flossing can work—and patients actually think it's fun.

As the effectiveness of traditional flossing techniques comes under scrutiny, new flossing methods have received increased attention. GumChucks is a unique product that reimagines how flossing can work—and patients actually think it's fun.

In light of recent controversial media coverage related to flossing and its effectiveness, it's time to look at how flossing at home can be improved and how having a better flossing tool benefits the patient. Introducing GumChucks—a faster, better, and easier way to floss.

Because patients care about speed and ease of use, convenience matters when it comes to compliance. Moreover, we know that compliance and regular use is often the key to effectiveness. After all, the main offender here is biofilm, which builds in layers. If patients are empowered to floss more regularly because they have a tool that makes it easier, then they are consistently disrupting biofilm and prohibiting it from building up.

After a four month study with 243 patients using GumChucks, the product showed very positive results. At the outset of the study, 48.5% of participants reported to "never floss" and 17% of participants reported to "floss daily." At the end of the trial period, only 0.5% reported to "never floss" and 66% of participants reported to "floss daily"! Moreover, GumChucks proved to reduce gingival bleeding by more than 50% with patients who had full-blown gingivitis. This is strong evidence that flossing is effective when used properly and regularly.

That said, the success of GumChucks is not that people will actually use it, it’s that GumChucks' unique two-handle system has many fundamental benefits and features that are simply not offered in other products. These benefits are designed to give patients a more professional result, whether they realize it or not. Here’s why: two handles are better than one!

Adult handles and "C"-shape technique made easy

Because GumChucks' handles are independent from each other, they make the floss unbalanced and not fixed like in traditional methods. Therefore, when breaking the contact, the floss is prone naturally to wrap around the surface of the tooth. This then promotes the recommended “C” shape, covering more surface area of the tooth. This disrupts more biofilm in the peripheral areas of the gumline. Additional benefits of the GumChucks two-handle system reported by patients include being able to control tension of the floss, reaching back teeth without putting their hands in their mouths, and avoiding the pain of having to wrap floss around fingertips and cutting off blood circulation.

GumChucks' philosophy

GumChucks are much more than dental tools. It’s also a tool for dentists and dental hygienists to communicate the importance of oral health. As Tommy Nabors, DDS, in Nashville, Tennessee, likes to say, “You don’t go to the doctor to take a bath. So then why would you go to the dentist to only get your teeth cleaned?” Teaching your patients how and why bacteria affects their oral health as well as their overall health is knowledge that helps them understand why flossing is something we should all be concerned with.

That said, there has to be a way to do it effectively without teaching a course from the chair.

Because the method GumChucks uses is an interesting in concept to the patient, and because the handles have push buttons that shoot the used tips, they are perceived as a fun and convenient way to get patients started on managing bacteria from home rather than only treating it while in the chair.

We make it easy for you to introduce the concept and the product side-by-side in our free webinar, which also includes a live CE credit for all who attend.

How to introduce GumChucks in your office

Starting with GumChucks autoclavable ProTech Handles, which are made of surgical-grade aluminum, you can demonstrate during your treatments the benefits of GumChucks chairside. This opens a dialogue about flossing in a unique way and also demonstrates how fast and easy GumChucks are to use.

ProTech handles

Next, we have a compact and attractive display that holds GumChucks Starter Packs(set of GumChucks handles and 12 flossing tips) and the GumChucks 36-count refill packs. This is what the patients take home. The suggested retail cost on these products is $6.95. With dental professional pricing, this gives the office a roughly 30% margin if sold at MSRP. Some practices choose to give their patients a discount and charge them cost. This is an individual decision based on the culture of the practice.

Point of purchase displays

Everyone loves a freebie! If your office prefers to give GumChucks away for free rather than sell them, we have samples available for you to do this with. A GumChucks sample has a set of GumChucks handles and 3 flossing tips. We sell these in boxes of 50 to the practice through our distributors (Henry Schein, Benco, Patterson, Burkhart) for $64.50 ($1.29 per unit).

Whether you choose to give them a sample or a Starter Pack, patients will have access to a faster, better, and easier flossing experience—one that promotes oral health and helps them to build a lifelong healthy habit in the process.

RELATED:Flossing just got fun and brushing just got better! Gumchucks review by Kim Miller, RDH


A highly accomplished producer and entertainment executive, Keith Allen has extensive experience in marketing and branding. He has created sports, comedy, lifestyle, and music programming with prominent television networks that range from CBS, MTV, Fuel, Spike, Versus, and Fox Sports. The GumChucks brand was developed by Keith after he realized that flossing was a crucial part of oral health and could help influence everyday people to adopt this lifelong healthy habit by effectively communicating its ease of use. Both GumChucks and its users benefit from Keith’s first-hand experience, well-informed instincts, and a deep understanding of the market segments being targeted.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions. Subscribe to the Apex360 e-newsletter here.

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