Combat gum: Army chews so you don’t have to

Combat gum: Army chews so you don’t have to

[F]irst and foremost,  the peppermint-flavored gum, called Combat Gum, is aimed at keeping  troops healthy and their mouths happy in combat and field-training  situations.

“Oral health is essential to warriors on the battlefield and could  potentially save the military countless hours and dollars in dental  health,” said Col. Robert Hale, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and  commander of the Army Institute of Surgical Research, in the Army Times report.

The gum doesn’t replace brushing or flossing, Col. Hale said. But it  fights plaque and periodontal disease, and it’s currently being  distributed to high-risk troops and those heading to the field with the  instructions to chew for 20 minutes after each main meal. The aim is to  make the gum available to all troops in the Army and eventually on an  over-the-counter basis, Col. Hale said.

The gum currently costs about $2 a piece, but it’s ultimately  expected to save the military millions of dollars in dental care over  the years, the Army Times said. It was developed primarily by Kai Leung,  a microbiologist for the dental and trauma research detachment, after  he studied bacteria colonies akin to those that multiply in the mouth.

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