News Worth Biting On: Sweet Bites Chewing Gum Prevents Tooth Decay

A team of business students from the University of Pennsylvania are making a positive difference in the lives of children in developing countries.

You see, they have invented a new chewing gum called Sweet Bites with 100% xylitol, which is a natural substitute to real sugar. Xylitol, which is made from real fruit and vegetables, is proven to keep teeth clean and thwart off disease.

The team of students consists of Spencer Penn, Thoba Grenville-Grey, Eric Kauderer-Abrams, Morgan Snyder, and Joshua Tycko.

Chewing Gum Prevents Tooth DecayChewing Gum Prevents Tooth Decay

Yes, this is a sweet solution for a bitter problem as children in developing countries who live in urban slums have basically no access to proper dental care. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that oral disease is huge problem, especially in developing countries and is more common than heart disease, breast cancer and even leukemia.

Sweet Bites was recently launched in Bangalore, India and their goal by the end of the year is to have 1-million children chewing on this healthy invention.  

The next step will be to launch this chewing gum to children in other developing countries around the world.

The label the gum is wrapped in includes health tips and is sold for next to nothing. The team is also running oral health education programs in 40 schools throughout Bangalore.

The team is now receiving interest from investors and governments who want the gum and their oral health education program.

“We’re talking with people in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Turkey, Cambodia, and Laos. We need to set up manufacturing as quickly as possible,” says Kauderer-Abrams.

This sweet invention has also been nominated for a Hult Prize, partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative. The winners will be announced on September 23, 2014, and the top prize is $1-million.

The team feels they have a good shot at winning the Hult Prize.

Kauderer-Abrams states, “I think we have a good chance of winning it… But we’re doing this with or without winning. It’s exciting to see that we can go out and accomplish high-impact things.”

Sweet Bites chewing gum will also create new jobs in developing countries. Manufacturing plants will need workers, and distributers and educators will also be needed. 

So, while this new gum is great for oral health, it will prove to be a new and unique economic engine.