Caffeine in My Toothbrush!?!
May 20, 2013

Caffeine In My Toothbrush!?!

It seems that everyone is looking for a quick energy fix. Caffeine is making its way into many foods and drinks from gum (click here to see my blog about that) to sodas, energy drinks (click here to see my blog about this), coffee, and other foods (and click here to read about some of these). Caffeine is prevalent. Yet, it is also a complicated ingredient. For instance, Wrigley made the caffeinated gum, but has since taken it off the shelf until they hear about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) findings on caffeine.

Still, some companies are still looking into caffeine in their products as redOrbit recently reported. That company is Colgate-Palmolive. The company that makes toothbrushes, toothpastes, and other oral care products has submitted a patent application for a toothbrush that could secrete chemicals when it comes in contact with a person’s mouth or teeth, and one such chemical is caffeine. The patent listed caffeine as a “homeopathic teething or inflammation soothing additive.”

The toothbrush patent also listed chemicals for a warming effect (capsaicin), cooling, appetite suppressants, or painkillers (primarily for teething children). Each toothbrush would last about three months. These new toothbrushes will be shaped differently so that consumers know which chemical the brush secretes.

What an interesting development in toothbrushes. I mean, for hundreds of years these have remained relatively unchanged. Okay, so we now have electronic toothbrushes, but even those do not vary all that much from the traditional toothbrush. This new patent would add another dimension to the toothbrush. Sure, it will likely look similar to the toothbrushes we already use, but it will do something new and different. Technology gives the toothbrush an opportunity to do more.

It seems like a toothbrush that can administer different chemicals could really be good for the medical world. If Colgate’s patent receives approval, then perhaps this new toothbrush could better help when our gums are inflamed, our teeth need soothing, or even help people with weight issues. Even though the caffeine is listed as a soothing additive, it still will provide some energy, which just might help people to perk up in the morning. And the appetite suppressant could be just another possibility for overweight and obese patients who need just a little more help.

New inventions provide so many possibilities even when the new invention comes from a very old item. Sometimes these inventions fail miserably. But sometimes, yes sometimes, they affect a change for the better for all of us. I do not know which category this new toothbrush patent will fall under, but it seems likely to be a hit.

I must say I will be interested to see this toothbrush if it receives its patent. In fact, I would like to try it out. I would like to check out the one that has the warming sensation as well as the cooling sensation. The caffeine toothbrush certainly has my interest, but I would have to have a second non-caffeinated toothbrush for night. That is no bother and would be well worth trying out. Until the FDA approves or denies the patent, though, we will just have to wait.

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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