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John H. Gallagher, Jr., Managing Member
Dent-Chew Brush, LLC
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued U.S. Patent # 8,292,624 to Dent-Chew Brush, LLC, based in Haverford, Pennsylvania. The patent’s subject matter covers the design and material composition of the product known as Clean Bite™.
Product Benefits - Clean Bite™ is a single-use toothbrush shaped similarly to a mouthpiece, made from a gelatin-based material that is a foodstuff. Placed in the mouth it conforms to the upper and lower bites and when chewed gently, it provides a utility period of 60-90 seconds.
Its design affords 800 +/- bristles, positioned throughout the two bites and across the palate arch, which allows for the brushing of the three exposed surfaces of the teeth, the gingival margin, and the tongue. Upon initial compression, there is a release of dentifrice containing Xylitol from four separate reservoirs located in the four quadrants of the bite channels ensuring equal distribution throughout the bite.
Continuing to chew beyond the utility period, for an additional minute or so, renders the product into small flavorful particles that continue to dissolve while being swallowed.
The Clean Bite provides oral hygiene without the need for water, paste or a brush, giving the user discretion at any time to brush their teeth while freshening the mouth. Secondary uses address oral hygiene coupled with a delivery system for vitamins, therapeutics, medications, and microencapsulated vaccines.
Primary Markets – The dominant market is oral hygiene for “at risk children” in the U.S. who receive free or reduced cost meals at school. This student population-in excess of 32 million children-has twice the number of untreated cavities (caries) in comparison to their counterparts. Addressing this recognized need at the point of contact combines a low cost administering of oral hygiene and plus five to six grams of protein, inherent to gelatin.
Other primary markets include disaster relief, military, hospitals, physically impaired, prisons, travelers, et al.
The secondary markets are significantly larger throughout the developing world; however, the approval process will require additional time given the use of various Actives. The ability to combine an oral hygiene regimen with other interventions for vast populations by supplementing meals with vitamins, therapeutics and medications to manage and mitigate chronic conditions such as malaria, potentially provides enormous implications for humanitarian relief.
John H. Gallagher, Jr., while serving as an Army Medic on an amputee ward during the Vietnam War, envisioned the concept for the Clean Bite™. Gallagher, while attending College, was in the U.S. Army Reserve and assigned by his reserve unit to Walson Army Hospital, Fort Dix, N.J. for his monthly drills during the early 70’s.
The reality of discomfort when unable to brush was an unrelated occurrence but caused him to realize the lack of priority for brushing the teeth of patients who were unable. On an open ward, the priorities were taking vitals, wound care, medications, feeding of meals and attention to bodily functions, and patients who had lost their arms seemed reluctant to ask to have their teeth brushed for them. To resolve this issue would require an appliance that would provide almost complete independence for the patient such that once placed in the mouth there would be no additional need for assistance. The ability to provide oral hygiene while addressing these needs are all found in what is now the “Clean Bite™.” The outcome far exceeds the original intent.
In 2012, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Small Business Development Center provided a valuation for Dent-Chew Brush, LLC. Dent-Chew Brush, LLC is actively seeking opportunities ranging from purchase, licensing, collaboration, technology transfer, and/or equity investment to further the commercialization of its patent.
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