Silicon Valley Toothpaste Startup Redefining Dental Care
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been using the same standard protocols for brushing your teeth that you were taught when you were very young. While you might be up on the trend of electric toothbrushes, you probably haven’t considered switching from your favorite brand of toothpaste.

According to CBS correspondent Ben Tracy, “one Silicon Valley startup is out to redefine the way you care for your mouth.” Of course, you’re likely familiar with Colgate, Crest, Sensodyne, and the other major toothpaste brands. But have you considered whether these products are actually effective?

Reevaluating Toothpaste’s Real Value

It is estimated that consumers spend about $1.8 billion on toothpaste every year, but despite this massive spending, an astounding 90 percent of adults suffer gum inflammation, and 47 percent have been diagnosed with gum disease.

These numbers clearly bring the effectiveness of name brand toothpaste into question, and Amit Goswamy, founder and CEO of Livionex, explains the situation well: “[Toothpaste is] not a bad product, but it has a lot of room for improvement.”

Goswamy’s new product, which he refers to as “dental gel” rather than toothpaste, is aimed at providing consumers with an alternative teeth-cleaning product. “We said, ‘If we can make a dent in this, not only will this be a good business, but we will have done something good,” said Goswamy.

The Next Generation of Toothpaste

Having recognized the need for a more effective teeth-cleaning product, Goswamy’s team set out to develop a relatively low-tech dental solution in the shadow of Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google.

Traditional toothpastes use detergents and abrasives to remove plaque, but Goswamy’s team developed Livionex, a product that he claims is “the first to attack bacteria at the molecular level, making it harder to stick to our teeth.” According to Goswamy, “We’re actually breaking the molecular bond between the plaque sticking to the tooth. So it just falls off.”

Where’s the Proof?

While Goswamy’s claims sound great up front, the burden of proof fell to the University of California Irvine, who Goswamy commissioned to conduct a three-week clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of Livionex against ‘top-rated’ Colgate Total.

Petra Wilder-Smith, director of dentistry at the university’s Beckman Laser Institute, was quite surprised when she viewed the results of the study. According to Wilder-Smith’s studies, “subjects who used Livionex had 2.5 times less plaque, and their gums were more than twice as healthy.”

What’s even more significant, according to Wilder-Smith, is that “the structure of the plaque was quite different. They did not seem to be bound onto the teeth in the same way as we normally see in dental plaque.” And as CBS correspondents Ben Tracy points out, “Images of a tooth four hours after using Livionex compared to regular toothpaste reveal much less bacteria and less [of] the sticky substance that bings the bacteria to the tooth.”

In other words, Livionex continues to work for you for hours after you brush. And although the product is relatively expensive, at $20 for 1.7 ounces, Goswamy is quick to point out the fact that “cavities and root canals aren’t inexpensive, either.”

“We have to move the discussion from, ‘How does it taste?’ to ‘How does it work?’ Because, $20 is expensive, but if you’re investing in your oral health, it pays back many times over,” continued Goswamy. What he must hope now is that his investment in the next generation of toothpaste disrupts the dental care industry enough to pay him, and his team, back many times over as well.


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Posted by: DSR
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Tag: Dental
Business Start Ups
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