Mary Carmichael
Consumers can now clean their teeth without a toothbrush or paste thanks to the launch of disposable finger wipes from Handy Tooth Clean.
Available in packs of seven at an rsp of £1.99, the launch sees oral care following household cleaning and other personal care categories into on-the-move convenience.
Each individual sachet contains a wipe which fits over a finger. Smoothing this over teeth freshens breath and removes plaque.
Developed in Japan after the Kobe earthquake led to problems with the supply of clean, safe water, they need no water or toothbrush. The company claims this makes them perfect for use while travelling or after eating out. Trials in Boots last month have led to orders more than doubling, according to the company. Discussions with all the major multiples are now under way.
Company director Pravin Shah said the opportunities for the product were enormous with 74% of Britons already cleaning their teeth twice a day.
"We are hoping to expand distribution into numerous outlets from airlines to the restaurant trade," he said.
"It is such an accessible product, it doesn't take the consumer a huge leap of imagination to relate to it."
While portable wipes have boosted sales in other categories such as toilet and household cleaning, babycare, deodorants and toiletries, it remains to be seen whether new formats can provoke changes in the nation's attitude to oral care. Even category giant Colgate has not found it easy to persuade the British public to add to its dental routine.
>> Hit or Miss? p58