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ABOUT US

My name is Nathan, and I'd like to share a story about a seemingly small idea that made a big difference not only in my life but my many friends, family, and now the customers who use our products. As an entrepreneur and tinkerer with a loving family and an active social life, I was always on the move. What's the next task? When's the next flight? What's next? What's next? Go go go! However.. to be honest, maintaining proper oral hygiene was always a challenge. In the midst of a packed schedule, it was too easy to skip steps for the sake of getting caught up. I knew it was an issue but how do I create a routine when my environment and schedule are ALWAYS changing? I knew I wasn't alone in this struggle, and as I spoke with my friends and colleagues, who also maintain ungodly work schedules and time constraints - I realized this problem might be bigger than I thought.

One night, bored at the airport waiting for yet another update on another delayed flight, I cracked open a fresh pack of big-brand gum. Randomly, I flipped over the package and looked at the ingredients. Sure, it was some of the usual culprits of stuff I typically avoid - aspartame, sugar, corn syrup, red 40 etc... I thought, man I really gotta stop chewing this stuff. And then I also noticed that one of the main ingredients was called "gum base". What is "Gum Base"? Was it just one ingredient from one source or was this some sort of lab-made concoction of "FDA Approved" ingredients like "artificial flavors"? I had nothing but time so I grabbed another overpriced watered-down black coffee from a vending machine and got to digging. Surprisingly there was very little information online about this topic, finding out the exact ingredients specific companies use ended up being more of a task than I thought it would be - which made me even more curious. At this point, I was hooked - I needed to know the answer. Call me Sherlock.

Long story short. I did not find the answer that day. In the end, I put on my manufacturing cap and did what I do when trying to reverse-engineer other products. I tracked down and reached out to several gum-based manufacturers and finally learned what the hell was in this stuff.

 

Here is a screenshot from one of the manufacturers I spoke with.

Gum base mfg convo screen shot underbursh gum.png

Holy shit. I can see why these chewing gum companies would prefer the term "Gum Base" instead of listing the real ingredients. Some basic research into these ingredients and how they're made - made me disgusted. I remember thinking, why would anyone want to willing put these products in their mouth? I certainly didn't. And what the hell is polyvinyl acetate anyway? 

Okay - so most gum is made of garbage, got it. The question is now; what do I do about it? Was I to stop my serial gum-chewing habit? Chewing gum made it easier for me to focus and I need that to perform at the highest level, so of course the answer was NO. I just needed to find a better alternative.

 

It didn't take long before a thought struck me: "What if there was a chewing gum that could do more than just freshen breath? What if it was a functional gum with a real purpose? What if it could actually clean my teeth? And what if, just maybe.. it was made out of ingredients that weren't toxic to my body and the environment?" Doesn't seem like too much to ask! This idea literally kept me up at night and I soon found myself diving deeply into the world of chewing gum, oral health, teeth, their parts, how they are damaged, and how they can be repaired. Driven by these ideas and the desire to create a product that not only I could use but could also be proud of. I decided to develop a gum that would not only serve as a convenient solution for people like me but would also be all-natural and made without the use of synthetic chemicals, rubbers, and plastics made of polymers that degrade into microplastics.

Thus, Underbrush Gum was born.

The process of creating the perfect formula was painstaking and involved experimenting with various natural ingredients. For nearly two years, I worked tirelessly like a prisoner at night digging a tunnel away from my captors one spoonful at a time. I started consulting with dental experts and food scientists, reformulating, reformulating again, and testing each iteration to find the ideal balance of texture, chew, rigidity, flavor, stickiness, and effectiveness. This was a true labor of love and like building good habits, it required patience and small incremental improvements over time.

Underbrush Gum, my final creation, was a harmonious blend of natural ingredients that offers numerous oral benefits. Hydroxyapatite, an essential mineral found in teeth and bones, helps to remineralize and strengthen the tooth enamel. Minerals found in eggshells and earthen clays also aided in replenishing essential nutrients while acting as a mild abrasive for scrubbing and polishing teeth. The refreshing flavor of mint essential oil and powerful terpenes (which have their own set of amazing benefits) worked together to kill microbes and freshen breath, while myrrh gum helped soothe irritated gums. And for a sweetener, I discovered erythritol and xylitol, a natural sugar substitute from birchwood, contribute to cavity prevention by disrupting the life cycle and replication of bacteria backed up by some very interesting studies. I could go on for hours about these ingredients but what about the gum base? This is my favorite part. It took me a while to track down the farms and foragers to supply this to me and I am so excited about our triple threat part of the formula. We use a blend of Mastic gum, a natural resin, that contributes antibacterial properties and reduced plaque buildup harvested in Chios Greece, Spruce gum long chewed by Native Americans for its healing and anti-bacterial properties wild foraged here in North America and Germany, and chicle gum wild foraged in South America which not only has a very pleasant chew but acts as a rapid delivery system for all of our other beneficial ingredients. This is what all gum base should be made out of.

With its organic ingredients and remarkable oral benefits, our gum soon found a place in the daily routines of the closest people to me who are also trying to push forward and crush life one incremental step at a time. Like me, they appreciated its simplicity, elegance, and effectiveness. My humble invention is a symbol of perseverance, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of the absolute best. Underbrush is a symbol of how small, consistent changes can lead to significant improvements in our lives and the lives of those around us and I am so unbelievably proud of what I have created and get to share with the world. 

As I reflect on the journey that led to the creation of Underbrush Gum, I am grateful for that moment of inspiration in an empty airport and for my mild obsessiveness (I swear it's mild!).  Looking back on it, I might not be here now if it wasn't for those multiple delays and that shitty vending machine coffee. I am proud to make a positive impact on the lives of the people around me and to share my product and story. Most of all I'm proud to be doing something, however small, with purpose. And as the popularity of our family's Underbrush Gum continues to grow, I'm excited to see how many more smiles we can brighten, one chew at a time. This is only the beginning!

Chew with Purpose

 - Nate

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