Sake Gumi
Here's something totally weird that my little friend Kota was munching on during dinner one night. It's called HAKIRA (assuming that's a shortened Japanese word for "sparkling teeth") and it's for teething toddlers to chew on to prevent a certain bacteria called Streptococcus mutens, which causes cavities. According to the tag line, it's for adults too.

With all the swine flu frenzy that's still going on in Japan (hygiene stands on random street corners where face-masked ladies ooze anti-bacterial gel all over the dirty dirty hands of the masses), I am increasingly intrigued by all the preventative measures the Japanese take to ward off germs in their daily lives. It's just overly paranoid, if you ask me.

That said, I wonder if this stuff actually works- I went to the dentist yesterday and was told I gotta get a root canal. Ummmm, I clearly need to be more Japanese. Face mask! NOW!

In case you are interested, the multi-lingual Fumiquitto translated the back of the bag for me. We were both pretty boggled by this stuff- this one is for the birds.

Parents and child should take care of their teeth. Streptococcus mutans causes cavities. Parents infect their children when they are 1 year and 7 months to 2 years and 7 months. It is important to avoid transmitting Streptococcus mutans to your children. Parents should be mindful about eliminating Streptococcus mutans in their month for children's sake. They should start paying attention to this when the child's back tooth comes in. When pregnant, women tend to get cavity of gum-related disease easily.

Is this really smart, or just a marketing ploy?? Any dentists out there that want to weigh in on this?

Thanks Fumiko for the translation!!!


  • I’m a med student, not a Dentist, but I did a quick pubmed and google scholar search. There’s some info on using this stuff (it’s an egg yolk antibody against one of the streptococcus mutans virulence factors) in rats that looks promising. I also found one study on humans that showed some effect.

    Strep mutans is a big cause of cavities and it has been proven that it’s spread from caregiver to child. That being said…brushing your teeth, flossing, mouthwash, and periodic dental cleanings has already proven to be great cavity prevention. I doubt this stuff is going to replace any of that.

    The study in humans is:

    “Passive immunization against dental plaque formation in humans: Effect of a mouth rinse containing egg yolk antibodies (IgY) specific to Streptococcus mutans”
    Caries Research [CARIES RES.]. Vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 268-274. 1997.

    PS. If you have an artificial heart valve you need to take antibiotics after dental procedures to prevent strep mutans subacute endocarditis (much more serious than a cavity).

    E on

  • I hate you.


    kayoko on

  • From the looks, is he Aya’s Kota? Also were you babysitting at your parents restaurant? You couldn’t trust yourself to sit him at home?

    Yamahomo on

  • Just a loyal reader. Keep up the great posts!

    E on

  • OMG “E” WHO ARE YOU??? YOU ARE AWESOME!!! In all seriousness, this is one of the best comments on UM ever.

    kayoko on

  • How many f-bombs did Kota throw out? You’re teaching him well, right?? He’s so cute!!

    Hamamama on

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