Frenzy helps maintain oral health from an early age
For good oral health, it is important to start as early as possible and take care of your teeth. This means that in addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, other preventative activities are required as well – including consuming xylitol. The human body does produce 15% of xylitol a day, but it is still necessary to chew/ suck on xylitol to prevent cavities. The panacea should be consumed in the amount of 2-3 lozenges four times a day. That adds up to the scientifically proven minimum amount of 5-7g in order to keep teeth caries- i.e cavity- free.
And this is why the author of the idea behind Frenzy and Team Leader Hedy Lehtmets has brought 100% xylitol lozenges to the Estonian market. Protection of teeth should start already in infancy, the moment the baby`s first teeth emerge, so Hedy is developing a new product – tooth protection gel which is easy to administer. It is primarily meant for parents to make administering xylitol more convenient compared to crushing lozenges. It is a product, which has the potential to cross country borders and reach export markets. It is an idea and product that has taken Hedy to Ajujaht`s TOP 30.
Idea born from personal necessity
“If there are cavities in deciduous teeth before the age of 5, then the risk for cavities to form in permanent teeth before the age of 10 is three times higher,“ says Hedy. She adds that Estonian children`s teeth are in the same conditions as those of our Northern neighbours` the Finns in the 60s. Hedy herself was exposed to xylitol as a health promoting measure for the first time in 2009 while studying epidemiology in Tartu University, where her primary research area were oral cavity diseases and their global prevention. During that same period of time, she had just moved to Finland, where xylitol lozenges were available at the grocery store and it had been a basic oral hygiene product for decades already. As a young and informed mother, she wanted to start protecting her children`s teeth with xylitol early on. However, the lozenges were too hard for her 8-month-old – crushing them was tedious. This led to the initial idea and practical need for a more convenient solution. The tooth protection gel currently under development is primarily meant for babies and under 2-year-olds, whose teeth are coming in.
By now, Hedy is the importer of xylitol lozenges. She packages them in Estonia and has created a brand and online shop named frenzy. In addition to the baby tooth protection gel, the range will widen on account of a tooth-friendly spray, glass candy and lollipops to offer a healthy solution to well-known kids` favourites. Two years ago, when she started it all, awareness of xylitol and its necessity was rather low. “The situation has clearly improved!“ Hedy is enthusiastic. Cooperation with the Estonian Dental Association and specialists has helped raise awareness considerably.“
Also, kindergartens are more informed and based on the Finnish state`s experience set as a role model, there are already a number of kindergarten groups across Estonia, where children are given xylitol after meals, when the bacteria in the mouth are the most active.
Onwards and upwards
The current customer base is primarily made up of customers placing orders on the webpage and those who purchase products from well-stocked dental clinics, also dentists themselves. With general awareness of xylitol and its importance rising, interest in the products has also grown and the trend seems upward.
Before coming to Ajujaht and up to autumn 2018, Hedy was the entire team. “Even if from time to time, I have felt like I cannot do it all, I know I am not going to close down frenzy,“ says the entrepreneurial woman of the topic close to her heart. Now, the frenzy team also includes Dekla Uusma, who has experience in marketing and has worked in private health insurance for years and now supports Hedy with her know-how regarding how to launch a health service. So, the direction has been marked down and there is lots of ground to cover– both in Estonia and elsewhere.
“Ajujaht has pushed me in a good way and awarded lots of valuable information – especially practical tips on what to consider and what to do to move to export markets,“ Hedy sums up the experience so far.
Ajujaht is Estonia’s largest business idea competition. Ajujaht was established by Enterprise Estonia, partner SEB and main sponsor Elisa. In addition to the aforementioned, Ajujaht is supported by Law Office Triniti, Estonian Employers` Confederation, Estonian Chamber of Agriculture, Harku Municipality, City of Pärnu, Saue Municipality, City of Tallinn, City of Tartu. Ajujaht is funded by Enterprise Estonia`s European Regional Development Fund finances. Ajujaht is implemented by Civitta Eesti AS, Kommunikatsioonibüroo JLP and Tehnopol.