The slogan was part of a campaign for Trident gum that was so popular that it was even referenced in an episode of Friends. Upon returning from a job interview, Rachel exclaims, “Guys! guess what, guess what, guess what!” to which Chandler replies, “Um, ok, the… the fifth dentist caved and now they’re all recommending Trident?”
Apparently conducted in the early 1960s, the assumption is that a survey took place in which practicing dentists were asked if they would recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chew gum (incidentally, the statement doesn’t name Trident as the only brand of sugarless gum that the four dentists would recommend to their patients). Where this data came from and where it went is unknown. Kraft Foods’ Cadbury Adams group, whose parent company, Mondelēz International, became owners of the Trident copyright and patents, was not known to have made any public disclosures of any details about the survey
There is, however, a more accessible study on the subject, funded by Wrigley through a fellowship at Northwestern University Dental School that has been investigating the benefits of chewing gum since 1930. Wrigley also founded The Wrigley Science Institute in 2005, designed to advance and share scientific research that explores the benefits of chewing gum. Studies show that chewing sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva flow, which acts as a buffer against the acids present in the mouth and cleans the mouth of food particles stuck in your teeth.
If you want real reassurance when purchasing chewing gums, look for the seal from the American Dental Association (ADA) on the package. In order to earn the seal, products must be subjected to an evaluation by more than 100 scientists with expertise in dental materials, microbiology, pharmacology, toxicology and chemistry, many of whom are from leading universities. During the evaluation, the scientists look for:

  • Objective clinical and/or laboratory studies that demonstrate safety and effectiveness.
  • FDA-approved ingredients.
  • Manufacturing standards that assure purity and uniformity
  • Packaging and advertising claims that are supported by science

Currently, several Wrigley and Trident sugar-free gums bear the seal, and no gums containing sugar have earned it. Regardless of where Trident came up with its data, five out of five dentists recommend that you brush and floss daily.