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Mental Floss

It’s interesting to me to see what sort of things crop up in the access log for search terms. One of the hardier perennials has got to be the Poloris Dental Poultice that I found in my bathroom wall while doing some remodeling. Every two or three months, I get people asking about where to find them. As far as I know, they’re no longer commercially available. In fact, the only listings I’ve found for them, other than this site, have been on sites that sell antiquities and dental ephemera.

Of course, just saying the phrase “as far as I know” about something can be like some sort of incantation for me. It’s like letting a genie out of a bottle: sometimes I geek out and suddenly I need to make sure that the “far” in the phrase is a little further than it used to be… The worst part is that I don’t care at all about dental poultices, I just feel some kind of obligation to folks out there who are looking for them. For some reason my site crops up at the top of searches, so I may as well make some effort to be accurate.

The things I do for you guys…

Anyway, just so you understand here, I’m not a professional detective. I’m just a nosy guy with a good network connection who’s had some practice at prying information out of various search engines. Feel free to doublecheck what I’ve found, and let me know in the comments if you find something which contradicts what I’ve dug up.

To start with, I checked out one of the antiques sites, which let me know that Poloris poultices were made by a branch of the Block Drug Company.

Some quick checking showed that Block Drug was bought by GlaxoSmithKline in 2001. The financial news and press releases from the acquisition talked a lot about the Sensodyne line of dental analgesics, but no mention was made of Poloris. A check of the US Trademark Search Site showed that the “Poloris” trademark was first used in 1915, was officially filed in 1933, was renewed under a different registrant in 1974 and expired on January 3, 1994. The last listed owner was the Block Drug Company.

So, it looks to me like Block Drug bought the Poloris brand sometime in 1974 and produced their products for a few years, then killed them off in the mid 90′s to keep them from competing with their other products under the Sensodyne brand name.

If you’re looking for Poloris Poultices, you’re not likely to find them. If you find any for sale, or if you’ve got any in your medicine cabinet, they’re probably at LEAST 10 years old. I’m not too sure they’d be safe for consumption, and if they’re the only thing that can ease your dental pain, then you’re in serious trouble once your supply runs out. I’d recommend checking with a dentist to find something new.

One Response to “Mental Floss”

  1. Cyd Dunne Says:

    I’m of the latter category in your comments. The Poloris dental poultices are about the only thing that works for me when I get a real bad toothache or gum inflammation. I’m down to my last poultice. I’ve tried Sensodyne & Oraljel & they provide SOME relief, but don’t do the job as well, nor as fast, as the poultice does.

    Personally, I think the poultices worked too well & that’s why they were taken off the market. Someone could buy a box of 12 poultices for less than $2.00 & the box could last them for years because they were only used when a toothache or gum swelling got really bad. I believe the term is “built-in obsolescence”.

    With the economy where it is today, people need more products like these poultice pads that draw out the poison in our system, rather than the quick use, every 4 hour, expensive tubes of paste or gel which only numb the pain.

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