A Story of Toothpaste and the Airport Checkpoint

Nov. 10, 2006

It's only appropriate that I address this odd bit of news, since this blog is somewhat appropriately titled The Security Check. And since the most common "security check" that American citizens go through is the TSA security check before they can go to airport gates...well, you get the point.

There's a company called Dentakit.com that registered on my security radar this morning. It makes and sells a lot of speciality dental hygiene products, including the original Dentakit for braces. They just started selling an item that is a curious shoe-in for TSA security. The company is selling toothbrushes that come pre-loaded with dry toothpaste powder. Ok, I'll admit, the idea is a bit over the top, since TSA doesn't exactly prohibit air flyers from bringing a small amount of toothpaste on the plane. And toothbrushes aren't prohibited either. But maybe, just maybe, this odd little product can knock back a little of the suspicion that a passenger would be aroused if Joe or Jane Flyer took their "zip-top quart-size clear plastic bag" to the airplane lavatory.

It does at least get to the core of the TSA liquids mandate. What's the core, you ask? The point is that, yes, they want to cut back on liquids, but also, the issue is the size of the containers. The theory goes that a 3-ounce container just doesn't give enough room to mix up a lethal liquid explosive cocktail. We're not sure a toothpaste tube would have been the preferred mixing container anyway, but, if a pre-loaded toothbrush takes away one more container that a terrorist could use, I'm not going to knock it.

Nonetheless, I still will be taking my reusable toothbrush and my 3 oz. of toothpaste. See you in the security line.


P.S. Check out Frank DeFina's blog "Think Secure". Frank, as many of you know, is the president over at Panasonic's security solutions division.