November 14th, 2023
Dsmile is a range of sustainable oral health care products including toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouth wash, floss and interdentals designed to be refilled and reused to reduce single-use waste in landfill.
Through a subscription service, customers can order a starter kit with all these products, which are then refilled every three months.
Since 2019, Dsmile has expanded across 32 partner clinics and sold their products to around 5250+ e-commerce customers.
According to Healthcare without Harm, if the health sector were a nation it would rank as the fifth largest contributor to pollution on the planet. Often due to strict sanitation requirements, health and dental care products are generally single use, with limited reuse and recycling schemes in place.
But Dsmile is using innovative technology to deliver sustainable oral health care products that can be reused, refilled and recycled, preventing them from entering landfill. Based on a simple premise of ‘Brush + Floss + Rinse’, Dsmile offers a new approach to everyday dental care that is not only intelligently designed and beautifully crafted in its aesthetic, but also in its formulation and delivery.
We spoke with Dr Joseph Badr, Founder and CEO of Dsmile, about their journey as providers of sustainable oral healthcare.
“Over 20 years ago, I established D-Spa - the world’s first holistic dental spa that uniquely married cutting-edge technology and the clinical expertise of a dental surgery with the comforts of a calming health spa and based on preventative hygiene-based dental healthcare model. My work across our network of clinics led me to launch Dsmile in 2019, in response to the burgeoning single-use waste crisis faced by the broader dental industry.”
“Dsmile is a range of sustainable oral health care products such as toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouth wash, floss and interdentals. These products have been designed to be refilled and reused, to reduce single-use waste in landfill while enhancing one’s health and wellbeing.”
“Sustainability is at the core of Dsmile. We are reducing single-use-plastics, freight volume and transportation impacts on the environment. We are also working towards being carbon neutral for our entire range of products and use 100 per cent carbon neutral courier services for all our deliveries.”
“Personally, I realised that there was no end in sight to the perpetual production of single-use waste coming from the dental products we all use daily. I knew that action was needed quickly and a range of user-friendly, affordable and beautifully designed sustainable products would be one solution.”
“As providers of oral healthcare, it is our responsibility to take the initiative and integrate sustainable products and practices throughout our clinics. By doing so, we not only motivate our team but also influence the thousands of patients we encounter, ultimately encouraging other dental clinics to embark on their own sustainability endeavours.”
“Dsmile is a sustainable brand that actively positions itself within the principle of the circular economy to address the environmental and sustainability challenges in the dental care industry.”
As providers of oral healthcare, it is our responsibility to take the initiative and integrate sustainable products and practices throughout our clinics. By doing so, we not only motivate our team but also influence the thousands of patients we encounter, ultimately encouraging other dental clinics to embark on their own sustainability endeavours.
“Through our subscription service, customers first receive a starter kit with a toothbrush with a detachable toothbrush head, toothpaste, mouthwash concentrate and floss. After every three months, customers then receive a refill containing a toothbrush head, mouthwash concentrate, toothpaste and floss reel. Customers also have the option to purchase once off or as needed.”
“Some key models that Dsmile has implemented or working to implement are:
Product design for longevity: Dsmile focuses on designing dental products with durability in mind, using high-quality materials and designs that can withstand wear and tear, have a longer lifespan and reduce the frequency of replacements.
Recycling and Reuse: Through our Resmile program (run in our partner clinics) customers can bring back any Dsmile products or other oral care items, which can be repurposed/recycled into new products, and sent to Terracycle. Each partner clinic is allocated a ‘Green Ambassador’ who encourages the rest of the team to partake. The plastic mouthwash bottle that sits beautifully on our bespoke platter, serves as a reusable bottle where customers can formulate their own mouthwash using their mouthwash concentrate.
Education and Awareness: Dsmile is proactive in educating its customers about the importance of sustainable oral care and providing tips on how to reduce waste in their daily routines.
Continuous Improvement: Dsmile is committed to continuously improving its circular economy practices by staying informed about the latest developments in sustainable materials, production techniques and waste reduction methods.”
“Being specially focused on the dental care industry, our operations are very niche within the broader sustainability landscape. This focused approach allows Dsmile to tailor its circular solutions to the unique needs and challenges of oral care, ensuring that its products and initiatives are relevant and effective."
“We had to acquire the necessary skills and expertise for research and development with industrial designers and manufacturers. Additionally, we occasionally hire sustainability consultants remain well-informed about sustainability.”
“The operational shifts required to achieve our aims involved making significant changes in our product design, transitioning to even more sustainable materials, and optimising our supply chain. Specifically:
Product design changes to ensure they were more environmentally friendly and sustainable, easy to reuse and recycle
Transition to sustainable materials, in particular, using rPET (recycled plastics).
Locally sourcing materials, like rPET, from local suppliers
“The main barrier we’ve come is include making consumers fully aware of the environmental impact of conventional dental care products and tackled this by investing in education initiatives such as eDMs and social media posts focused on fostering consumer behaviour change. We’ve also had to optimise our recycling and take-back programs as well as create strong partnerships with our suppliers, to make our operations more effective.”
“From 2019 until now, we’ve expanded across 32 partner clinics and have sold our products to around 5250+ e-commerce customers.”
“Over the past 12 months, I have been invited to discuss our environmental mission on industry podcasts and recently took part in the sustainability panel at the World Dental Congress – representing the largest gathering of dental professionals in the southern hemisphere.”
“Additionally, Dsmile has achieved several notable design awards, including the Melbourne Design Award, the Chicago Athenaeum Design Award and the German Design Award. Another remarkable accomplishment is our commitment to manufacturing products in Australia, despite the associated costs and challenges.”
“Collaboration with like-minded organisations and sustainability-focused partners has provided opportunities for knowledge sharing, innovation, and expanded our reach in promoting circular practices. To name a few, we’ve partnered with organisations like Marie Claire, David Jones, F45, Carlton FC, Bupa Dental, Canva, MANOFMANY, ANZ, WeWork, Herald Sun, Bite Magazine, The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph and Single Use Ain’t Sexy.”
“Being a more circular model has yielded a multitude of benefits that extend beyond environmental and waste reduction advantages including economic savings, customer loyalty, social impact, innovation as well as brand reputation.”
“Our primary objective is to further expand the Dsmile brand into a global presence and we will strive to utilise the exceptional design techniques and integrate AI technology to enhance our dental products – with an aim of actively involving customers in their at-home dental routines, leading to improved environmental as well as oral health outcomes.”
“Remember that sustainability is a journey, and progress is more important than achieving immediate perfection. Embrace continuous improvement and constantly evaluate and refine your strategies to make a sustainable and positive impact. By taking action, you can be a catalyst for change and inspire others to join the movement towards a more sustainable and circular economy.
Learn more about our sustainable dental care products by visiting Dsmile.”