Healthy teeth come with a lot of equipment, all of which are inconvenient on the go. You have to pack a toothbrush, make sure you don’t forget the toothpaste, find a sink, mirror, running water, … and that’s without using floss and mouthwash for extra hygiene. Isn’t there something easier out there?

Enter the Miswak and THIS Toothbrush, the Dubai-based startup giving dental hygiene a mix between old-school and a modern-day upgrade. The beautifully-designed alternative toothbrush joins forces with Souk el Tayeb for a non-recurrent co-branded launch this Saturday February 27.

(Image via Facebook)

Considered the oldest toothbrush there is, the Miswak is a twig from the Salvadora Persica tree, although unpopular in Lebanon, it is a centuries-old predecessor of toothbrushes, as well as an inexpensive and natural alternative.

Brushing with Miswak does not require water or toothpaste; it is water-efficient and pocket-friendly, costing a third of what the toothbrush + toothpaste combo would. Its anti-bacterial properties, which include plaque reduction, teeth whitening, and fighting off bacteria, may just be more efficient than using a toothbrush altogether. The cherry on top? It is 100% biodegradable and organic.

(Image via Facebook)

With all this in mind, Lebanese designer Leen Sadder, still a student at the time, set off to redesign toothpaste for an assignment. The outcome is THIS Toothbrush, a compact Miswak container with its own Cutter Case. Designed to help peel, cut, and separate the stick’s bristles, the Cutter Case has Stainless Steel blades inside a body made of Eastman Tritan™ BPA-free copolyester. Add to it the transparent, punctured tube where the Miswak is stored, and moisture retention becomes the fourth function of THIS Toothbrush.

When she first designed THIS, Sadder had not planned on it becoming her brainchild. Little did she know that uploading a student project to her online portfolio would make it a viral sensation. And it was not just a fad. With the healthcare market moving towards more natural options and the rise of a global Muslim consumer market, Sadder says there is “an actual untapped potential in the industry” which she tapped into by accident. With the initial shock subsiding, the challenges Sadder faced were mainly transitionary: expanding her design background into business, logistics, sales, legal, accounting, distribution, and so many more. “It’s also been a challenge [being] a non-tech startup in a very tech-hungry environment like Dubai,” she adds, but it “is also what makes it so interesting on a daily basis.”

(Image via Facebook)

Up and running in Dubai and delivering to the UAE, with stores in KSA and Kuwait, THIS aims to implement a system where purchases yield Miswak donations to people in developing countries. A recent development in this plan is to provide Miswak sticks to refugee communities for dental care, but it is still in the works.

For now, you can find THIS Toothbrush and the almighty Miswak at Souk el Tayeb on Saturday February 27. This is a one-time only event, but if you cannot make it, THIS products will be sold at all Tawlet and Beit branches starting next week.

Stay tuned for more dental care fun as THIS takes over the walls at Tawlet Mar Mikhael with its very own installation.

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Jamal Attieh on Feb 26, 2016 via mobile web