Health

Miswak – The natural alternative to a toothbrush

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Leen Sadder

Leen Sadder, Lebanese designer and entrepreneur, never knew it at the time, but the day she threw out her empty tube of toothpaste, she would embark on a new entrepreneurial journey. Her grad school Professor had asked the class to redesign the first item which they threw out when they got home. So, after throwing that out, she took the time to think about how generations of people have brushed their teeth over the years and what they have used. It was then that she came across an article on miswak.

Miswak is a tooth-cleaning twig from the bark of the Salvadora Persica tree. It is both a traditional and natural alternative to the regular toothbrush and has numerous medicinal qualities and health benefits.
Miswak has a proven ability to reduce plaque, whiten teeth, reduce a toothache, fight germs and bacteria and prevent tooth decay. It is completely natural and has components which strengthen enamel.

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The inside of miswak is similar to the bristles of a toothbrush

That following week she sketched ideas and created prototypes of a product which she thought could reintroduce the miswak to the world. She designed methods to make it simpler to peel and take with you on a daily basis. She then created the first version of ‘THIS.’

One month later, ‘THIS’ went viral online but purely by accident. A popular design blog featured it online which led to media interest in the product. ‘THIS” was voted number twenty-seven on Dieline’s Top 100 Package Designs for the year, 2011. It then went on to win a semi-finalist award at the Adobe Design Achievement Awards in 2012.

It was not long, and Sadder began receiving emails from across the globe from investors who were interested in her product. She realized that there were many people, millions in fact, who were using miswak and looking for a more modernized version of it to carry around with them. Then, there were those who had never heard of it before but were very intrigued by this natural alternative to a toothbrush.

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‘THIS’ Toothbrush

She decided to revisit her design along with her partner, Omar Farah, a fellow Lebanese entrepreneur. They raised money using a crowd funding campaign, filed the patents, sourced out manufacturers and suppliers and launched the brand along with its website.

Their first product, ‘Cutter Case’ was launched in 2015. It featured a “signature auto-lock cutter cap” with double blades to make cutting and peeling easier for users. It comes along with a transparent storage tube to keep the miswak. Each ‘Cutter Case’ includes two miswak sticks and consumers also have the option of purchasing refills if they so wish.

Sadder partnered with The Miswak Foundation to launch a campaign to distribute the miswak sticks to people in underprivileged communities who did not have dental care or even the use of clean water on a daily basis.

Sadder hopes that her product will be a leading brand for Miswak in future years to come. She feels it is essential for people in our age to have access to natural products such as this and to value the knowledge of their ancestors while living a healthy life.

To find out more about the products visit the website at http://www.thisisatoothbrush.com/