As dental professionals, our actions are governed by our knowledge and expertise. We can even utilise these skills to improve oral health in the far reaches of the world. Spreading the preventative dentistry message and educating others on the importance of oral hygiene doesn’t have to be confined to our shores or need to involve extreme fundraising techniques such as running marathons or shaving off all our hair!
The simple but stylish Humble Brush is one tool that gives us this power for change. Ergonomic, handcrafted handles made from 100% biodegradable Moso Bamboo are combined with Nylon 6 bristles, rendering these toothbrushes just as durable as their plastic counterparts but infinitely kinder to mankind and the environment. When a Humble Brush is sold, it is matched by another toothbrush or the equivalent donated in oral care to those in need. Patients buy one and then the Humble Smile Foundation, in unison with Humble Brush, gives one.
The story of the Humble Brush is gaining momentum and generating a great deal of positive feedback. Last week Humble Brush launched their Humble Helpers campaign throughout primary schools in Ireland. This keenly received programme aims to educate children on a number of key oral health issues whilst they raise funds for their schools or another cause of their choice. As schoolchildren are actively involved with these programmes, they engage with the humanitarian objectives of the Humble Smile Foundation. In return, these children are instilled with knowledge in the value of their own oral healthcare and the hygiene regimens.
Additionally, the Humble Smile Foundation, in collaboration with volunteer group Project TEN – Be The Change, has been educating vulnerable Ethiopian communities on essential preventative dental care. Ethiopia has an estimated population of 96 million[i] but just one dentist per 1.278 million people[ii]. Many Ethiopians don’t even know what dentists or even toothbrushes are. When they find themselves needing oral care, they generally employ excruciatingly primitive and potentially life-threatening treatment methods rather than face a journey of thousands of miles to find a dental practitioner. It is in locations such as this that preventative dentistry methods are all the more crucial.
There are so many fascinating angles attached to this otherwise innocuous dental adjunct, endorsed by over ten thousand likes on Facebook. These beautifully presented toothbrushes are also environmentally and panda-friendly. The endangered species has learned that Moso leaves grow too high up the plants, so they choose to eat the more accessible species of bamboo instead.
Global consumer trends company, Nielsen, studies over 100 countries to gain knowledge on what people watch and buy. In their online 2015 study, they found a significant rise in the percentage of respondents aged 15-20 who are willing to pay even more for products and services from companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impact. In 2015 the numbers of these consumers had risen to 72% from 55% in just one year[iii]. We are proud to say that The Humble Brush is a perfect example of a product that serves this growing market – but costs no more than a run-of-the-mill plastic toothbrush.
Purely by setting these toothbrushes on reception counters, patients will engage with its purpose and will be attracted to its contemporary look. The ethos of effecting change and providing oral health aid for those in need is layered throughout everything the Humble Smile Foundation tries to achieve. For example, a proportion of the cost of a traditional toothbrush contributes towards huge corporate marketing machines. There is no such process with the Humble Brush, there isn’t a huge marketing budget – the revenue from sales is used directly towards providing oral care for those in need.
Humble Brushes can be supplied in their ‘naked’ glory or can be personalised on minimum orders of 400. Not only does this constitute a novel talking point at reception desks but it also gives dental businesses the opportunity to distribute their brands on something their patients use every day.
By stocking the Humble Brush in your dental practice, you are not only providing a superior product that can be used on all types of dentition but also giving patients the chance to make an ethical choice.
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[ii] The Global Child Dental Fund – Snapshot of Oral Healthcare in East Africa. http://www.gcdfund.org/news/charity-news/kenya-symposium (Accessed 12/01/2016)
[iii] Green Generation: Millenials Say Sustainability Is A Shopping Priority, May 2015. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/green-generation-millennials-say-sustainability-is-a-shopping-priority.html (Accessed 29/1/2016)