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A Natural Replacement for Toothbrushes

Learning about Indian replacements for toothbrushes.

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Before toothbrushes were introduced in India, neem twigs were used to cleanse people's teeth. The neem twigs were chewed at the end and since it is beneficial for the teeth and gums, it also maintained health. It reduced bad breath and was easy to use.

Some even rub the sea salt in their teeth to make it white. Other use coconut oil as it has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties come in handy for mouth cleaning. Lemon juice and baking powder were also natural substitutes used in India. People from rural areas still use these natural, biodegradable toothbrushes instead of plastic ones which live on forever.

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How does this research relate to our Use Cases?

Toothbrushes contribute a lot to global waste. One billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States, creating 50 million pounds of waste annually. Wouldn't it be better if we could use natural alternatives?

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

I think it was great to learn more about natural substitutes, and dip into the rural world of India.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Urvashi and I'm a student of 7th grade in India. My father told me about this neem alternative and that's why I decided to submit this idea.


Join the conversation:

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Hi Urvashi!
There are 3 days left in the ideas phase of the circular design challenge! It would be great to see your ideas there, submit your idea via -

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