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Oral Care Products for Extra Care of Elderly

Revolutionising oral care products with 'design in mind' from the manufacturing process to the execution of product aesthetics.

* The toothbrush and Gripp from this project wins the 2020 Design Excellence Award (DEmark) endorsed by the Ministry of Commerce (Thailand).

* The products from this project can be purchased at Senity

Design by: SolidSprout

Project title: Senity Oral Care Products

Project partner: Senity (Laoaree Trading Co., Ltd.)

Category: Product Design

A collaboration between SolidSprout and Senity for the manufacturing of oral care products for extra care in elderly. It creates safety and comfort for use, and also make people care more on their oral health. It also helps solve environmental problems related to plastic pollution. This is an example of a complete cycle design for manufacturing process that we just executed in Thailand.

Designing extra care for oral health

Manufacturers are an important unit in the market ecosystem. That’s why the collaboration between SolidSprout and Senity tries to focus on the production and the design process which is the roots of the problem in order to reduce the negative impact on consumers and the environment. Furthermore; it is intended that the manufacturing system should have a positive impact on the quality of life and sustainability of the environment in the short, medium and long term. This assumption is created by focusing on the details of the production and the design process that are benefiting the society.

In order for the design to work on taking care of the well-being of the people, minimizing the negative impact, and creating positive outcomes on the society, SolidSprout not only embraces the aesthetics in the designs, but also works adequately on the bits by bits of the design process to nurture the state of well-being of the people and the society. This intention is, for example, reflected through their project with Senity, which deals with oral health problems in Thai people, especially in elderly.

Oral health is one of the factors that can affect the overall health of a person in the long run. Researches suggest that inadequate oral health care is a risk factor for many diseases, including immune- and circulatory-related diseases. Harmful bacteria and beneficial bacteria (known as normal flora) live together in one’s oral cavity in a balanced level. Unfortunately, incorrect oral health care causes an imbalance between the two types of bacteria, and causes other health problems. In the cases where the people or the elderly lack knowledge about good oral health care, tackling the problems by providing knowledge and creating oral health care tools for correct oral care become an important part in helping Thai people to maintain their health. This is especially important for the elderly because they have more risk factors due to their less ability to take care of themselves and the sensitivity of the mouth which needs special attention.

In addition to oral health problems, SolidSprout and Senity realize that the tools that are currently being used for oral health care in the market are harming the environment; for example, toothbrushes and their packaging containers, while having short life cycle, are made from plastic. While plastic waste is currently creating environmental problems in every way, reducing negative impacts on the environment became another topic to consider in the design and manufacturing of SolidSprout with Senity.

We carefully designed the toothbrush to have 'safety structures' that the users can hold the product and use it ergonomically. The curves and bumps on the toothbrush handle allows elderly to avoid the slippery accidents and help them hold the toothbrush firmly. The material was specially selected to contain 100% biodegradable plastic from corn and tapioca, getting along well with the 'Eco-Alliance Policy' that Senity will bring the used products and packagings back to their warehouse for recycling and decomposing process. This allows Circular Economy to happen in practice. This process also applies to the toothpaste packaging which its outer layer of the tube is made from clean recycled plastic.

The bottle of the Senity mouthwash was also designed to have the safety structure. The curve of the bottle allows the users to hold the bottle with one hand. They can shake the bottle firmly to mix the 2 layers of the oil-pulling technique mouthwash which contains one part water-based solution and another part oil-based solution The upper part of the packaging was crystal clear to assure that the users notice the separation and the homogeneity of the mixed solution..

Another product that we worked on was 'Gripp' which is a food-grade silicone gripper device that was designed specifically for elderly and the people of muscle weakness. It can be used with toothbrushes, spoons, forks, pens and various other objects. The Gripp was designed to use single material and water-resistant for clean and safety during use.

This project on oral health products is an important example of a collaboration between designers and manufacturer. It proves that designers can help the manufacturers to take care of the societal ecology and maintain the balance that nurtures the growth of the company. Design process allows business and environmental sustainability to go forward together. In the future, SolidSprout will continue to develop design projects and expand the design process to solve social issues in a variety of contexts.


Design for Social Impacts


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