Interview: “We aim to facilitate oral hygiene on the go”

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Interview: “We aim to facilitate oral hygiene on the go”

Hanna Sjöström, Marketing Director at Swedish oral care company TePe. (Photograph: TePe)
Kristin Hübner, DTI

Kristin Hübner, DTI

日. 8 五月 2016


Ever since its foundation in 1965, Swedish oral care company TePe has highlighted the importance of a close professional exchange with universities, institutes and dental professionals in developing its oral hygiene products. Dental Tribune Online spoke to TePe’s Marketing Director, Hanna Sjöström, about the company’s general approach of contributing to society.

Dental Tribune Nordic: Could you tell us about TePe’s commitment to research and education, most recently embodied in the establishment of the Eklund Foundation?
Hanna Sjöström: Ever since the Eklunds founded TePe in 1965, the company has had a special relationship with the dental community. After five decades of collaboration with universities, institutes and dental care professionals around the world, the Eklund family established the foundation as a way to show their appreciation by creating something that would contribute to knowledge and development within the odontological field for many years to come.

Could you explain the application process for funding that has started on 1 May?

From 1 to 31 May, applications will be accepted through the online form at During the summer, the applications will be evaluated by our reviewers, Dr Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, Manager of Odontology and Scientific Affairs at TePe, and Prof. Leif Dahlberg, head of the Division of Orthopaedics in the Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund, at Lund University. We welcome applications from all fields of dentistry and will particularly prioritise projects related to periodontology, implantology and cariology. Applications from postdoctoral researchers will be prioritised in the selection. The successful candidates will be announced in the autumn. This year, the foundation will distribute approximately €160,000 (DKK1.2 million) to one large project and a number of smaller projects.

Last year, TePe donated 50,000 toothbrushes to people displaced by the refugee crises. As a leading oral health provider, do you consider these kinds of actions a responsibility?
Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something. As people in flight are in need of hygiene products, we felt that the donation would be one way of putting our vision of good oral health for everyone into practice.

Do you think that, generally, the industry should become more involved in societal commitments?
A locally anchored business like TePe relies on a good relationship with the business community and society. The support of our stakeholders is very important to us, and we earn that trust by contributing to positive developments wherever we operate.

Your vision is for people to be able to keep their teeth for life, thus the company’s focus on preventive dental care. Do you think that the importance of oral health for overall well-being and general health is given sufficient attention?
This is a very interesting discussion, which we are following very closely. The suggested connection between oral health and general health emphasises the significance of good oral hygiene and entails the insight that we have everything to gain from the prevention of oral disease.

As a company that has collaborated extensively with universities and scientific institutes in the past, how important is this kind of professional exchange?
Professional exchange is fundamental for TePe. Our in-house team of odontological experts, consisting of both dentists and dental hygienists, work in close dialogue with universities, institutes and dental professionals all over the world. Throughout the development of our products and educational materials, we incorporate research findings, as well as clinical requirements of the dental profession. This approach has earned us credibility and given us extensive knowledge, which we continue to build on. Our interdental brushes are a good example of our philosophy: once developed as a result of both research findings and clinical needs, and thereafter continuously improved, their efficiency continues to be supported by scientific studies.

Are there any events or product releases planned for 2016?
We are very pleased that our new product TePe EasyPick has been awarded with the prestigious international Red Dot Award in Product Design. The innovative interdental cleaning device will be launched on our international markets this spring. With this easy-to-use product, we aim to facilitate oral hygiene on the go. Another product worth highlighting is our newcomer in the toothbrush range, TePe Colour, which is designed to appeal to young people and put “more colour, more fun” into toothbrushing.

Thank you very much for the interview.

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