Dr. Chrystle and Catherine Cu Created Dental Floss Meant to Make You Smile
These sisters, turned co-founders of Cocofloss, make oral hygiene feel like an indulgent treat.
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Anyone who's ever been to the dentist knows one thing: you have to floss. And while it may seem like a simple request, according to Dr. Chrystle Cu, people just aren't flossing. It speaks to a worrisome statistic: Only four out of ten Americans floss at least once a day, and 20 percent never floss at all, according to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association. This inspired Cocofloss, the kind of product that'll not only make you smile but will help you take care of your smile, too. Here, we spoke to Dr. Cu and her sister and co-founder Catherine on their company and signature product.
As a dentist, Dr. Chrystle Cu's has seen her fair share of gum disease, bleeding gums, and more. It's an ongoing theme with her patients, and she says it could be prevented if they increased their flossing. "Just a few years into my career, I quickly grew pretty discouraged, frustrated that my patients, even the most health-conscious ones, were not flossing," says Chrystle. "Gum disease was just so prevalent, most of my patients had some level of gum disease that also could be addressed with flossing so it all just came back to flossing and I just kind of became obsessed with floss."
Realizing she didn't even have a favorite floss brand of her own, Chrystle shared her frustrations with her sister, Catherine. Together, the duo dreamed up Cocofloss, a brand that makes flossing fun.
What is Cocofloss?
Cocofloss is a cruelty-free floss brand designed with the idea that flossing doesn't have to be a hassle. Available in a variety of flavors—Delicious Mint, Fresh Coconut, and Vanilla Bean, to name a few—the floss is crafted with coconut oil, fruit oils, and vegan wax and offers refills in compostable packaging. It's made of strong and flexible materials so you're sure to get a solid scrub in even the tightest spots.
But that's not all. The floss comes in artful packaging that'll sit pretty on any bathroom shelf, from floral prints to iridescent wording, and is even available in a variety of themed gift sets. "It's just been really cool to see how enthusiastic people are about the brand we've built and I think the reason people love the brand is because Cocofloss is something that's useful to them," says Catherine. "I think the art behind our brand really is just so positive and creates happiness and when we hear from our customers we do feel and sense that."
Launching the Business
Prior to launching the brand in 2015, the sisters enlisted the help of their family and friends for backup. "I didn't floss, my gums bled. I just thought bleeding gums was totally normal, who cares. I personally didn't take the time to floss and didn't think anyone cared about this problem so the first step we took before investing in product was to just survey everyone we knew," says Catherine. "We just started talking to everyone we knew about their flossing habits and how they felt about their oral health and whether or not the idea of having a better floss excited them."
As it turns out, the sisters were onto something. "People will come to me and say Cocofloss has changed my life and I love it and I look forward to it and my dentist noticed and my hygienist noticed," says Chrystle. "I feel like that for me is a huge win because being a dentist and having far too many conversations with people about how they're not flossing, it's such a treat and breath of fresh air to have people tell me the opposite, that they love them and look forward to it now."
The Future of Floss
Though the sisters have their sights set on improving smiles one strand at a time, they're also hoping to shift the cultural perspective on oral hygiene over all. According to Chrystle, "Our culture seems to think it's normal to have rotten teeth. I'm really hoping that through our brand we're able to shift the public's perspective and attention to the mouth because of how important it is."