How we helped Sensodyne change oral care habits in India. Closeup photo of the award-winning toothbrush

How we helped Sensodyne change oral care habits in India

This is the story of an efficiently-designed toothbrush and how it transformed the daily oral-care habits of millions of people in rural India.
It all started with a challenge - the kind of problem that, here at DCA, we really love to solve. Our longstanding client, GSK Sensodyne, asked us a question: is it possible to design and develop a specialist toothbrush for sensitive teeth that costs as little as 30 rupees, equivalent to around 30 pence in the UK?

Our answer has been a resounding yes. We’ve created a premium toothbrush using 45% less material than is typical and that’s 37% faster to produce, making it affordable and more sustainable. The Sensodyne Daily Care toothbrush has smashed its launch targets, improved market share and opened a whole new market for Sensodyne in India. Here’s how we did it.
This photo shows the process DCA Design went through to create the Sensodyne Daily Care Toothbrush, from sketch to plastic 3D prints, individual rubber parts and assembling it into the final product
Changing consumer behaviour



The design needed to help people change the way they clean their teeth, away from traditional toothpowder to what’s considered a more premium, specialist toothbrush and toothpaste. Enabling people to make this switch is a big step, but a crucial one to allow Sensodyne to grow in this region. Toothpowder is cheap and part and parcel of oral care in India, therefore price would be a major barrier. Although the oral care market is growing fast in urban India, a toothbrush is still just too expensive for large swathes of the population living in poorer, more rural areas. Convincing a vast network of small, independent, neighbourhood shopkeepers to stock the toothbrush was also vital, as this is where most people do the bulk of their everyday shopping.

We created a toothbrush that’s lighter, faster to produce and more efficient to make and transport.

The Sensodyne Daily Care Toothbrush shown in shops and pharmacies in India
The featherweight champion of toothbrush design



We meticulously unpicked the entire design and manufacture process to create a toothbrush that’s half the weight of the industry standard and significantly faster and more efficient to produce. Cost savings that translate to that all-important cheaper price at the shelf. A scooped out area on the back of the toothbrush reduces the material volume without compromising its strength. Whilst cleverly using only 36% of the usual amount of soft-touch TPE – the most expensive material used in toothbrush design – still gives the handle a reassuring, quality grip, whilst also speeding up the production cycle. Despite a more efficient design, the toothbrush stays true to Sensodyne’s visual brand language, and so feels very much part of the brand’s family of products. Vibrant handle colours give the toothbrushes standout in what’s often a cluttered store environment.

The result is a toothbrush that meets all its design criteria: ergonomic, efficient, eye-catching and all for 30 rupees. As a direct result, those neighbourhood store-owners are very happy to sell the toothbrush, exceeding delivery forecasts four times over in the first six months alone, and helping GSK add tens of thousands of new outlets to Sensodyne’s store portfolio. But most importantly, the design is encouraging positive new behaviour. At the end of the day (and hopefully, in the morning too), millions more people in India are alleviating sensitivity by brushing their teeth and changing their oral hygiene routine for the better.

Exceeding delivery forecasts four times over in the first six months alone.