The global oral care market grew 7.7 percent from $41 to $44.5 billion in the last year. Recently, startups have taken a bite out of that market, disrupting the larger, better-established oral care brands such as Crest and Colgate. These new companies provide innovative products that are not only effective but also eco-friendly, socially responsible, and more fun. Additionally, by adopting a direct-to-consumer approach, they’re able to offer their products at affordable prices.

Meet four brands disrupting the oral care industry – Ojook, Burst, PopGel, and Frost – and their founders.

1. Ojook

Ojook aims to turn personal care into a wellness ritual by bringing an Eastern philosophy and sustainability to the industry. The company’s signature product – a toothpaste made with nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) and bamboo salt – retails for just $18 and sells out regularly at Nordstrom and on the company website. Korea’s treasured bamboo salt, called jukyeom, is oral microbiome-friendly and a respected natural treatment for mouth sores and gum inflammation.

Founder and CEO Youn Chang is a former Glossier and Apple executive. She created Ojook with a team of dental experts. On average, Ojook products use 30 to 50 percent fewer ingredients when compared to conventional products on the market. They are free of additives such as flavors, colorings, and sweeteners. All Ojook packaging is made to be reused, refilled, or recycled.

Educating people about Ojook’s innovative new ingredients has proven challenging. “The oral care market is mass brand-driven, and the communication surrounding these topics is fear-based,” Chang said in a exclusive Forbes interview. “Most bigger retailers and investors still think of Eastern wellness-driven oral care as a niche market. It has been hard to get the resources Ojook deserves. But I am excited to keep tackling these challenges.”

“Scratch that itch! Life is too short to sit on ideas,” Chang says to aspiring entrepreneurs. “Move forward at your own speed; as long as you keep going, you are progressing. Remember that you don’t have to quit your day job to start your own business in the beginning. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. It might be a lot to balance at first, but it will give you the financial freedom to give your business a chance to succeed.”

2. Burst

Founded in 2017, Burst Oral Care has experienced a meteoric rise, and is currently one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in the U.S. This is thanks in part to collaborations with business experts Kylie Jenner, Christian Siriano and Marshawn Lynch, a children’s toothbrush collaboration with CoComelon, and support from a community of over 40,000 professional dental ambassadors who have shared in over $13 million in profit. In addition, in 2022, Burst expanded into retail, launching in 650 Bed Bath and Beyond stores and nearly 2,000 Walmart locations nationwide, as well as at a chain of stores in Ireland.

President and COO Brittany Stewart cofounded Burst with CEO Hamish Khayat with the intention of making an otherwise outdated industry more whimsical. Their first release was a top-selling sonic toothbrush that recharges by USB and has replaceable heads. It now comes in a variety of bright colors, as well as black and white. In addition, the company sells rechargeable, portable water flossers, toothpaste, floss that comes in refillable containers, and whitening kits.

“Hamish and I started Burst because we wanted to see more innovation and more affordability in the oral care industry, and we didn’t understand why dental professionals weren’t included in the product development process,” said Stewart in an exclusive interview for Forbes.

In celebration of the Walmart launch, Burst partnered with Baby2Baby, an organization that provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing and other basic necessities. The donation included 1,000 tubes of BurstKids toothpaste and money that can provide half a million diapers to families in need across the country.

Stewart advises aspiring entrepreneurs to think big and then work towards the goal. Also, she says, “Listen to what your consumers want. Our ambassadors have amazing insights into what patients want, and we work to develop our products to serve their needs.”

3. PopGel

PopGel, which uses metal toothpaste tubes, was created to help solve the problem of plastic waste. 1.5 billion plastic toothpaste tubes – which are made of a particularly damaging form of multi-layer plastic that can’t be recycled – are dumped in landfills and oceans every year. It takes them up to 500 years to biodegrade. Designed by a dentist and FDA approved, PopGel whitening toothpaste gels are also free of SLS, triclosan, artificial preservatives, parabens and microplastics.

Wayne Solan is the founder of PopGel. He started the company for because he always has had a burning desire to leave the world a better place than he found it. This he feels he is doing by eliminating plastic waste from the planet.

About a decade ago, Solan was cleaning up the mess of toothpaste from his guest bathroom after friends with kids had stayed here. “Don’t get me started on the nasty rolled up tube with paste all over it,” he said in a Forbes exclusive interview. “As I was throwing the tube in the rubbish bin, I was thinking, There’s got to be a better way to deliver toothpaste. This is just too wasteful and messy.”

Solan teamed up with a former schoolmate to develop the aluminum tubes used by PopGel today. They knew they wouldn’t get everyone to change from holding a tube, so they figured they could simply change the material away from plastic. So far, the brand’s toothpaste has been a big hit, and Solan says more products are coming soon.

“Don’t give up,” Solan advises aspiring entrepreneurs. “If you think you’ve got a great idea and you truly believe in it, stick with it.”

4. Frost

Frost Oral Care aims to make all-natural, healthier-for-you oral care products that appeal to kids. The company’s dentist-approved oral hygiene products are free of toxic chemicals, plant-based, and antibacterial. They’re also available in delicious flavors designed to get kids excited to brush their teeth, including birthday cake toothpaste, bubblegum mouthwash, and chocolate milk flossers.

“I didn’t have much access to dental care growing up,” said Josh Snow, Founder and CEO of Snow and Frost by Snow in a Forbes exclusive interview. “My family was rebuilding and had moved here from Spain, and going to the dentist was expensive at the time.” He ended up needing jaw surgeries after college. Later, he decided to whiten his teeth, but discovered that all the whitening strips hurt his sensitive teeth. “That was the moment Snow Teeth Whitening was born,” he says.

Early on, Snow says the company made the mistake of offering a “try before you buy” campaign. It was a disaster and nearly wiped out Snow completely. Many people never paid for the products. However, the team rallied and built the business back up through influencer marketing. Today, the company has made over $100 million in sales.

Snow tells aspiring entrepreneurs to “remember that you have unique skills and perspectives that can make a positive impact on the world. A lot of people will tell you that you should do things like everyone else, but those people don’t have the same vision as you. If you see an opportunity to make a difference, don’t hesitate to take it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”