The Inspiring Story Behind Game-changing, Vitamin-infused Oral Care Brand Better & Better
Serial entrepreneur Vladimir Vukicevic didn’t just have a random brain wave for Better & Better; his whole backstory has led up to the creation of the health-focused endeavor. Taking an every day occurrence—brushing your teeth—and making it a more beneficial process, Better & Better aims to deliver vitamins and minerals via SLS/fluoride-free toothpaste. Genius! We had to hear more…here’s how it all began!
What’s your backstory before Better & Better?
I was born in Serbia and moved to the United States as a young child. Unfortunately, I came to the U.S. because I was diagnosed with childhood cancer. But thankfully, I was successfully treated for the cancer and ended up staying in New York. I’ve dedicated my life to entrepreneurship and to making new ideas come to life. Before Better & Better, I co-founded, grew, and sold two successful companies.
What’s the premise of Better & Better in a nutshell?
Because of my medical history, I’ve had to take various vitamins, minerals, and other supplements throughout my whole life. Being an active person, taking supplements is challenging—adding a new habit is not easy. In addition, pill-based supplements irritate my stomach and are generally unpleasant. Better & Better stems from a personal need. We take existing habits (like brushing your teeth) and make them better. Our first product, a 2-in-1 toothpaste, gives everyone the ability to have clean teeth and to receive a dose of vitamins through an existing, universal habit. We make good health both easy and efficient.
What initially sowed the seed for the idea?
I started with my personal needs and habits. I kept a journal of everything I do and realized that I always brush my teeth at least twice a day—no matter where I am. I also began to research the power of the mouth. The human mouth is full of capillaries and absorbent tissue. The mouth can absorb nutrients via buccal and sublingual means. Buccal absorption happens through the lining of the mouth and sublingual is via the tissue under the tongue. This form of delivery has been utilized by doctors for decades to deliver various medications. In many ways, this form of nutrient delivery is superior to swallowing something because it bypasses the gastrointestinal system and the liver delivering nutrients directly into the bloodstream. Between these two realizations, the idea was born for a 2-in-1 toothpaste that cleans teeth and delivers vitamins.
You launched in 2019. Take us back to that time.
Most of 2019 and 2020 was focused on research-and-development to create our unique toothpaste formulas. We work with a team of expert biochemists and formulators to develop and test our toothpaste. Throughout the process, we went through hundreds of different versions. This iterative and arduous development was very difficult during the early days of COVID lockdowns. We launched the product in late 2020 and quickly sold out our first batch in 2021. We learned a lot from our early customers—about flavor preferences, what vitamins were most sought after, and other lessons. So we launched new and improved versions of our products in early 2022. So far, the response has been resoundingly positive.
Tell us about the brand in terms of where it is today. What have been some highs so far?
We are now introducing new varieties of our toothpaste that include new vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C, E, and zinc. In addition, we’ll soon be rolling out completely new form-factors, beyond toothpaste. The biggest highs come from delighted customers. It’s clear that many people hate taking pills. Additionally, we’re seeing more health experts— nutritionists, physicians, dentists, etc.—embrace our unique products.
How do people find out about the product?
Beyond traditional marketing and advertising, we rely heavily on our customers to spread the word. The best way for someone to find out about a new product like the Better & Better toothpaste is from someone close and trusted – like friends and family.
Where are you stocked?
We currently sell directly via our website (betterandbetter.com) and via Amazon. We’ll be rolling out into retail stores later this year.
Can you tease some more about the additional categories?
Yes! We already have a unique, plastic-free bamboo toothbrush and natural floss. Later this year we’ll be launching some completely new products related to oral care and the oral microbiome.
What about stores or pop-ups; do you see physical retail spaces or touch points in the future of the brand?
Supplements and oral care products are still predominantly purchased at physical retail locations. We believe that we offer the best combination of natural oral care and easy-to-use vitamin supplements. So we’ll begin with premium retail locations that complement our products and brand.
What’s one oral care myth you wish people would stop believing?
The worst myth is that oral care doesn’t matter that much. Quite the opposite is true, and every day we learn more about how the mouth connects to overall health. Oral care is foundational. The mouth is where the digestive process begins. The mouth has a major impact on breathing, when we are awake and when we are sleeping. Good oral care has been linked to the prevention of numerous diseases, from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. So in many ways, good oral care makes for good overall health.
Who do you think has the best smile in the world?
My wife! Her smile wakes me up in the morning and keeps me going day in, day out. I’m guessing that’s not quite the answer you’re looking for, but “best” is subjective and personal. At Better & Better there is no one best smile. Great smiles come in all shapes, sizes, and shades. Our goal is to make sure your smile is the healthiest it can be.
What makes you smile?
Family and friends always lead to the most rewarding and hearty smiles. After that, nothing beats a good sandwich while watching the New York Knicks or New York Mets win.
What’s the overall dream for Better & Better?
We aim to embed better health into many existing habits. Our ultimate goal is to make pills unnecessary and to make being healthy universally accessible.