CREATING SMILES: when oral health care becomes a source of aloha

CREATING SMILES: when oral health care becomes a source of aloha

CREATING SMILES: when oral health care becomes a source of aloha - ShopYWCA

In the aftermath of the devastating Aug. 8 wildfires on Maui, Dr. Sonia Gupta, a dentist with a heart as radiant as the smiles she crafts, knew exactly how to bring healing to her community. Beyond the realm of routine oral care, she put emphasis on the psychology of dentistry, understanding that it's not just about treating teeth but also addressing fears.

"Nobody really wants to go see a dentist," Sonia admits, emphasizing the psychological aspect of her profession. In the wake of the fires, the fear in the community was palpable, and she recognized that her role extended far beyond the dental chair. Her mission became a blend of counseling, mental health support, and instilling hope in the hearts of those she interacted with.

Volunteering in major hubs like Lahaina Gateway, Sonia shared the grief of her patients and the community. Despite her oral care business, AlohaBrite, taking a hit during the calamity, she redirected 100 percent of net profits to families affected and generously donated products, gift cards, and other essential items.

While AlohaBrite faced a decline in sales and the Maui visitor industry slowed down, Sonia remained unwavering in her dedication to the community. She anticipated a business resurgence but chose to prioritize the immediate needs of those around her.

And the community responded with an outpouring of aloha for AlohaBrite.

Dr. Gupta's journey began in her teenage years when she started formulating her own toothpaste. Growing up in a home with a full chemistry lab, her passion for chemistry led her to follow in her father's footsteps and became a chemical engineer. Then she found a path to dentistry and has now dedicated herself to serving children and adults with special needs on Maui while fostering a community that emphasized the importance of oral healthcare.

The catalyst for AlohaBrite came when Sonia became a mother. Seeking a natural alternative to existing oral care products with harsh ingredients, she envisioned a line that prioritized safety and effectiveness. Sonia, still practicing dentistry, began promoting her dental care products at farmers markets, offering everything from toothpaste to dental floss, capsules, drops, wipes, and more.

AlohaBrite proudly claims to be the world's first biocompatible, badditive-free dental care product, a testament to its commitment to safety and quality. Sonia's dedication to perfection in her formulations stems from a desire to deliver a user-friendly and effective product that is both safe for consumers and environmentally conscious.

“One day, I’ll be at the Four Seasons Hotel.” Her vision became a reality, with her products now offered online, and in major hotels in Hawaii and in stores locally and internationally.