Meet the man who can tackle your ‘bad breath’ monster


Thomas Norlin is our bad breath expert and the man behind CB12, the mouthwash that promises ‘first class breath’


For patients seeking help for bad oral health, my number one piece of advice is do not leave it to next week. Make an appointment as soon as you can if things are not right.

In my field halitosis we are often swamped with products with unscientific claims. Seeing the real product behind the gloss front is difficult for consumers. That can be difficult to explain when products are claimed to do certain things. The regulation around cosmetic products are different compared to medical technical products or drugs, prevention and cure are not the same.

Buy from a trusted source and look at independent advice. Listen to your dentist or hygienist. There is never a ‘one bottle will do it all’ remedy. You need the right tool for the right job and, in your mouth, there might be need for two of three different ones.

I decided early to focus on cosmetic dentistry and implantology and these are still the area I enjoy most. The other area of my daily practice is orthodontics, with a focus on non-extraction therapy. I obtained a degree in neurophysiology soon after graduating from dental school and from this I got involved in a project that resulted in the patented mouth rinse that is sold as CB12 today. During this period, I also obtained a qualification in halitosis from Oslo University. It is a bit of a strange mix but there so much to learn and you never have to stop.

My career choice was third time lucky. I am not from a family of dentists and studied science and palaeontology, prior to dentistry. I am academic, but not the professor type. I like people and was always good at fixing things. I thought that these are good skills to have as a dentist. It turned out to be the right choice for me.

I love what I do. I enjoy making people smile, making invisible fillings or smile makeovers and confidence boosting of people. I enjoy seeing how healthy teeth can change a person’s life. I also enjoy the business side of dentistry. Running a business and developing products. The first advert on TV for CB12 made me feel very proud. The kids sat next to my and we were watching Channel 4 and they said: ‘Dad look, it’s your thing…’  Silence... ‘Are you famous now?’ one asked? It still makes me smile when I think about it but those moments are important. It might be the finished orthodontic case, or the invisible implant, reaching financial milestones or business targets. It gives a feeling of achievement and it makes you move the goalpost to get there again. But the kids and my wife are my biggest inspirations in life.

I rarely switch off if I’m not doing something that captures my attention. I think it comes with the personality. I like working and develop business ideas. I find this relaxing in relation to clinical work. If I wake up at three in the morning and have an idea then I need to get it on paper. I enjoy cooking; the creation of a masterpiece meal or tooth can be similar. In my next life, I will be a master chef!

Patient communication is at the centre of my work. Involve, communicate, educate. We use a very graphical patient journey to show our patients where they are in terms of risk and what we can do. When they understand the problem and the treatment options then we can discuss what is best in an ethical way. The time spent on communicating this correct is key to form a good relationship with your patients.

I am proud of CB12 and Esthetique dental. My first prototype made in the kitchen (to my wife's horror) has grown to a product sold in 18 countries with a turnover beyond my dreams. Esthetique our squat practice started 3 years ago in the most unlikely location for a dentist has grown to incorporate 4 busy surgeries and we are now 16 members of staff and still growing. I have a new product that we hope to launch over the next few years and keep expanding my dental business.

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