Angie Lang, founder of Swirlit; a story of success
Australian born entrepreneur and registered dentist, Angie Lang, 42 is the Founder of Swirlit – an innovative oral health drink that uses key dental approved ingredients including xylitol, grape-seed extract and pre-biotic to aid in the prevention of unnecessary dental issues.
Raised in Sydney’s South, Angie is the definition of hard working and laser focused determination. From the early age of nine, her typical day started off stacking shelves at her father’s petrol station. Her family encouraged her to become a doctor, but it wasn’t a smooth sailing journey to where she is today.
Despite failing to achieve the required marks for medical school, Angie completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nuclear Medicine and continued studying dentistry at University of Sydney. Within the same period and by the young age of 21, Angie had her first child, was married and divorced shortly after, and as a result, deferred her university studies Angie turned these life changing events into motivators, and despite these hurdles, she qualified as a registered dentist in 2003 aged 26.
Her resume quickly filled up with a long list of achievements from her first job with the President of the Dental Board, Professor John Dale, to starting her own dental practice only two years after graduating in 2005.
Angie wanted to do things different – she didn’t want a culturally sterile practice, she wanted to shake things up! Her passion in exploring innovation was motivated by her desire to “create a space that didn’t feel like a dental practice” to and somewhere to alleviate the anxiety many people feel going to the dentist. She affectionately named her practice “Love Your Smile Dental Care” and was nicknamed the ‘pink dentist’ due to its pink décor!
The same year Angie remarried and in 2006, had her second son 14 weeks early which only added to the load. They made it through a few tough years with her son in and out of hospital, a husband at university, living with her parents and all whilst growing her dental practice and beginning to research what a potential oral health drink may look like. After her appointment to the Dental Tribunal of NSW in 2011, it spiked an interested in Law which drew her to pursue a Masters in Health Law whilst also exploring her creative ideas.
In 2012, she began to fully explore her options about an oral health drink that would sit on shelves alongside the likes of Kombucha, not in the dental aisle, but in the beverage aisle.
Angie says “As a dentist I see the damage caused by sugary and acidic drinks every day, so I set out to create a solution”. I found a laboratory in
California to help me create the prototypes for my idea and off I went. I travelled to California every month for six months until the product was
complete and perfect. I initially called the product ‘Sneau’.” Adding to Angie’s desire to create this industry changing drink, a patient presented herself to Angie with extreme gum disease which at that stage, required several extractions. The patient went away for a few months and worked with a Naturopath to try and help with reducing her gum disease before returning to Angie to follow through with her treatment plan. Upon her return, Angie was surprised to see that the patients gum disease had reduced so much that she didn’t require the previously planned extractions.
Angie used her nuclear medicine degree, coupled with extensive research and equipped with knowledge of the vitamins and mineral supplements that her patient had been taking, to begin working on the formula for her oral health drink.
Focused on success, Angie sold her Australian dental practice to a corporate, as well as selling her house and used the capital to both start Swirlit and, also invest in well-known beverage company, H2Coco, allowing her to observe the workings of a beverage company and find her pathway towards a functional solution for dental problems. As an ambitious woman, Angie’s drive took her to studying her last subject of her Masters in Health Law at Cambridge university in 2016. Further to this in 2018, to equip herself with business school knowledge as Swirlit was progressing at quite a fast rate, she was accepted into a postgraduate degree in Strategy and Innovation at Oxford University (all whilst bringing up her two sons!).
In 2017, prior to launch, the product underwent a re-brand from Sneau into Swirlit, launching the flagship oral health drink as a “fresh mouth health shot”.
Angie aims to put oral health on the agenda by challenging products like Kombucha and soft drinks which contribute to dental problems. Swirlit aims to provide the mass market with “healthy drinks for healthy smiles” with sugar free and 99.9% sugar free and pH neutral drinks.
The growing range of tea-based and botanical drinks are a tasty alternative to sugary and acidic drinks with science backed ingredients to promote oral health, and reduce the risk of dental decay, erosion and tooth loss.
Swirlit products are available from select cafes, select BP’s, service stations, independent grocers and online.