Photo/Illutration The spray version of Oralpeace is packed at the Aozora Sorashi-do facility in Agano, Niigata Prefecture, on Aug. 19. (Takeshi Suezaki)

A waterless, edible toothpaste created by a businessman for his critically ill father was sent to the International Space Station (ISS) this month, fulfilling a long-held dream of the inventor.

Daisuke Teshima, president of biotech company Trife Inc., based in Yokohama’s Naka Ward, started developing Oralpeace after his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and got diarrhea by accidently swallowing a prescribed medicinal agent for Candidiasis fungal infection in his mouth. 

Oralpeace is fashioned from extract of ume fruit and other natural ingredients. Free from chemical compositions, the product can be swallowed with no adverse health effects, Teshima said.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) picked Oralpeace for use by astronaut Koichi Wakata, who headed to the ISS on Oct. 6, mainly for its waterless quality.

Teshima said his father tried a sample of the space-aged product before he died 10 years ago.

“I have been dreaming of the day when my idea will be used in space, so I am happy that the dream is coming true,” Teshima said. “My father left behind a message for me: Spread your wings all over the world.”

Tubes and other lines of Oralpeace are shown in December 2020 in Yokohama’s Naka Ward. (Takeshi Suezaki)


After his father swallowed the medicinal agent, Teshima created the safe-to-swallow toothpaste with the assistance of such parties as Kyushu University.

Teshima then found his invention could help astronauts deal with the limited amount of water in outer space.

The product takes advantage of antimicrobial material deriving from lactic acid bacteria, so it can be used as a toothpaste. In addition, the product can keep the oral cavity moist when it is applied inside the mouth.

Teshima presented the Oralpeace concept to a JAXA campaign that solicited possible solutions for issues related to visits to outer space.

Water is so rare outside Earth that astronauts must severely ration the liquid when brushing their teeth and washing their hair, according to JAXA, adding that bringing water to space is hugely expensive.

Oralpeace was selected from among 94 candidates for use in the ISS. Its selection was made public in autumn 2021.

Oralpeace and eight other products were launched to the ISS this month.

Teshima also plans to sell the product in a more lucrative market than the ISS.

“I will be expanding our sales network into the large-scale U.S. market,” he said.


Other people are eager to see Oralpeace tested in space.

A spray version of the product is manufactured and packaged at the Aozora Sorashi-do facility in Agano, Niigata Prefecture. The facility helps disabled people find employment.

The tube product of Oralpeace is normally made at a factory in Yokohama. But Teshima, who has a child with disabilities, asked Aozora Sorashi-do to package the Oralpeace tubes intended for space.

“We all have strengths and weaknesses but work together to finish products,” said Shun Yoshizawa, 23, who was involved in the project. “I am glad (JAXA chose Oralpeace). I want a wide range of people to learn about Oralpeace.”

Other workers also expressed gratitude.

Tatsuma Abe described the decision to send Oralpeace to the ISS as “great,” while Towa Yokono said he “cannot hide my delight.”

Teshima said this is part of his efforts to “create a path for those with disabilities to live on.”

“Many disabled individuals can now find employment but only a limited number of them are able to work at ordinary corporations,” he said.

“A realistic solution is to provide special job offers to those who have difficulties working at ordinary firms but still want to engage in business activities. That way, they can work while going to care facilities,” he added.

Teshima said his vision is reflected in the Oralpeace program.

“We will be carving out our future with disabled people and their families throughout the world from here on,” he said.

Wakata is scheduled to stay at the ISS for about six months.