Black Business Spotlight: Code White

Photo by Ashley Lauren (l-r) Cartier Banks and David Hicks III

Teeth whiteners aim to outshine major brands 

As the owners of Code White (CW) Teeth Whitening company, local entrepreneurs Cartier Banks, David Hicks and Bilaal Mohamoud know a great smile can go a long way. The CW business is located in Edina and Eden Prairie within Salon Concepts, a shared workspace for professionals. 

There’s an interesting meaning behind the business name; “Code White, meaning this is a secret code—like an emergency room for [teeth] whitening,” Banks said. 

CW was established in 2018. Banks elaborated, “One of my first jobs was in the Burnsville Mall. He [Banks’ mentor] was doing teeth whitening and I was always fascinated by it—so years later I ran into him again.” Luckily, he sold all the equipment to Banks for only $500. 

The CW business “reopened two months before COVID happened,” Banks recalled. “We were generating sales throughout COVID—people always want to look good,” he said. 

Hicks said, “I have my own product line called Dai Dai’s; it’s a men’s grooming line—people who got beards, waves.” Customers can purchase “wave brushes, du-rags, body oils, soaps, everything.” Beard oil is also available. 

After Hicks created his own line of self-care products, he told Banks about his aspirations of creating a toothpaste. The business-savvy entrepreneurs teamed up to develop the products. 

Now, they offer more than toothpaste. Customers can buy their innovative and electric toothbrushes and more. “We have every product you can name. Now we’re in full competition with Crest, Colgate, Oral-B. We’re the only Black company,” Hicks said. 

“We both have expertise in our field,” Hicks continued. As he showed us products, Hicks said, “This is our take-home kit, this our toothbrush, there’s an LED light that promotes the whitening as it’s brushing.” 

Photo by Ashley Lauren

Hicks added that a Code White toothbrush “has memory inside of it, it memorizes your brush pattern—we’ve got some innovative ideas coming.” 

The owners worked hard to formulate helpful and effective oral healthcare products. “We knew there was a demand for toothbrushes—and when we do things, we like to have intention, so we wanted the molds to fit something specific,” Banks explained. 

CW products will help improve the experience surrounding dental care. Banks said, “There’s a clean mode—we’ve got a polish mode for the new age, the people that have the veneers and things like that.” 

Everyone can utilize their signature toothbrush to improve their oral health. Hicks proclaimed, “We’re going to be the biggest, affordable oral care company in the world.” 

Banks further explained, “We shouldn’t have to pay more money for a good quality product. We feel like, why can’t you give somebody a great quality product?” The goal is to help people realize they can purchase high-end products “at an affordable rate.” 

As fathers, the owners have focused on creating a “kids division” at CW. Hicks emphasized that youth have impressionable, sponge-like minds, and part of their mission is to educate them about the importance of self-care, especially when it comes to oral hygiene. 

 “In the Black community, it’s like we’ll spend all this money on rings, jewelry, watches, but won’t even spend two minutes brushing our teeth—I feel like that’s the problem,” Hicks said. 

Hicks further lamented, “Most kids don’t even know how to brush their teeth. They just was told to brush them for two minutes” without understanding the proper process. “So, we want to also educate so we can start going to schools and teaching kids the importance of oral care—it’s all a confidence thing,” Banks said. 

“We all know that kid back in high school who had the chipped tooth,” Hicks said, “who ended up being that same kid with a chip on his shoulder in life and then he ended up in jail. But it’s like if you could avoid even that mentality, it changes the world.” 

Banks added, “People with a good smile seem to have a better attitude about life.” 

There’s a lot of grit and grind in the business world that most people don’t see. “You’ve got to have the right energies. That’s why we mesh so well,” Banks said of their partnership, “because it’s about the organic energy. We both have the same direction where we want to go and with the right intention.” He added, “We just want to help people.”

The CW owners shared advice for the youth: “Keep smiling. Find something to smile about. A smile goes a long way.” 

Code White Teeth Whitening is located at 3939 West 69th St. Suite 9, Edina, MN 55435, and 8030 Glen Ln Suite 18, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. 

The Edina location’s hours: Monday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm. Closed Sunday. The Eden Prairie location hours: Monday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Sat-Sun 11 am-5 pm. 

For more information visit www.codewhitesmile.com or call (855) 482-2633. 

About Ashley Lauren

Ashley Lauren is a contributing writer at the MN Spokesman-Recorder. She can be reached at alauren@spokesman-recorder.com.

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