Dental student invents single-use toothbrush

Deborah Luis, a Nova Southeastern University (NSU) forth-year dental student, has created and patented FreshTips, a single-use, on-the-go miniature toothbrush and breath-freshener duo.

She came up with the idea three years ago after seeing a ball with rubber extensions and wondering if a take on the toy could become a great tooth cleaner, according to a university press release.

From there, she created the product, which features soft rubber bristles designed to clean the user's teeth, periodontal tissue, and tongue while simultaneously freshening breath with a sugar-free, anticavity xylitol mint. Luis also wanted the product to be discreet, so the brush portion looks similar to a lollipop while the end of the handle also doubles as a toothpick.

To get FreshTips started, Luis collaborated with colleagues in the dental and business management industries to engineer the product, patent it, manufacture it, market it, and begin distributing it.

Luis also helped get the word out about FreshTips by entering the product in Wal-Mart's "Get on the Shelf" contest. Although she didn't win, the opportunity did connect Luis to Wal-Mart, which is now considering selling Fresh-Tips in its stores.

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