NSU dental student patents toothbrush and breath freshener duo

Deborah Luis, fourth-year dental student, recently created and patented Fresh-Tips™, a one-time use, on-the-go toothbrush and breath freshener.

After patenting Fresh-Tips™, Luis decided to enter it into “Get on the Shelf”, an online competition run by Wal-Mart, which invites businesses and individuals to submit their products for a chance to have them sold on walmart.com, or in Wal-Mart stores. Winners are decided by public votes.

Luis said she came up with the idea for Fresh-Tips™ three years ago.

“One Sunday afternoon, my husband and I saw a ball with all kinds of rubber extensions and we thought, ‘wouldn’t that be good to clean your teeth?’ The idea progressed and evolved from there,” said Luis.

Fresh-Tips™ is unique because it has soft rubber bristles that clean your teeth, gums and tongue, and contains flavored mint that simultaneously freshen your breath. Fresh-Tips™ also contains xylitol, which is proven to fight plaque and fight cavities.

Dr. Dan Gilbert, general dentist in New Mexico, said  Fresh-Tips™ is effective and he recommends the product to his patients.

Luis said while the development of Fresh-Tips™ was challenging, she had the assistance of professionals both in the dental and business management industries in navigating the process.

“We sought a lot of help and expertise in the fields of engineering, patent attorneys, confections, manufacturing and marketing. I have learned a ton in process,” she said.

Luis chose to create this product because oral hygiene is something that she is passionate about, and wants to make her mark on the industry.

“A year ago, during Christmas time, we went out to poll random people [to test our product] and we got such enormous positive feedback that it was evident we were doing something right,” said Luis.

David Nguyen, third-year dental student said the product tastes like a lollipop and he uses it daily.

“I found that Fresh-Tips™ is a great alternative to my usual end of meal peppermints that are packed with sugar,” he said.

Voting for the competition started on March 7 and continues until April 3.

There are several ways to vote for Fresh-Tips™.  First, by visiting getontheshelf.com/product/4509/fresh-tips and clicking on the Facebook link. You can also vote for the product from your mobile device by texting 4509 to 383838.

For more information about Fresh-Tips™, go to freshtips.com, or facebook.com/freshbreathfreshners.

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