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New Toothbrush Design Leads Creators on Wild Journey

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Working with Mike Smith, a dentist and friend, the pair began the journey to the perfect toothbrush. Davidson created the prototype out of clay, focusing on creating a design that makes it easy to brush with the bristles at a 45-degree angle. Once that design was complete, they began the process of manufacturing the brush. That is where the journey begins.

The pair sunk over $20,000 in the next couple of years in failed prototypes and business meetings. 

The first brush, which featured an apparatus that would shoot mouthwash into the gums while brushing, ended up being too complicated to manufacture. This failed venture cost the team $7,000. 

The next 2 years were spent on redesign to eliminate the mouthwash apparatus and develop a new core injection system manufacturing process. The pair soon found out that this version was also a bust, costing them another $4,000. 

After completing the design and feeling confident in the product, Davidson and Smith found a manufacturing company in China to produce the brush. The relationship ended quickly, leaving them with nothing but $9,000 in travel expenses.

After deciding to continue to move forward with the product despite all these hurdles, Davidson and Smith found a manufacturing company in Vietnam that produced the first prototype. Though the brush handle was too large on the model, the final product was transformed to suit the needs of Davidson, Smith, and their new potential customers. 

"We're not just trying to sell a cool toothbrush," Davidson said. "Ultimately, we want people to realize the value of having a clean mouth, because there are so many other systemic conditions that are related to gum disease. And the thing about brushing is that, if you do it right, it feels a certain way. It feels like a golf swing or a perfect tennis shot down the side...And that's what this brush is designed to do. It's designed to show you what good brushing feels like."

The target release date is November 1 of this year, with the brush set to sell around $10 per unit. 

"It was a heck of a feeling," Davidson said. "To go through all that, and finally see the vision that we had, right there in a completed form was a great thing."

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