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A Bite of the Action

An imaginative inventor cashes in by adding some pizazz to the plain old toothbrush.

Most children abhor brushing their teeth--until they use Puneet Nanda's flashy Fire Fly toothbrush. Since its debut in 2000, the product has captured the hearts of kids and dentists alike with its blinking LCD handle, which lights up for the requisite 60 seconds kids need to spend brushing.

Nanda's brush with innovation wasn't an accident--it's something he strives for in his daily life. "I am on the lookout [for ideas] 24/7," explains Nanda, who doesn't go anywhere without a pen and notebook for jotting down ideas--whether he's on a plane or wandering through Walgreens. The inspiration for the Fire Fly's design came after he observed his daughter's obsession with blinking sneakers.

Today, Nanda's Buena Park, California, company, Dr. Fresh, offers a whole line of oral care products--including mouthwash and toothpaste, both with flashing caps. "Everything I'm [producing] has a unique selling point," says Nanda, 38, who projects more than $30 million in sales for 2006 and has eight new products ready for launch next year.

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This article was originally published in the May 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: A Bite of the Action.

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