Oral-B is the leading manufacturer of toothbrushes in the world. Their laboratory was looking for new ways to get bristles in-between teeth. Because many people do not floss regularly, there is a risk of gingivitis and gum disease when plaque is not reached in the interproximal gaps.
Devlin first researched historical ways to clean, and used cues to inspire 40 separate concepts for a new toothbrush. The winner used a rotating wheel with sprockets that could reach in the gaps as the head passes across the teeth. This proved to be very effective in clinical trials.
Invention, Mechanical Engineering
U.S. Patent #6,389,634