A smile can tell a lot about a person—like their habits, health or emotions.
With over twenty years in the dental hygiene industry, Lisa Guenst, TYL ’13, knows that a smile can also lead to innovation.
Throughout her career, Guenst noticed that many people may not realize when they develop gum disease. She also saw that traditional techniques of oral care had become unpopular and innovation wasn’t keeping up with the demand.
“String floss wasn't popular and water floss was too messy for many patients,” says Guenst. Guenst wanted to help her patients take better care of their gums, so she created ToothShower. ToothShower connects to a showerhead to create a mess-free water pick that inludes eight different accessories to help give consumers the healthiest possible smile. Guenst was able to make her idea a reality thanks to the Be Your Own Boss Bowl® (BYOBB), hosted by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI). As an alumna of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Guenst entered the BYOBB, which is open to all members of the Temple community. ToothShower won the grand prize in 2017, and Guenst used the prize money to hire engineers to create a physical prototype of the product.
“The Be Your Own Boss Bowl was extremely helpful in jumpstarting the business,” said Guenst.
Capitalizing on that success, ToothShower launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2019, which resulted in selling nearly 4,000 units in 40 countries. Thanks to that campaign and the feedback from their initial customers, Guenst transformed the product and put it on the market.
The biggest highlight for Guenst is the ability to help people stay healthy.
“We make it easier and more enjoyable to prevent gum disease,” says Guenst. “The satisfaction that comes from helping people is what keeps us going.” Learn more about the resources offered by the IEI on our website.