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Brush your teeth -- and your tongue!?
Brush your teeth -- and your tongue!?
Morgan the Orabrush Tongue (in giant tongue costume), The Orabrush Guy (in white coat), and the executive staff of Orabrush.

Provo, Utah

You brush religiously and rinse with mouthwash, and you might even floss every day, but do you scrape your tongue?

Dr. Robert Wagstaff -- "Dr. Bob" to his colleagues -- was serving a mission in the Philippines. People complained that the missionary group needed to do something about stinky breath. After some research, Dr. Bob discovered that 90% of bad breath comes from a person's tongue.

Back when he was working as a biochemist, Dr. Bob was given an assignment to remove salmonella from the skin of chickens. The only tool he found effective in removing 100% of the bacteria was a surgical scrub brush.

So Dr. Bob put a tongue scraper together with a surgical scrub brush to come up with what he called the Orabrush. He got the new dental hygiene instrument patented and approved by the FDA.

But Dr. Bob couldn't get anyone interested in actually buying it. A $50,000 infomercial did a whole lot of nothing. Determined to impress the importance of tongue cleanliness on Americans, Dr. Bob enrolled in a marketing class at Brigham Young University. That's where he met Jeffrey Harmon, now Orabrush's chief marketing officer.

Harmon -- then 26, now 28 -- was convinced he could sell the tongue cleaner. "For me, it is a gunk experience," he says. "It has to be good for you if that much gunk comes off."

Harmon started working nights on the Orabrush marketing strategy, and Dr. Bob, 76, paid Harmon with a motorcycle for an eight-month commitment.

In the back of a pool hall on a shoestring budget, Harmon shot a YouTube video about bad breath. It went viral. The video now has 13 million streams, and sales of the Orabrush exploded. To keep attracting new audience members, the pair created a tongue character. Viewers tune in for new YouTube episodes of the Giant Tongue's adventures.

The Orabrush is carried in Wal-Marts in Utah, several local grocery stores, and a handful of pharmacies in Canada and the U.K. In the next few months, it will expand to 4,000 more stores across the U.S.

NEXT: A mailed surprise for $10
LAST UPDATE: Feb 18 2011 | 11:53 AM ET
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