His latest brainchild should ease his conscience. Introduced in 1999, Dr. Johns SpinBrush ($5.99 for the adult model; $6.99 for the kiddie version, with mermaid or racing-car handle) may be the cheapest electric toothbrush money can buy. It's already a hit: This year, sales are expected to top $100 million. By 2004, predicts Osher, who recently sold Dr. Johns Products to Procter & Gamble, "this will be the biggest-selling toothbrush in the world."
Bet against him at your peril. As a child in Cincinnati, the second of four boys born to writer Muriel, 80, and surgeon Daniel, 86, Osher "always made a nickel or a dime," says his mom. After graduating from Boston University and working as a carpenter and plumber, he began marketing inventions. Gerber bought his business in 1985, largely to cash in on Osher's Rainbow Toybar, a baby floor gym. His next venture produced such smashes as the Spin Pop, the Giant Bubble Gun and the action figure Stretch Armstrong; Hasbro snapped up that company in 1997.
The father of three grown sons, Osher is enjoying his success with second wife Bonnie, 55, a children's clothing designer, at their home on the grounds of a South Florida country club. And he's certain that his cavity buster will have an even greater impact than the candy that preceded it. "The toothbrush," he boasts, "will last forever."