EP1542639A4 - Self-contained oral cleaning device - Google Patents

Self-contained oral cleaning device

Info

Publication number
EP1542639A4
EP1542639A4 EP03729072A EP03729072A EP1542639A4 EP 1542639 A4 EP1542639 A4 EP 1542639A4 EP 03729072 A EP03729072 A EP 03729072A EP 03729072 A EP03729072 A EP 03729072A EP 1542639 A4 EP1542639 A4 EP 1542639A4
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
reservoir
pump
head
cleaning device
oral cleaning
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP03729072A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP1542639A1 (en
Inventor
Steven Rehkemper
Jeffrey Rehkemper
Peter Greenley
Charles Hartlaub
Todd Hannon
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Rehco LLC
Original Assignee
Rehco LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US233687 priority Critical
Priority to US10/233,687 priority patent/US6622333B1/en
Priority to US315730 priority
Priority to US10/315,730 priority patent/US6689078B1/en
Application filed by Rehco LLC filed Critical Rehco LLC
Priority to PCT/US2003/016082 priority patent/WO2004021958A1/en
Publication of EP1542639A1 publication Critical patent/EP1542639A1/en
Publication of EP1542639A4 publication Critical patent/EP1542639A4/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61CDENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
    • A61C17/00Devices for cleaning, polishing, rinsing or drying teeth, teeth cavities or prostheses; Saliva removers; Dental appliances for receiving spittle
    • A61C17/16Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices
    • A61C17/22Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices with brushes, cushions, cups, or the like
    • A61C17/222Brush body details, e.g. the shape thereof or connection to handle
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61CDENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
    • A61C17/00Devices for cleaning, polishing, rinsing or drying teeth, teeth cavities or prostheses; Saliva removers; Dental appliances for receiving spittle
    • A61C17/02Rinsing or air-blowing devices, e.g. using fluid jets or comprising liquid medication
    • A61C17/0202Hand-pieces
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61CDENTISTRY; APPARATUS OR METHODS FOR ORAL OR DENTAL HYGIENE
    • A61C17/00Devices for cleaning, polishing, rinsing or drying teeth, teeth cavities or prostheses; Saliva removers; Dental appliances for receiving spittle
    • A61C17/16Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices
    • A61C17/22Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices with brushes, cushions, cups, or the like
    • A61C17/24Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices with brushes, cushions, cups, or the like rotating continuously
    • A61C17/30Power-driven cleaning or polishing devices with brushes, cushions, cups, or the like rotating continuously driven by hydraulic motor, e.g. water motor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B13/00Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers
    • A46B13/02Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers power-driven carriers
    • A46B13/04Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers power-driven carriers with reservoir or other means for supplying substances
    • A46B13/06Brushes with driven brush bodies or carriers power-driven carriers with reservoir or other means for supplying substances with brush driven by the supplied medium
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B2200/00Brushes characterized by their functions, uses or applications
    • A46B2200/10For human or animal care
    • A46B2200/1066Toothbrush for cleaning the teeth or dentures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/24Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for use in the oral cavity, larynx, bronchial passages or nose; Tongue scrapers
    • A61B17/244Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for use in the oral cavity, larynx, bronchial passages or nose; Tongue scrapers for cleaning of the tongue

Abstract

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, an oral cleaning device (10) is provided with a nozzle (120) to jet a pressurized liquid. The oral cleaning device has a body (12), a neck (16) extending from the body (12) and a head (18) attached to the neck (16). The oral cleaning device (10) further includes a refillable reservoir (30) defined by the body (12) for holding a liquid. An on-board pump (14) is used to pressurize the liquid contained in the reservoir (30). The oral cleaning device (10) further includes a channel (108) from the reservoir (30) to the nozzle (120) in the head (18) such that when pressurized fluid in the reservoir (30) is released, the fluid jets from the oral cleaning device (10). The head and neck assembly is also interchangeable with other head and neck assemblies to provide different cleaning features. First, the nozzle (120) by itself to remove plaque and to simulate flossing between teeth. Second, the nozzle with bristles and the head shaped to brush teeth. Third, the nozzle with bristles and the head shaped to brush a tongue. Finally, a head defined to scrape a tongue.

Description

SELF-CONTAINED ORAL CLEANING DEVICE

Field of the Invention

[01] The present invention relates to oral cleaning devices such as toothbrushes and water jets and in particular to a self-contained oral cleaning device with a liquid jet feature.

Cross Reference to Related Applications

[02] The present invention claims priority to U.S. Application Serial 10/233,687, filed September 4, 2002, and entitled "Pneumatic-Operated Toothbrushes". [03] The present invention also claims priority to U.S. Application Serial No.:

10/315,730, filed December 10, 2002 and entitled Self-Contained Oral Cleaning Device.

Background of the Invention

[04] Oral cleaning devices that employ a water jet feature are known in the art and such devices use an external supply of water. In one category of the prior art, a toothbrush is tethered or connected to a faucet. The water pressure from the faucet is used to propel the water through the toothbrush and out the head of the toothbrush and/or used to power a motor that is used to rotate or move bristles. For example, U.S. Patent No. 5,304,010 discloses a toothbrush that includes a hollow body, an opening by the head of the toothbrush, and a water inlet that is tethered and attached to a faucet. In another example, U.S. Patent No. 4,181,997 discloses a toothbrush that is also tethered to a faucet. However, the toothbrush uses the water pressure to power an impeller to move bristles on the head of the toothbrush. In both patents, the water is already pressurized and flowing; the water also cannot be stagnant because the toothbrush does not include any mechanism, on its own, to propel the water out of the toothbrush. Additional toothbrushes that are tethered to a faucet or external source of running water may be found in U.S. Patent No.

5,863,192, discloses a toothbrush tethered to a shower head; U.S. Patent Nos. 5,500,973 and 4,257,433, disclose toothbrushes tethered to faucets; and U.S. Patent No. 4,412,823, discloses a toothbrush tethered to an external source of water that is pumped into and through the toothbrush.

[05] In another category of prior art, electric toothbrushes are connected to an external reservoir of water. For example, U.S. Patent No. 6,047,429 combines a mechanical toothbrush with a water jet feature. The motor used to move the bristles is also used to draw water from an outside source, not contained within the toothbrush. The water is drawn from the outside source, propelled through the neck of the toothbrush, and expelled out of the head of the toothbrush. Other electric toothbrushes which are tethered to a source of water include U.S. Patent Nos. 4,958,629 and D318,918.

[06] Various problems in both categories exist and are associated with the fact that the toothbrush must be tethered or connected to an outside source of water. In the first instance, when the toothbrush is tethered to a faucet, the user cannot use the toothbrush to spray other liquids such as antiseptic solutions. In the second instance, when the toothbrush is connected to an outside reservoir of water, the user's range of motion is limited as the end of the tether must remain in the outside reservoir at all times. In addition, when an electric toothbrash is tethered to an outside source, the user cannot control the force in which the water is propelled out of the toothbrush. The force is pre-set by the speed of the motor and can only be turned on or off. Furthermore, the units are bulky and are not made to be portable, oftentimes causing the user to own a separate toothbrush for traveling. [07] With the onset of mechanical and electrical toothbrushes the total cost of the oral cleaning devices have increased. To offset the overall price of the devices the heads of the toothbrushes have been made replaceable. As such, after the bristles become worn from continual use, the head may be replaced without replacing the whole unit. However, the worn heads are simply replaced with an identical head to provide the same type of cleamng. The ability to interchange heads to provide different types of cleaning, for example to interchange heads to provide a water jet for removing plaque, to provide a brush with water jet for cleaning teeth and gums, and to provide a brash or scraper with water jet for cleaning the tongue, is not widely incorporated with prior art oral cleaning devices.

[08] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a self-contained, total oral cleaning device that incorporates a nozzle for jetting a pressurized fluid into a user's mouth. The oral cleaning device in accordance with the present invention includes a reservoir for holding a liquid and a pump for pressurizing the liquid contained in the reservoir. The reservoir is contained within the oral cleaning device eliminating the need to tether the device to a faucet or attach the device to an outside source of liquid. The oral cleaning device also includes a means for releasing the pressurized liquid contained within the reservoir out of the oral cleaning device. The oral cleaning device is completely portable and assists the user in cleaning their entire mouth, including the tongue, gums, and teeth, by providing interchangeable heads. The present invention also provides the ability to change the force of the liquid jetting out of the oral cleaning device. Since the user must both fill the reservoir with a liquid and pressurize the liquid by pumping air into the reservoir, the user can change the force of the liquid jetting out of the reservoir by changing either the amount of air pumped into the reservoir or the initial amount of water. In addition a maximum pressurization will be predetermined by setting a pressure-release valve in the device as well as marking a optimum fill-line on the reservoir.

Summary of the Invention

[09] In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a handheld portable self-contained oral cleaning device is provided that includes a refillable reservoir, which a user may be able to partially fill with a liquid up to a predetermined desired level. The reservoir, which acts as a modular handle, includes an on-board pump that a user uses to pressurize the liquid contained in the reservoir. In addition, the number of pumps a user pumps air into the reservoir determines the force of the liquid expelling (explained in greater detail below). The pressurized liquid may then be sprayed out of the oral cleaning device to assist in cleaning the user's mouth. Narious interchangeable heads are incorporated herewith to provide the user with a total cleamng experience. First, a head with a nozzle that provides the user with a high-pressure jet of liquid to remove plaque and simulate flossing between teeth and gums. Second, various shaped heads with bristles and a nozzle to provide the user with different brashes to clean teeth and their tongue as well as a jet of liquid that may be turned on to assist in cleaning gums or freshening breath. Lastly, a tongue scraper head with a nozzle, which also assists the user in cleaning their tongue and provides a jet to spray liquid such as water or antiseptic directly onto their tongue while they are scraping.

[10] Numerous other advantages and features of the invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, from the claims, and from the accompanying drawings.

Brief Description of the Drawings [11] A fuller understanding of the foregoing may be had by reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[12] FIG. 1 is a front view of an oral cleaning device having a refillable reservoir that is capable of storing a liquid and having an on-board pump that is used to pressurize the liquid in the reservoir, wherein the pressurized liquid may jet from a nozzle in the head of the device to provide a user with a self-contained device that has a high pressure jet of liquid;

[13] FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the cleaning device of FIG. 1;

[14] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the toothbrash of FIG. 1;

[15] FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a head assembly that has a nozzle and bristles to brash teeth;

[16] FIG. 5 is an exploded view of a head assembly illustrating a tongue brash; and

[17] FIG. 6 is an perspective view of a head assembly illustrating a tongue scraper.

Detailed Description of the Embodiments

[18] While the invention is susceptible to embodiments in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will be described herein, in detail, the preferred embodiments of the present invention. It should be understood, however, that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the spirit or scope of the invention and/or claims of the embodiments illustrated.

[19] Referring now to FIG. 1, there is disclosed in accordance with the present invention an oral cleaning device generally referenced to as numeral 10. The oral cleaning device includes a body 12 (or handle) that may be gripped by a user. As will be described in detail below, the body 12 is further defined as a refillable reservoir that a user may partially fill with a fluid, for example, the fluid may include a gas, such as air, or a liquid, such as water or an antiseptic solution used for cleaning a user's mouth and freshening breath. The oral cleaning device also includes a means for pressurizing the fluid in the reservoir. The pressurizing means is preferably an on-board pump 14. Once the fluid is pressurized, the fluid in the reservoir may be released by depressing a button 20. The button 20 (illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3) opens a valve mechanism which controls the flow of the pressurized fluid out of the reservoir. The fluid once released travels through a neck 16 that extends outwardly from the body 12 to a head 18. This neck/head assembly may be interchangeable with other neck/head assemblies to provide the user with different cleaning implements. Alternatively, the neck/head assembly may also be fixed onto the body 12, to provide a single cleaning implement.

[20] Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the oral cleaning device 10 includes a refillable reservoir 30 that also serves as a main portion of the body 12 or handle which the user grips when using the oral cleaning device 10. The refillable reservoir 30 is attached at one end (bottom aperture 32) to an on-board pump 14 and attached at the other end (top aperture 34) to the neck 16. Preferably, the on-board pump 14 is attached to the bottom aperture 32 such that the on-board pump 14 may be easily removed and reattached. This permits the user to pour a liquid (or other fluid) into the reservoir 30 via the bottom aperture 32. However, it is also easy to implement alternative means to refill the reservoir such as but not limited to having a separate resealable inlet. In this instance, the on-board pump 14 would not have to be removable and could be permanently attached thereto.

[21] The on-board pump 14 includes a pump cylinder 40 that slides into the reservoir 30 through the bottom aperture 32 (best seen in FIG. 3). Secured to one end of the pump cylinder 40 is a one-way valve cap 42. The one-way valve cap 42 allows air to be pumped into the reservoir 30, which permits the user to pressurize the liquid (or fluid) inside the reservoir 30. The one-way valve cap 42 also prevents any liquid (or fluid) inside the reservoir 30 from entering the pump cylinder 40. The one-way valve cap 42 includes a flexible valve seal 44 and a valve cap 46. The valve cap 46 attaches to the end of the pump cylinder 40 and includes openings 48 to permit air to travel through. The flexible valve seal 44 is then attached to the valve cap 46 such that the flexible valve seal 44 covers the openings 48 in the valve cap 46. When the user is pumping air through the pump cylinder

40, to pressurize the reservoir 30, air in the valve cap 46 travels through the openings 48 pushing and bending the flexible valve seal 44 away from the openings 48, allowing air to enter into the reservoir 30. This also occurs when the pressure inside the reservoir 30 is lower than a maximum pressure pre-defined by a pressure release valve 52 (discussed in greater detail below). As soon as the user stops pumping air through the pump cylinder

40, the pressure in the reservoir 30 pushes against the flexible valve seal 44 and seals the openings 48, preventing liquid in the reservoir 30 from escaping via the one-way valve cap

42.

[22] Inserted into the pump cylinder 40 is a pump piston 50 that includes the pressure release valve 52. The top 54 of the pump piston 50 has a groove 56, which receives a seal 58. The top 54 also has notches 60 (FIG. 2) running perpendicular to the groove 56. While the pump piston 50 is being pulled away from the pump cylinder 40, the seal 58 moves against the top portion 62 of the groove 56, allowing air to enter the pump cylinder 40, above the top 54 of the pump piston 50, via the notches 60. Subsequently, when pushed into the pump cylinder 40, the seal 58 moves against the bottom portion 64 of the groove 56, preventing air from escaping the pump cylinder 40. As such, when the pump piston 50 is pushed into the pump cylinder 40, air inside the pump cylinder 40, above the top 54 of the pump piston, will be forced into the reservoir 30, again as long as the pressure inside the reservoir 30 is lower than the maximum pressure provided for on the pressure release valve 52.

[23] When the pressure inside the reservoir 30 is greater than the maximum pressure provided for by the pressure release valve 52, the air inside the pump cylinder 40 above the top 54 of the pump piston 50 will vent through the pressure release valve 52.

The pressure release valve 52 includes a release housing 66, a release ball 68, a release spring 70, and a release cap 72. The release ball 68 is held by the release spring 70 against a release aperture 74 defined in the release housing 66. When the pressure in the reservoir

30 is greater than the pressure exerted by the release spring 70 on the release ball 68, the air will push against the release ball 68 compressing the release spring 70 permitting the air to vent through the release aperture 74 and into the pump piston 50. Eventually the air will vent out of the device 10 through an aperture (not shown) on the pump handle 82.

[24] The reservoir 30, pump cylinder 40, and pump piston 50 are secured and captured by various end caps that secure them separately to the device 10. The reservoir

30 is removably attached to a reservoir cap 76, which may be removed when filling the reservoir 30 with a liquid. A reservoir gasket 78 is positioned between the reservoir 30 and reservoir cap 76 to prevent liquid (or fluid) inside the reservoir 30 from leaking. The pump cylinder 40 extends through the reservoir gasket 78 and reservoir cap 76 and is secured to a pump cylinder cap 80. Extending through the pump cylinder cap 80 is the pump piston 50, which is attached to a pump handle 82. The user is also prevented from pulling the pump piston 50 entirely out of the pump cylinder 40 because the top 54 of the pump piston 50 is larger than an opening defined in the pump cylinder cap 80.

[25] Since the operation of the on-board pump 14 has already been partially explained, it can be further stated that when in operation a user can remove the on-board pump 14 by separating the reservoir cap 76 from the reservoir 30. This permits the user to partially fill the reservoir 30 with a liquid or other fluid. The reservoir 30 is preferably made of a clear material to allow the user to view the amount of liquid in the reservoir 30. However, a transparent window may also be used. After partially filling the reservoir 30, the user re-attaches the on-board pump 14 by inserting the pump cylinder 40 into the reservoir 30 and securing the cap 76 to the reservoir 30. The user then can extend the pump piston 50 out of the pump cylinder 40 by holding both the pump handle 82 and the reservoir 30 and pulling the pump handle 82 away from the reservoir 30. Air will then enter the pump cylinder 40 by the top 54 of the pump piston 50. The user then pushes the pump piston 50 back into the pump cylinder 40, forcing air through the one-way valve cap 42 and into the reservoir 30. Repeatedly pumping air into the reservoir 30 will pressurize the liquid contained therein. When the pressure inside the reservoir 30 is substantially equal to the maximum pressure set by the pressure release valve 52, the air will no longer enter the reservoir 30 but will instead vent out of the pump cylinder 40 through the pressure release valve 52. Once the fluid or liquid inside the reservoir 30 is pressurized the user may release the pressurized liquid through a nozzle located in the head 18 of the oral cleaning device 10.

[26] It may be further stated that the user can alter not only the force of the jetting liquid (or fluid) exiting the device 10 but also the duration such force is maintained. To alter the force of the jetting liquid (or fluid), the user may learn that for a specific water level inside the reservoir the user must pump air into the reservoir ten times (pressurizing the reservoir to a desired pressure). By reducing the number of times the user pumps air into the reservoir, the desired force of the liquid (or fluid) jetting out of the device 10 will decrease. In addition, the duration the force of the liquid (or fluid) jetting out of the device 10 is directly related to the level of liquid (or fluid) inside the reservoir for a specific pressure. As such, if the user reduces the liquid or (or fluid) level, but maintains the desired pressure inside the reservoir 30, the duration this desired force is maintained will increase. Similarly, if the user increases the liquid (or fluid) level, the duration will decrease. As such it may be preferred to have a fill line on the reservoir 30 that permits the user to fill the reservoir to a predetermined amount. This would provide the user with an optimum force of jetting liquid (or fluid) (when pressurized to the maximum pressure) for an optimum maximum duration. In addition, the secondary fill lines can relate to various head attachments, providing optimum settings for different cleaning tasks.

[27] To transport the liquid (or fluid) from the reservoir 30 to the nozzle, a hose

84 is placed through the top aperture 34 of the reservoir 30 and into the reservoir 30. The hose 84 may contain a weight 86 on the end of the hose placed within the reservoir 30 in order to keep the end of the hose 84 near the bottom of the reservoir 30. The other end of the hose 84 is attached to a releasing/preventing mechanism 88 that when activated allows the pressurized liquid or fluid to travel through the neck 16 and out of the device 10.

[28] The hose 84 is secured through an opening 92 (FIG. 2) in a top reservoir cap

90 that is secured to the top aperture 34 of the reservoir 30, along with a top reservoir gasket 91. The opening 92 is reinforced with a grommet 94 that places the hose 84 in fluid communication with an inlet 96 defined in the releasing/preventing mechanism 88. The releasing/preventing mechanism 88 also includes a valve piston 102 that may be moved to an open position (allowing pressurized liquid or fluid to travel through) by a button 20. A valve spring 100 exerts a force onto the button 20 and the valve piston 102 that normally keeps the releasing/preventing mechanism 88 in a closed position (not allowing pressurized liquid or fluid to travel through). A valve pin 104 holds the button 20 in position with the valve piston 102 and valve spring 100. The releasing/preventing mechanism 88 and other components described for opening and closing the mechanism 88 is housed within a two piece housing 110. The front portion of the housing 110 includes an opening 112 to permit the button 20 to be pressed by a user. As mentioned, the releasing/preventing mechanism

88 is in a closed position unless the button 20 is pressed and held down by a user.

[29] When opened the pressurized liquid or fluid travels through the releasing/preventing mechanism 88 and out an exit 106 defined thereon. The exit 106 of the releasing/preventing mechanism 88 is in fluid communication with a channel 108 running through the neck 16. The neck 16 is secured to a neck base 114 that is removably attached to the exit 106. A neck o-ring 116 is preferably positioned between the neck base

114 and the two piece housing 110. The channel 108 travels through the neck 16 to at least one opening 121 in the head 18. Preferably a nozzle is positioned in the opening 121, in communication with the channel 108, and held in place by a nozzle cap 122. The nozzle may either be a long nozzle 120 for a head 18 that acts as a fluid jet (FIGS. 1-3) (more commonly referred to as a water jet when the fluid is water) or a short nozzle 126 for a head that also contains bristles 124 (FIGS. 4 and 5) or a head that is used for scraping

(FIG. 6). A short nozzle 126 is preferably used when brushing or scraping because the nozzle does not interfere.

[30] As shown in FIGS. 1- 3, the head 18 of the device 10 contains a long nozzle

120. The long nozzle 120 provides the user with a cleaning device that is better suited to remove plaque and clean between teeth and gums (similar to flossing). In FIG. 4, the head

18b contains bristles 124 and a short nozzle 126. In addition the head 18b is shaped to provide the user with a brash better suited for their teeth, along with a nozzle to jet liquid or fluid for cleaning gums and teeth and rinsing. In FIG. 5, the head 18c contains a short nozzle 120 and a plurality of bristles 124 but contains a wider cross section than the head

18 in FIG. 4. This provides the user with a cleaning device that is better suited to clean the user's tongue. In FIG. 6, the head 18d does not contain bristles or a nozzle, the head 18d includes a projected edge 130 to scrape the user's tongue. The head 18d defined as a tongue scrape also includes at least one opening but preferably multiple openings 121 to spray liquid while the user is scrapping their tongue.

[31] In addition, the fluid contained in the reservoir may be antiseptic or mouth wash for which the user can spray directly onto their tongue or in the mouth while brushing, scraping, rinsing or flossing.

[32] As explained above, the present invention includes the ability to jet out a pressurized fluid, not only inclusive of a liquid but also a gas. For example, the user may simple pump air into and pressurize the air inside the reservoir. Once the reservoir contains a sufficient amount of pressurized air, the user may release it by pressing the button. While not as efficient as expelling pressurized liquid, in some instances the liquid, especially an antiseptic liquid, may be too sensitive for the user. Moreover, if pressurized gas such as air was the only intentional use of the device, the pump does not have to be removable, as the user can continuously refill the reservoir with air without removing the pump.

[33] From the foregoing and as mentioned above, it will be observed that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concept of the invention covering a self-contained device incorporating a reservoir, an on-board pump, and a nozzle into a single device with interchangeable heads to provide various oral cleaning actions. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific methods and apparatus illustrated herein is intended or inferred. It is intended to cover by the appended claims all such modifications as fall wilhin the scope of the claims.

Claims

We Claim:
1. An oral cleaning device comprising: a reservoir body having a bottom aperture and a top aperture; a removable pump attached to the bottom aperture, the removable pump when removed from the reservoir permits a user to fill the reservoir with a liquid, and when the removable pump is attached to a reservoir containing a liquid, the pump permits a user to pressurize the liquid contained in the reservoir, the removable pump having a pressure release valve; a neck and head assembly attached to the top aperture, the neck having a channel in fluid communication with the reservoir and the head having an aperture for expelling pressurized liquid contained in the reservoir; and a mechanism disposed between the channel and the reservoir for controlling the flow of pressurized liquid from the reservoir to the channel, thereby controlling the flow of pressurized liquid out of the device.
2. The oral cleaning device of Claim 1, further comprising a nozzle positioned in the aperture in the head and in fluid communication with the channel to jet pressurized liquid out of the head of the device.
3. The oral cleaning device of Claim 1, wherein the neck and head assembly is removable and interchangeable with another neck and head assembly having a different configuration to provide the user with a different cleaning implement.
4. The oral cleaning device of Claim 1, wherein the head is defined as a nozzle to simulate flossing, a brash with a nozzle for cleaning teeth, a brush with a nozzle for cleaning a tongue, or a tongue scraper with apertures.
5. The oral cleaning device of Claim 1, wherein the removable pump includes: a pump cylinder with a one way valve operably connected to the reservoir, a pump piston slidably engaged within the pump cylinder, and the pressure release valve operably connected to the pump piston.
6. An oral cleaning device having a body, a neck extending from the body and a head attached to the neck, the oral cleaning device further comprising: a reservoir defined by the body for holding a fluid; a means for filling the reservoir with a fluid; a means to pressurize the fluid contained in the reservoir, said pressurizing means attached to and movable relative to the body, said pressurizing means includes a pressure release valve to vent a pressure within the reservoir that is greater than a pre-defined optimum pressure; and a channel defined in the neck and having one end in fluid communication with the reservoir and having another end attached to an opening defined in the head of the oral cleaning device, such that pressurized liquid traveling through the channel may exit the oral cleaning device at the opening.
7. The oral cleaning device of Claim 6 further comprising a means to control a flow of the pressurized fluid from the reservoir to the channel.
8. The oral cleaning device of Claim 7, wherein the neck and head is removable connected to the oral cleaning device.
9. The oral cleaning device of Claim 8, wherein the head includes a nozzle in fluid communication with the channel to jet the pressurized fluid out of the device.
10. The oral cleaning device of Claim 9, wherein the head includes bristles positioned about the nozzle and includes a predetermined shape defined for a tongue brush, or a tooth brush.
11. The oral cleaning device of Claim 8, wherein the head includes a projecting edge that define a plurality of openings in the projecting edge.
12 The oral cleaning device of Claim 6, wherein the pressurizing means includes: a pump cylinder having a one-way valve secured on an end of the pump cylinder and said end of the pump cylinder is in fluid communication with the reservoir, the one-way valve permits air to enter the reservoir and prevents fluid from exiting the reservoir; and a pump piston slidably engaged within the pump cylinder, the pump piston having a head that includes a means to permit air to enter the pump cylinder when the pump piston is pulled away from said end of the pump cylinder, and said means forces the air to enter the reservoir through the one-way valve, when the pump piston is pushed towards said end of the pump cylinder, and wherein the pressure release valve is attached to the pump piston.
13. The oral cleaning device of Claim 7, wherein the controlling means is defined by a valve control mechanism attached between the reservoir and the neck, the valve control mechanism includes a button that when pressed opens a valve to allow pressurized fluid in the reservoir to travel to the channel and when the button is released said valve closes to prevent the pressurized fluid in the reservoir from entering the channel.
14. An oral cleaning device comprising: a reservoir to hold a liquid, the reservoir having at least first and second apertures; a pump in communication with the reservoir wherein continued manual manipulation of said pump allows a liquid contained within said reservoir to be pressurized; the first aperture having a removable cap attached thereto, wherein when said removable cap is removed the reservoir may be filed with a liquid and when said removable cap is attached the reservoir is substantially sealed to prevent liquid within the reservoir from leaking; a neck and head assembly having a channel in fluid communication with the second aperture of the reservoir, and the head having a nozzle in fluid communication with the channel to permit a pressurized liquid contained in the reservoir to jet out of the device; a tube positioned within the reservoir and having a first end positioned in proximity to the first aperture and having a second end in fluid communication with the channel, the tube allowing substantially complete evacuation of the reservoir when said liquid contained in said reservoir is pressurized to a pre-defined optimum pressure; and a fluid control mechanism attached between the second aperture of the reservoir and the neck and head assembly, the control mechanism includes an intake attached to second end of the tube and further includes a valve that prevents a pressurized liquid contained in the reservoir from entering the channel and includes a release button that when pressed opens the valve to permit a pressurized liquid contained in the reservoir to flow through the tube and enter the channel, whereby when the reservoir contains a liquid, the liquid is capable of being pressurized with the removable pump and the pressurized liquid is capable of being released through the opening in the head, when the release button is pressed.
15. The oral cleaning device of Claim 14, wherein the neck and head assembly is defined to clean a first portion of the user's mouth and is removable and nterchangeable with a second neck and head assembly defined to clean a second portion of the user's mouth different than the first portion.
16. The oral cleaning device of Claim 15, wherein the second neck and head assembly includes bristles positioned about the nozzle.
17. The oral cleaning device of Claim 15, wherein the second neck and head assembly includes a projected edge with at least one opening to permit the liquid to expel from the head.
18. The oral cleaning device of Claim 14, wherein the pump includes: a pump cylinder having a one-way valve secured on an end of the pump cylinder and said end of the pump cylinder is in fluid communication with the reservoir, the one-way valve permits air to enter the reservoir and prevents fluid from exiting the reservoir; a pump piston slidably engaged with the pump cylinder, the pump piston having a head that when the pump piston is pulled away from said end of the pump cylinder, air enters the pump cylinder and when pushed towards said end of the pump cylinder, air is forced into the reservoir through the one-way valve; and a pressure release valve attached to the pump piston, the pressure release valve permits the air in the pump cylinder to vent when a pressure in the reservoir is greater than said pre-defined optimum pressure.
19. A hand-held device comprising: a reservoir body for holding a fluid; a means for filling the reservoir with a fluid; a mechanical means to pressurize the fluid contained in the reservoir, said pressurizing means attached to and movable relative to the body; a mechanism disposed between an aperture defined by the device and the reservoir for controlling the flow of pressurized liquid from the reservoir to the aperture; a means for removably attaching a first attachment head to the aperture, the head having an opening for expelling the pressurized liquid from the device, the removable first attachment head is selectively replaceable with a second attachment head having a different configuration than the first attachment head; and a means to release pressure within the reservoir when a pressure in the reservoir is greater than a pre-defined pressure, the pressure relieving means attached to the mechanical means to pressurize fluid.
20. The oral cleaning device of Claim 14, wherein the pump is a removable pump attached to the first aperture and the removable pump when removed allows the reservoir to be filled with a liquid and the removable pump movable relative to the reservoir such that when attached, the pump allows a liquid contained in the reservoir to be pressurized.
21. A portable oral cleaning device for dispensing a high velocity, high pressure, low viscous fluid, the device having a hand-held body, a neck extending from the body and a head attached to the neck, the oral cleaning device further comprising: a reservoir defined by the body for holding a low viscous liquid; a filling aperture disposed in the body for filing the aperture with a low viscous liquid; a pumping mechanism movably attached to the body for pressurizing a low viscous liquid contained in said reservoir; a channel defined in the neck and having one end in fluid communication with the reservoir and having another end in fluid communication with an aperture defined in the head of the device; a valve mechanism disposed between the channel and the reservoir, and a button for selectively placing the valve mechanism in an open and closed position, wherein when the valve mechanism is in a closed position, a low viscous fluid contained in said reservoir is able to become highly pressurized by repeatedly pumping said pumping mechanism; and a nozzle positioned in said aperture for accelerating a velocity of a low viscous fluid being dispensed from the oral cleaning device, whereby when the reservoir contains a low viscous fluid and when the valve mechanism is in the closed position the low viscous fluid becomes highly pressurized by repeatedly moving the pumping mechanism relative to said body such that thereafter the valve mechanism being placed in the open position permits the high pressurized, low viscous fluid to flow into the nozzle whereupon the velocity of the high pressurized, low viscous fluid increases such that the device dispenses a high velocity high pressurized, low viscous fluid.
22. The device of Claim 21, wherein the pumping mechanism is removably attached to the filling aperture.
23. The device of Claim 22, wherein the pumping mechanism is defined as having: an elongated pump cylinder having and one end disposed within the reservoir and another end secured to the filling aperture, and a pump piston slidably engaged within the pump cylinder and having a top portion and a bottom portion, said bottom portion being secured to a pump handle, the top portion including a seal sized to seal against an inner diameter defined by the pump cylinder, the top portion further including grooves which work in concert with the seal to selectively permit air to enter the pump cylinder when the pump piston is manually pulled away from the pump cylinder via the pump handle and pushes the air in said pump cylinder into the reservoir when the pump piston is manually pushed into the pump cylinder.
24. The device of Claim 23, wherein the pump piston includes a pressure release valve to relieve pressure within the reservoir when the pressure within the reservoir exceeds an optimum pressure predefined by the pressure release valve.
25. The device of Claim 24 further comprising a tube positioned within the reservoir and having a first end positioned in proximity to the filling aperture and having a second end in fluid communication with the channel, the tube allowing substantially complete evacuation of the reservoir when the reservoir includes a high pressure low viscous liquid.
EP03729072A 2002-09-04 2003-05-22 Self-contained oral cleaning device Withdrawn EP1542639A4 (en)

Priority Applications (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US233687 1988-08-18
US10/233,687 US6622333B1 (en) 2002-09-04 2002-09-04 Pneumatic-operated toothbrush
US315730 2002-12-10
US10/315,730 US6689078B1 (en) 2002-09-04 2002-12-10 Self-contained oral cleaning device
PCT/US2003/016082 WO2004021958A1 (en) 2002-09-04 2003-05-22 Self-contained oral cleaning device

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP1542639A1 EP1542639A1 (en) 2005-06-22
EP1542639A4 true EP1542639A4 (en) 2009-03-11

Family

ID=31980963

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP03729072A Withdrawn EP1542639A4 (en) 2002-09-04 2003-05-22 Self-contained oral cleaning device

Country Status (4)

Country Link
EP (1) EP1542639A4 (en)
JP (1) JP3686409B2 (en)
AU (1) AU2003233633A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2004021958A1 (en)

Families Citing this family (67)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7147468B2 (en) 2002-12-31 2006-12-12 Water Pik, Inc. Hand held oral irrigator
WO2007020660A1 (en) * 2005-08-16 2007-02-22 Mithilesh Kumar Singh The spray toothbrush
US20070203439A1 (en) 2006-02-24 2007-08-30 Water Pik, Inc. Water jet unit and handle
WO2007101210A2 (en) * 2006-02-27 2007-09-07 Water Pik, Inc. Tip for oral irrigator
USD802120S1 (en) 2007-02-27 2017-11-07 Water Pik, Inc. Tip for oral irrigator
US7670141B2 (en) 2006-07-07 2010-03-02 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
GB2451230B (en) * 2007-07-23 2012-07-25 Erik Carl Westerman Tongue cleaning clip device
JP5544375B2 (en) * 2008-11-17 2014-07-09 コーニンクレッカ フィリップス エヌ ヴェ Apparatus for supplying liquid to a gas stream to produce droplets in a dental cleaner
US20100190132A1 (en) 2009-01-28 2010-07-29 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator tip
US10258442B2 (en) 2009-03-20 2019-04-16 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator appliance with radiant energy delivery for bactericidal effect
US9061096B2 (en) 2009-12-16 2015-06-23 Water Pik, Inc. Powered irrigator for sinus cavity rinse
ITPD20100153A1 (en) * 2010-05-17 2011-11-18 Gianni Faleri Toothbrush for dental cleaning
JP2013540516A (en) * 2010-09-30 2013-11-07 コーニンクレッカ フィリップス エヌ ヴェ Teeth cleaning implement that generates high-speed water drops with an exchange tip
USD670373S1 (en) 2010-12-16 2012-11-06 Water Pik, Inc. Powered irrigator for sinus cavity rinse
CA2862812A1 (en) * 2012-01-13 2013-07-18 Erskine Products Pty Ltd A dental hygiene item
USD707350S1 (en) 2012-10-11 2014-06-17 Water Pik, Inc. Handheld water flosser
WO2014059362A2 (en) 2012-10-11 2014-04-17 Water Pik, Inc. Interdental cleaner using water supply
US9642677B2 (en) 2013-03-14 2017-05-09 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator with massage mode
USD714929S1 (en) 2013-03-14 2014-10-07 Water Pik, Inc. Base for water flosser
USD788907S1 (en) 2013-03-14 2017-06-06 Water Pik, Inc. Water flosser base unit with reservoir lid
USD717427S1 (en) 2013-03-14 2014-11-11 Water Pik, Inc. Handle for water flosser
USD725770S1 (en) 2013-03-14 2015-03-31 Water Pik, Inc. Reservoir for water flosser
BR112015022374A2 (en) * 2013-03-15 2017-07-18 Koninklijke Philips Nv mouth care appliance
MX2015011750A (en) * 2013-03-15 2015-12-01 Koninkl Philips Nv An oral care appliance using a jet-type fluid flow.
US10022207B2 (en) 2013-11-27 2018-07-17 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator with slide pause switch
US9980793B2 (en) 2013-11-27 2018-05-29 Water Pik, Inc. Oral hygiene system
CN203693808U (en) 2013-12-12 2014-07-09 洁碧有限公司 Dental water sprayer
USD772396S1 (en) 2014-12-01 2016-11-22 Water Pik, Inc. Handheld oral irrigator
USD772397S1 (en) 2014-12-01 2016-11-22 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator with a charging device
GB2538309B (en) * 2015-05-15 2017-09-20 Dyson Technology Ltd Cleaning appliance
USD780908S1 (en) 2015-11-03 2017-03-07 Water Pik, Inc. Handheld oral irrigator
KR101671273B1 (en) * 2016-01-08 2016-11-03 주식회사 블루레오 The closed type teeth cleaning device
USD822196S1 (en) 2016-01-14 2018-07-03 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD786422S1 (en) 2016-01-25 2017-05-09 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD783809S1 (en) 2016-01-25 2017-04-11 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator handle
USD819956S1 (en) 2016-01-25 2018-06-12 Water Pik, Inc. Kit bag
USD782656S1 (en) 2016-01-25 2017-03-28 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD804016S1 (en) 2016-02-05 2017-11-28 Water Pik, Inc. Handheld oral irrigator
USD809650S1 (en) 2016-02-22 2018-02-06 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD783810S1 (en) 2016-02-22 2017-04-11 Water Pik, Inc. Handle for an oral irrigator
USD782657S1 (en) 2016-03-02 2017-03-28 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator handle
USD802119S1 (en) 2016-03-02 2017-11-07 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD809651S1 (en) 2016-07-19 2018-02-06 Water Pik, Inc. Combination base and reservoir for an oral irrigator
USD802747S1 (en) 2016-07-19 2017-11-14 Water Pik, Inc. Reservoir for oral irrigator
USD807822S1 (en) 2016-07-19 2018-01-16 Water Pik, Inc. Power supply cartridge
USD804018S1 (en) 2016-07-19 2017-11-28 Water Pik, Inc. Base for an oral irrigator
USD794773S1 (en) 2016-07-19 2017-08-15 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD796028S1 (en) 2016-07-19 2017-08-29 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD839409S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2019-01-29 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator unit
USD832420S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-30 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD840022S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2019-02-05 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator handle
USD822825S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-07-10 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator unit
USD833000S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-11-06 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator unit
USD832418S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-30 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD829886S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-02 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD825741S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-08-14 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator handle
USD840023S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2019-02-05 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator reservoir
USD833600S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-11-13 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator reservoir
USD832419S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-30 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator unit
USD822826S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-07-10 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD834180S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-11-20 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
US20180193108A1 (en) * 2017-01-09 2018-07-12 ToothShower LLC Oral Irrigator
USD833029S1 (en) 2017-01-09 2018-11-06 Toothshower, Llc Gum massager
USD833601S1 (en) 2017-02-06 2018-11-13 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator
USD833602S1 (en) 2017-02-06 2018-11-13 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD829887S1 (en) 2017-02-06 2018-10-02 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator reservoir
KR101995573B1 (en) * 2017-11-24 2019-07-03 주식회사 블루레오 Oral cleaner

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2588469A1 (en) * 1985-10-14 1987-04-17 Lamy Perret Emile Dental spray with absorbent sheath
US5033961A (en) * 1988-12-14 1991-07-23 Galway Dental Technology Limited Fluid dispenser
DE9304313U1 (en) * 1993-03-16 1993-07-08 Kohlert, Jens, 1000 Berlin, De
GB2269090A (en) * 1992-07-14 1994-02-02 Christopher Firth Hand-held devices for mouth hygiene
US6039489A (en) * 1997-11-25 2000-03-21 Icp Corporation Paste dispensing brush

Family Cites Families (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5197460A (en) * 1989-06-20 1993-03-30 Ricoh Elemex Corporation Mouth cavity sanitary device
US5252064A (en) * 1991-02-19 1993-10-12 Teledyne Industries, Inc. Subgingival irrigator
US6129547A (en) * 1997-05-06 2000-10-10 Ballard Medical Products Oral care system
US6164967A (en) * 1998-09-15 2000-12-26 Professional Dental Technologies, Inc. Fluid delivery dental cleaning device

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2588469A1 (en) * 1985-10-14 1987-04-17 Lamy Perret Emile Dental spray with absorbent sheath
US5033961A (en) * 1988-12-14 1991-07-23 Galway Dental Technology Limited Fluid dispenser
GB2269090A (en) * 1992-07-14 1994-02-02 Christopher Firth Hand-held devices for mouth hygiene
DE9304313U1 (en) * 1993-03-16 1993-07-08 Kohlert, Jens, 1000 Berlin, De
US6039489A (en) * 1997-11-25 2000-03-21 Icp Corporation Paste dispensing brush

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
See also references of WO2004021958A1 *

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2004021958A1 (en) 2004-03-18
AU2003233633A1 (en) 2004-03-29
JP2004097776A (en) 2004-04-02
JP3686409B2 (en) 2005-08-24
EP1542639A1 (en) 2005-06-22

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US3256894A (en) Dispensing-type toothbrush
US3225759A (en) Dental cleaning and massaging device
US3417762A (en) Toothbrush
US4862876A (en) Dental and throat cleaning system
US6170108B1 (en) Electric back scrubber brush
RU2352289C2 (en) Oral care procedure, device and system therefor (versions)
US5649334A (en) Water and soap dispensing scrubber apparatus
US9668839B2 (en) Oral care systems
US8641649B2 (en) Pump for dental water jet
US5365624A (en) Apparatus for automatic and simultaneous caring for teeth and gums
US5779654A (en) Clean breath wand
US5944033A (en) Dental flossing device and method therefor
US6659674B2 (en) Oral irrigator and brush assembly
JP5623978B2 (en) Fluid droplet jet system for cleaning
US5755572A (en) Oral hygiene irrigator syringe bulb
EP1113736B1 (en) Fluid delivery toothbrush
US6648641B1 (en) Apparatus, method and product for treating teeth
US4941459A (en) Dental hygiene device
RU2479239C2 (en) Device for oral care (versions)
US5579786A (en) Automatic dental flossing device
US4106501A (en) Sweeping fluid spray oral hygiene device
JP3243528B2 (en) Dentifrice / drug delivery-type toothbrushes
US20060010624A1 (en) Personal hygiene device and method
EP0557337B1 (en) Toothbrushes
US6233773B1 (en) Combination motorized toothbrush and plaque removal device

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AX Request for extension of the european patent to

Countries concerned: ALLTLVMK

17P Request for examination filed

Effective date: 20050228

AK Designated contracting states:

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IT LI LU MC NL PT RO SE SI SK TR

DAX Request for extension of the european patent (to any country) deleted
A4 Despatch of supplementary search report

Effective date: 20090205

RIC1 Classification (correction)

Ipc: A61H 9/00 20060101ALI20090130BHEP

Ipc: A61G 17/02 20060101AFI20040320BHEP

Ipc: A46B 11/00 20060101ALI20090130BHEP

18W Withdrawn

Effective date: 20100525