US20060010624A1 - Personal hygiene device and method - Google Patents

Personal hygiene device and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060010624A1
US20060010624A1 US10891310 US89131004A US2006010624A1 US 20060010624 A1 US20060010624 A1 US 20060010624A1 US 10891310 US10891310 US 10891310 US 89131004 A US89131004 A US 89131004A US 2006010624 A1 US2006010624 A1 US 2006010624A1
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water
personal hygiene
pump
implement
device
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Abandoned
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US10891310
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Thomas Cleland
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Cleland Thomas H
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    • 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

Abstract

A water-driveable personal hygiene device may be used to operate multiple, interchangeable personal hygiene implements. A water-driven rotary wheel, located in the handle of the device and connected to a driveshaft, creates either a back-and-forth or semi-rotating oscillating motion or a first personal hygiene implement, such as a toothbrush. An independently operated water-driveable second personal hygiene implement may be used to cause water to flow to the first personal hygiene implement or to be independently used. A method of using the device is also disclosed.

Description

    FIELD OF INVENTION
  • This invention relates to a multipurpose, water-driveable personal hygiene device and method of using such device. The device utilizes pressurized water to rotate a pump that is located in the handle of the device. The pump is attached to a driveshaft for causing movement of a personal hygiene implement, such as a toothbrush. Optionally, a second water-driveable personal hygiene implement may be included in the device. Although any such second device may utilize a common pressurized water supply, it may be operated independently and separately from the other personal hygiene implement, if so desired.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Water-driven dental hygiene devices are known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,928,675 utilizes a turbine for imparting rotary motion to a toothbrush bristle assembly. The device of this patent utilizes an external pump located in the base of a sink bowl. The pump is a sprocket design turbine. The pump and a cable drive system cause rotation of a brush head in a circular motion. This brush head requires a constant flow of water to drive a turbine, which in turn drives an externally mounted cable, which then drives the brush head. Accordingly, the user must constantly expel water from the mouth during tooth brushing. U.S. Pat. No. 5,484,281 provides another example of water-driven dental hygiene devices. In this instance, a shower mounted dental device comprising a multipurpose direction valve to direct water to a showerhead, a dental hygiene device, or both is employed. U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,220,914; 5,746,595; 6,217,372; and 6,383155 disclose various water-driven dental treatment devices.
  • None of the above-mentioned prior art devices locate a water-driven pump in the handle of a personal hygiene device or contain more than one personal hygiene implement. Obviously, none of the above-mentioned prior art devices provide for combinational or separate operation of the respective personal hygiene implements. These and other novel inventive features lead to significant advantages because the device is more compact and easier to use, water flushing during tooth brushing may be intermittent, and an oscillating (back-in-forth or semi-rotating) brushing motion may be achieved, if desired. Other advantages will be evident to those skilled in the art from the following description of the invention.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a water-driveable personal hygiene device adapted to be connected to a pressurized water supply. The device has a handle containing a rotatable water pump having a generally round shape and open to the passage of the pressurized water supply at an entry location, thereby causing rotation of the pump as the water passes through the pump and then exits from the pump into an exit line. An on/off valve permits water flow through the pump when opened and prevents water flow when closed. The rotatable pump is connected to a driveshaft at an off-center location on the pump, thus causing the driveshaft to achieve a back-and-forth motion as the pump rotates. The driveshaft is also connected to a personal hygiene implement to cause a desired type of oscillating motion of such implement.
  • In another embodiment, a second water line is located in the handle of the device and is adapted to be connected to a pressurized water supply at a location prior to the entry location of water into a rotatable pump, such as a paddle wheel pump. The second water line has an on/off water line valve located at a position where opening and closing of such valve does not effect water flow into the pump thereby resulting in independently controlled flow of water through the second water line and the pump. Such second water line is adapted to be connected to and cause operation of an additional personal hygiene implement when the valve is open.
  • The method of the invention involves the use of the above-described device. As will be understood, opening the pressurized water supply line will cause water to pass through and exit from the pump causing rotation thereof. Because the rotating pump is connected to a driveshaft at on off-center location of the pump, the rotating pump causes back-and-forth oscillation of the driveshaft. When the driveshaft is connected to a personal hygiene implement, such as a toothbrush, movement is also imparted to the implement. Depending upon the type of connection of the driveshaft to the implement, the implement may oscillate in a back-in-forth or semi-rotating motion.
  • The method of the invention may also include the use of a second personal hygiene implement, such as a source of rinse water for the toothbrush, an irrigator, or a face or mouth sprayer. Such second implement is driven from the same pressurized water source that may used to power the first implement. The respective implements may be used in combination or separately.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a top view of the personal hygiene device of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of an embodiment of the personal hygiene device of the invention. The cross-section is taken along section line a-a of FIG. 1. This Figure illustrates the device when a toothbrush is utilized as the personal hygiene implement and water is directed into the toothbrush from a rinsing implement.
  • FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of the personal hygiene device of the invention. This view is the same as FIG. 2 except that an irrigator is substituted for the toothbrush, a pulsation element is added to the second water line, and the rotary pump containing implement of the device is not operated.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of the personal hygiene device of the invention. This view is the same as FIG. 2 except that a spraying implement is substituted for the toothbrush implement, a pulsation element is added to is the second water line, and the rotary pump containing implement of the device is not operated.
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of the personal hygiene device of the invention. This view is the same as FIG. 2 except that a system for providing tempered water is incorporated into the handle of the device.
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of the personal hygiene device of the invention. This view is the same as FIG. 2 except that an arrangement to convert the back-and-forth oscillating motion of the driveshaft into a semi-rotating oscillating motion of the toothbrush.
  • FIG. 7 is a front view of a razor implement suitable for attachment to the personal hygiene device of the invention.
  • FIG. 8 is a rear view of a razor implement suitable for attachment to the personal hygiene device of the invention.
  • FIG. 9 is a side view of a cleaning brush implement suitable for attachment to the personal hygiene device of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The water-driveable personal hygiene device of the present invention may comprise one or more personal hygiene implements capable of independent operation or capable of functioning in combination with each other.
  • FIG. 1 provides a top view of the personal hygiene device. Handle 14 of the device contains a generally round, rotary water pump used to create a back-and-forth oscillating motion for a connected driveshaft which in turn causes personal hygiene implement 11 (a toothbrush head) to oscillate while brushing teeth.
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of an embodiment of the device taken along section line a-a of FIG. 1. As may be observed, when valve 4 is open, pressurized water from water inlet line 1 enters handle 14 of the device and passes into the interior of handle 14. Water lines 1, 2, and 9 may typically be made from flexible stainless steel or from plastic hose. Valve 4 may comprise, for example, a conventional spring-loaded valve that is opened and closed by activation button 3. Other conventional valves, including gate, ball, globe, and the like are contemplated and are known by those skilled in the art. Valve 4 is illustrated as being located in water exit line 2 to enable independent operation when a second, water-driveable, personal hygiene implement is used. Valve 4 may be optionally located on an exterior or in the handle portion of water inlet line 1, provided that water is free to pass into water line 9 prior to passing into valve 4. Obviously, should a second personal hygiene implement not be included in the device, the location of valve 4 is not important. The pressurized water may be hot, cold, or tempered (a combination of hot and cold water blended to achieve a desired temperature). The pressurized water may originate from a water line located below a sink or any other convenient location. Should the user desire tempered water, connection to a water line following the entry and mixing of hot and cold water under a sink is convenient. Obviously, water temperature may be controlled by the relative amounts of hot and cold water permitted to enter the line. In an embodiment to be discussed in greater detail in a later portion of this patent specification, tempered water may also be created in the handle portion of the device.
  • Water inlet line 1 and water exit line 2 may be connected to handle 14 through connector 18 to enhance structural integrity of the device.
  • Once pressurized water passes through water inlet line 1 upon the opening of valve 4, such water reaches a junction where a portion may enter into second water line 9, pump 5, or both line 9 and pump 5. When entering pump 5, the water enters at location 15 and passes through pump 5 thereby driving and causing rotation of the pump. Pump 5 is depicted as a conventional paddle-wheel type. However, other conventional types of rotary pumps known to those skilled in the art including sprocket, centrifugal, axial, vane, and the like, may be utilized in the invention. After passage through pump 5, water exits from pump 5 at location 16 and passes out of the device through water exit line 2 into a sink or other convenient water disposal device.
  • Driveshaft 17 is connected to pump 5 at location 6. Obviously, driveshaft 17 must be sufficiently rigid to perform its function. These two elements may conveniently be connected or attached together by conventional means such as a screw; a bolt, including a friction locknut; an E-clip or other type fastener; and the like. Attachment should be off-center of pump 5 to produce back-and-forth oscillation of driveshaft 17 as pump 4 rotates. Driveshaft 17, in turn, is connected to personal hygiene implement 11, which in this instance comprises a toothbrush head, at location 10. Rather than a toothbrush head, a cleaning brush head of various types and sizes or a razor head could be used. As specified above, connection or attachment may be made with conventional means such as a screw; a bolt, including a friction locknut; or an E-clip or other type fastener; and the like. Back-and-forth oscillation of the driveshaft will then cause toothbrush head 11 to oscillate in a back-and-forth motion provided that driveshaft 17 and toothbrush head 11 are connected to the center portion of toothbrush head 11. Once brushing of the teeth is concluded, closing valve 4 by pressing activation button 3 will cause the device to shut down. A push-type activation button is illustrated, but other types such as spring loaded or quarter turn and the like may be utilized.
  • As indicated previously, the above-described personal hygiene device may comprise a stand-alone unit. However, the combination of the device with another unit is also advantageously contemplated by the invention. FIG. 2 illustrates such possibility.
  • Such combination requires the use of second water line 9, which is connected to water inlet line 1. Upon application of pressure to activation button 7, valve 8 opens, thus permitting pressurized water to flow through second water line 9 and pass into personal hygiene implement 11. Valve 8 and activation button 7 may be the same or similar to previously described valve 4 and activation button 3. When a combination of personal hygiene implements is desired, valve 4 may conveniently be located as shown in FIG. 2 or at a location where water is free to flow through valve 8, despite whether or not valve 4 is open or closed, because such valve locations permit independent operation and use of the respective personal hygiene implements.
  • Once water flow is achieved in second water line 9, water may be directed into toothbrush head 11 at location 12 to aid rinsing of the teeth and the user's mouth while brushing is performed. Independent on and off control of the respective personal hygiene implements permits the user to apply rinse water on an intermittent basis rather than as a steady stream during the brushing sequence. Thus, the user is not required to constantly expel water from his or her mouth as would be required should a steady stream of water flow through the device into the toothbrush.
  • When included, a water-driveable second personal hygiene implement in the device may be used alone. In such instance, the second implement may serve as a tooth or mouth irrigator as shown in FIG. 3 or as a mouth or face spray as shown in FIG. 4. To convert the device of FIG. 2 to an irrigator or spray, one merely needs to replace the toothbrush portion with an irrigator or spray. Such substitution may be easily made by constructing the device in two parts where the handle and personal hygiene implement are joined by snapping, screwing, or using a quarter turn on/off connection. FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, at location 13, indicate an appropriate location to join the handle and implements. To change implements on the device, the user may grasp the attached implement with two fingers, give the implement a quarter turn, and then lift upwardly to remove the implement from the device. Regarding water flow through the implement, the implement is provided with a cylindrical, hollowed cavity located inside the implement through which water passes to the head of the implement where the water is dispensed. Regarding water tightness of the implement to the device, a small o-ring located onto the male fitting located at the end of the device serves to seal the implement to the device, thereby making the connection water tight.
  • As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, pulsation element 19 may be incorporated on second water line 9 to create pulsating, interrupted water flow into irrigator 20 or spray 22. Illustrated pulsation element 19 is of the conventional and well-known spin type. However, other types of pulsation elements are suitable for use in the invention. Such types include rotary wheel devices, a dual-action flapper mounted inside the implement, and the like. Note that irrigator 20 in FIG. 3 may pass water through nozzle 21 into the mouth of a user. Nozzle size and shape may be selected to provide a desired water shape and force. Spray 22, as illustrated in FIG. 4, passes water from spray head 23 to a desired portion of a user's body, such as mouth, gums, face, hands, arms, legs, etc. As illustrated in FIG. 3, water may also pass from a nozzle into the mouth or gums of a user. Obviously, various spray heads may be selected to provide a desired water spray pattern and force.
  • FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of an embodiment of the personal hygiene device of the invention. This Figure is the same as FIG. 2 except that a system for providing tempered water is incorporated within handle 14 of the device. As may be seen, hot water enters handle 14 through hot water inlet line 24 and cold water enters through cold water inlet line 28. The hot and cold water enter water mixing chamber 25 where the mixed water becomes tempered (a temperature intermediate the respective hot and cold water temperatures). The thus tempered water flows out of water mixing chamber 25 and into the implement(s) of the device. This embodiment is an option to the previously described embodiment of creating tempered water prior to entry to the device.
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of an internal portion of a toothbrush suitable for use with the invention. The cross-section is the same as would be taken along section line a-a of FIG. 1. In this embodiment of the invention, driveshaft 17 is attached to generally circular brush head 11 at off-center location 27. Such location causes the back-and-forth oscillation of driveshaft 17 to be converted into semi-rotating oscillation of brush head 11. Such semi-rotating oscillation is depicted by arrow 26. The amount of semi-rotating oscillation is a function of the distance of attachment from the center of brush head 11. Attachment of driveshaft 17 at the center of brush head 11 will result in back-and-forth oscillation of brush head 11.
  • FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate razor implement 29 that may be used to shave a portion of a body such as a face, legs, etc. Razor implement 29 may be substituted for another type of personal hygiene implement, such as an irrigator or spray. FIG. 7 is a front view of razor implement 29. Such implement may optionally include pulsation element 19 to permit pulsating water flow through the razor implement 29 and onto razor blades 30 and 31 to serve as a rinse. FIG. 8 further illustrates the flow of water through water line 9 to cause such rinsing. Obviously, one or a multiple number of shaving blades may be utilized. The implement may be used dry or with a rinse, depending upon whether or not water is permitted to flow through the device. Water flow may be steady or pulsating, as desired by the user.
  • FIG. 9 is a side view of cleaning brush implement 32 that may be attached to the device as yet another type of personal hygiene implement. Such cleaning brush may be substituted for the previously described toothbrush implement. Movement of driveshaft 17 is used to impart a desired oscillation to cleaning brush head 33. As described previously, oscillation may be caused to be back-and-forth or semi-rotating. In a similar manner described already in connection with FIG. 8, water may pass through the implement into the cleaning brush 33 to provide a flushing or rinsing action. As in the case of FIGS. 7 and 8, pulsation element 19 provides an option of providing pulsating water flow. As will be appreciated by one skilled in the art, various shapes and sizes of brushes may be utilized, depending upon the intended cleaning task. If one did not desire oscillation of cleaning brush 33, rotary water pump 5 can be shut off and cleaning brush 33 then used as a non-oscillating cleaning brush having rinse capability.
  • The device (handle and/or desired personal hygiene implement) may be conveniently cradled in a stand on or near a sink when not in use with the water inlet and exit lines attached to a “T’-junction located at a point on the water line intermediate a faucet and juncture of hot and cold water lines. The device is then ready for use with a minimum of preparation.

Claims (34)

  1. 1. A water-driveable personal hygiene device having a handle, said device adapted to be connected to a pressurized water supply line comprising:
    (a) Said handle containing a generally round-shaped, rotatable water pump within said handle, said water pump being open to water from said water supply line at an entry location that is capable of causing rotation of said pump during passage of said water through said pump and upon exit from said pump at an exit location into an exit line;
    (b) A valve located on said water supply line capable of opening and closing water flow through said exit line so as when said valve is open, water flows through said rotatable pump, causing rotation thereof, and then passes through said exit line; and when said valve is closed, water does not flow through said rotatable pump and does not pass through said exit line;
    (c) Said rotatable water pump connected to a driveshaft at an off-center location of the pump causing said driveshaft to achieve an oscillating motion upon rotation of said water pump; and
    (d) Said driveshaft adapted to be connected to and cause oscillation of a first personal hygiene implement.
  2. 2. The personal hygiene device of claim 1 further comprising:
    (a) A second water-driveable personal hygiene implement contained in said handle and adapted to be connected to said pressurized water supply line;
    (b) A second water line located in said handle and adapted to be connected to said pressurized water supply line at a location prior to said entry location of said rotatable pump; and
    (c) A second water line valve located on said water line at a position where opening and closing of said valve does not effect water flow into said rotatable pump thereby permitting independent operation of the water line from said rotatable pump, said water line adapted to be connected to and cause operation of said second personal hygiene implement when said water line valve is in an open position.
  3. 3. The personal hygiene device of claim 1, wherein said rotatable water pump comprises a generally round shaped paddle wheel.
  4. 4. The personal hygiene device of claim 1, wherein said first personal hygiene device comprises a toothbrush.
  5. 5. The personal hygiene device of claim 4, wherein said toothbrush is of generally round shape and said driveshaft is connected to said toothbrush at a center location whereby said toothbrush is capable of back-and-forth oscillation.
  6. 6. The personal hygiene device of claim 4, wherein said toothbrush is of generally round shape and said driveshaft is connected to said toothbrush at an off-center location whereby said toothbrush is capable of semi-rotating oscillation.
  7. 7. The personal hygiene device of claim 2 further comprising a pulsation element for imparting a pulsating flow of water into a second personal hygiene implement.
  8. 8. The personal hygiene device of claim 7, wherein said pulsation element is located between said second water line valve and said second personal hygiene implement.
  9. 9. The personal hygiene device of claim 2, wherein said second personal hygiene implement comprises a water line having an nozzle adapted to direct water flow into said first personal hygiene implement and said first personal hygiene implement comprises a toothbrush.
  10. 10. The personal hygiene device of claim 2, wherein said second personal hygiene implement comprises an irrigator.
  11. 11. The personal hygiene device of claim 7, wherein said second personal hygiene implement comprises an irrigator.
  12. 12. The personal hygiene device of claim 2, wherein said second personal hygiene implement comprises a spray.
  13. 13. The personal hygiene device of claim 2, wherein said second personal hygiene implement comprises a razor.
  14. 14. The personal hygiene device of claim 2, wherein said first personal hygiene implement comprises a cleaning brush.
  15. 15. The personal hygiene device of claim 1, wherein said valve is located on said exit line.
  16. 16. The personal hygiene device of claim 2, wherein said valve is located on said exit line.
  17. 17. The personal hygiene device of claim 1, further comprising a system to mix hot and cold water to produce tempered water located in said handle.
  18. 18. A method of using a personal hygiene device comprising opening a pressurized water line to cause said pressurized water to pass through and exit from a generally round, rotary pump thereby rotating said pump, said rotating pump connected to a driveshaft at an off-center location on said pump thereby causing back-and-forth oscillation of said driveshaft and oscillation of a first personal hygiene implement connected to said driveshaft.
  19. 19. The method of claim 18, wherein said oscillation of said first personal hygiene implement is back-and-forth.
  20. 20. The method of claim 18, wherein said oscillation of said first personal hygiene implement is semi-rotating.
  21. 21. The method of claim 18 further comprising opening a pressurized water line at a location not effecting rotation of said pump, thereby causing water to pass through said line, enter a second personal hygiene implement, and exit from said second personal hygiene implement.
  22. 22. The method of claim 21, wherein said water exits into said first personal hygiene implement.
  23. 23. The method of claim 21, wherein said water exits onto a portion of a user's body.
  24. 24. The method of claim 18, wherein said driveshaft imparts an oscillating motion to said first personal hygiene implement.
  25. 25. The method of claim 22, wherein said first personal hygiene implement comprises a toothbrush.
  26. 26. The method of claim 21 further comprising passing pulsating water through said second personal hygiene implement.
  27. 27. The method of claim 21 further comprising directing water from said second personal hygiene implement into said first personal hygiene implement and said first personal hygiene implement comprises a toothbrush.
  28. 28. The method of claim 26, wherein said second personal hygiene implement directs a stream of water to irrigate a user's mouth.
  29. 29. The method of claim 21, wherein said second personal hygiene implement directs a spray of water to clean a portion of a mouth of a user.
  30. 30. The method of claim 21, wherein said second personal hygiene implement directs a spray of water to clean a portion of a body of a user.
  31. 31. The method of claim 18, wherein said second personal hygiene device comprises a cleaning brush to clean an object.
  32. 32. The method of claim 21, wherein said second personal hygiene device comprises a razor to shave a portion of a body of a user.
  33. 33. The method of claim 18, wherein said pressurized water comprises tempered water.
  34. 34. The method of claim 21, wherein said pressurized water comprises tempered water.
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USD822826S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-07-10 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD822825S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-07-10 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator unit
US10016254B2 (en) 2013-12-20 2018-07-10 Water Pik, Inc. Dental water jet
US10022207B2 (en) 2013-11-27 2018-07-17 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator with slide pause switch
USD825741S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-08-14 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator handle
USD829887S1 (en) 2017-02-06 2018-10-02 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator reservoir
USD829886S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-02 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
US10105201B2 (en) 2012-10-11 2018-10-23 Water Pik, Inc. Interdental cleaner using water supply
USD832420S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-30 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD832419S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-30 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator unit
USD832418S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-10-30 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD833000S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-11-06 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator unit
USD833602S1 (en) 2017-02-06 2018-11-13 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator base
USD833600S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2018-11-13 Water Pik, Inc. Oral irrigator reservoir
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