US20070140777A1 - Teeth flossing apparatus employing an array of water jets - Google Patents

Teeth flossing apparatus employing an array of water jets Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070140777A1
US20070140777A1 US11/306,286 US30628605A US2007140777A1 US 20070140777 A1 US20070140777 A1 US 20070140777A1 US 30628605 A US30628605 A US 30628605A US 2007140777 A1 US2007140777 A1 US 2007140777A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
teeth
water jet
body
jet head
cavity
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/306,286
Inventor
Wayne Brunson
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Brunson Wayne A
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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Brunson Wayne A filed Critical Brunson Wayne A
Priority to US11/306,286 priority Critical patent/US20070140777A1/en
Publication of US20070140777A1 publication Critical patent/US20070140777A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B11/00Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water
    • A46B11/06Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water connected to supply pipe or to other external supply means
    • A46B11/063Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water connected to supply pipe or to other external supply means by means of a supply pipe
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B5/00Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware
    • A46B5/0095Removable or interchangeable brush heads
    • 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
    • A61C17/032Rinsing or air-blowing devices, e.g. using fluid jets or comprising liquid medication using pressurised tap-water, e.g. rinsing devices specially adapted for being connected to the main water supply
    • 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 jet head with a plurality of water jets arrayed over a head teeth side opposite a smooth head cheek side that comfortably slides along a user's cheek when in use. An array of bristly clusters as in a brush may be interspersed among the plurality of water jets. A quick release head connector connects to a wand with wand quick release connector cooperating with the head connector. The wand on a distal end of a flexible hose connects to a water source, preferably a showerhead, at its proximal end.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • This invention relates to devices for cleaning teeth, and more particularly to appliances that employ a pressurized water jet to clean and floss teeth.
  • 2. Prior Art
  • It is known to have dental hygiene devices that employ a water nozzle at the end of a tube that jets water for flossing of a user's teeth. A stand-alone design that employs a pump to pressurize water for delivery to the water nozzle has been commercially available for several years. This design is known for spraying water about a sink and counter and mirror. There are also a variety of designs that connect to a household water line through a sink faucet. Though this obviates the need for the pump, it still presents a clean-up problem from spraying. Others circumvent the clean-up problem by employing the device in a tub or shower. For shower use, a T-fitting is typically installed before the shower head with a valve directing water to the shower or a flexible hose to which the device is attached. All of these previously known devices employ a single water jet egressing from a tube typically bent from the device longitudinal axis transversely so water is directed toward a user's teeth when the tube is moved between the user's cheek and teeth.
  • The single water jet is effective in removing food particles on and between the teeth but its use depends largely on the skill of the user to fully sweep the teeth with the water jet. Inevitably, the user will not consistently fully clean the teeth. The effectiveness of the single jet device is also less when used by a user wearing an orthodontic appliance. An experiment showed effectiveness was substantially increased in all measured conditions when a device with multiple water jets were employed, similar to a toothbrush with a broad array of bristles instead of a single pick or single cluster of bristles. For purposes herein, a cluster of bristles means several bristles clustered together and extending from a single hole as is commonly provided in a brush and particularly in a toothbrush. It was further discovered that best results are achieved when an array of jets was employed in combination with an array of bristle clusters.
  • Therefore it is an object of the present invention to have a plurality of nozzles in a thin head of thickness to fit comfortably between a user's cheek and teeth as would a toothbrush. It is a further object that the nozzles be directed from the head from a head body teeth side as multiple sets of bristles from toothbrush. It is a further object to have the head connectable to a wand with a flow control valve, the wand connectable to a standard household water source. It is a further object to combine the arrayed plurality of water jets interspersed between a broad array of bristle clusters such as is typically provided in a tooth brush.
  • SUMMARY
  • These objects are achieved in a water jet head with a plurality of water jets arrayed over a head teeth side. Pressurized water in the head egresses from a plurality of holes as water jets directed generally toward the teeth. The plurality of holes is in fluid communication with a cavity within the head that equalizes water pressure to all of the holes. The holes are arrayed about a planar head teeth side opposite a smooth head cheek side that comfortably slides along a user's cheek when in use.
  • A quick release head connector connects to a wand with wand quick release connector cooperating the head connector. The head also typically has a flow control valve though conceivable flow can be regulated from the water source, such as a shower water valve. The head is also provided without a wand in which case it has a head connector cooperating with a connector on a wand from a device in the prior art therein converting the prior art device to the multiple water jet device with minimal expense. Clearly, it is equivalent to provide a connector converter that adapts the head of the present invention to a wand from a prior art device.
  • The wand is typically on a distal end of a flexible hose that is connected to a water source at its proximal end. Though the head can be used wherever convenient to the user, it is preferred that it be used in a shower stall, in which case the flexible hose is connected to a water diverter before the shower head valved to direct water to the flexible hose or to the shower head.
  • For general flossing between the teeth, the head described above that produces a plurality of water jets is effective. For improved cleaning of the tooth generally, including the face of the tooth, clusters of bristles, as in a toothbrush, and water jet holes are mutually interspersed and arrayed across a broad and planar teeth side of the head.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the teeth flossing apparatus of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a front plan view of the cheek side of the apparatus of FIG. 1 showing an orthogonal array of holes as pressurized water nozzles.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective cut-away view of the head of the teeth flossing apparatus showing a cavity within in fluid communication with the holes.
  • FIG. 4 is an transverse cross-sectional view of the head of FIG. 3 along view line 4-4.
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment that employs the teeth flossing apparatus of FIG. 1 with an array of clusters of bristles interspersed among the array of water jets.
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of a diverter to which the flexible hose is attached at a hose proximal end.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • A dental hygiene apparatus for flossing teeth features a water jet head 12 with a thin body 14 sized to fit comfortably between a user's cheek and teeth and a plurality of small holes 16 that function as water nozzles for cleaning the user's teeth.
  • The body 14 comprises a smooth cheek side 18 opposite a generally planar teeth side 20 with the holes 16 on the teeth side 20 in an orthogonal array. The body thickness between the cheek side 18 and the teeth side 20 is small, typically no more than half of the breadth of the body 14 at approximately only about 0.3 inches.
  • The body 14 incorporates a cavity 22 in fluid communication with the holes 16 such that each hole 16 provides fluid egress from the cavity 22 from the teeth side 20 providing a plurality of or water jets 24. The holes 16, as water jet nozzles, direct in a generally same direction toward the user's teeth and away from the head teeth side 20 when in use. Typically but not necessarily, the holes 16 are directed orthogonal to the teeth side 20. However, they could also be directed in a direction not orthogonal to the teeth side 20 and they could be, or a portion of them could be, in mutually divergent directions. These variations in hole direction are deemed to be included as a general same direction in the sense that they are directed away from the head cheek side 18. In an alternate embodiment, a plurality of bristle clusters 26 may be interspersed among the holes 16, extending from the head 12 as a brush, cooperating with the water jets 24 to clean the user's teeth.
  • The water jet head 12 is releasably connectable by a quick-release connector 28 to a wand 30 at a wand distal end 32 through a neck 34 that extends the water jet head 12 from the wand 30 to separate the connector 28 from the head 12 such that the connector 28 remains outside the user's mouth when in use. A body bore 36 in the neck 34 provides fluid communication between the cavity 22 and the connector 28. The cavity 22 is significantly larger than the holes 16 and the body bore 36 with a width greater than that of the body bore 36 to accommodate multiple rows of holes, typically including at least a center row 40 and left and right rows 42 and 44 parallel with the center row 40. The center row of holes 40 is characteristically coaxial with the body bore 36 and at least one, and usually both, of the left and right rows of holes 42 and 44 are wide of the body bore 36. The cavity 22 wide of the body bore 36 on each cavity side 46 and 46′ intersects the left and right rows of holes 42 and 44.
  • The quick release connector 28 on the neck 34 is attachable to a flexible hose 48 that provides fluid communication between the connector 28 and a pressurized water source 50, such as a faucet though preferably a showerhead. A diverter 52, with water valves 53, attachable to a household water line diverts water to the flexible hose 48 attached thereto on a flexible hose proximal end 54. The wand 30 connects to a hose distal end 56 at a wand proximal end 58 and a wand valve 60 regulates water flow through the wand 30.

Claims (20)

1. A water jet head configured for connection to a dental hygiene device that employs a water jet for flossing teeth, comprising
a body sized to fit between a user's cheek and teeth and having a cavity and a plurality of small holes in the body each in fluid communication with the cavity providing fluid egress from the cavity as nozzles, the nozzles directed in a generally same direction,
a connector on the body with a body bore between the cavity and the connector, the connector attachable to a flexible hose that provides fluid communication between the connector and a pressurized water source.
2. The water jet head of claim 1 further comprising a neck between the body and the connector separating the connector from the body such that the connector remains outside the user's mouth when in use.
3. The water jet head of claim 1 wherein the body comprises a smooth cheek side opposite a teeth side, the nozzles being on the teeth side directed toward the teeth when the water jet head is in use.
4. The water jet head of claim 3 wherein the teeth side is generally planar.
5. The water jet head of claim 4 wherein the nozzles are configured in an orthogonal array.
6. The water jet head of claim 5 wherein the nozzles are directed orthogonal to the teeth side.
7. The water jet head of claim 5 wherein at least a portion of the nozzles are directed other than orthogonal to the teeth side.
8. The water jet head of claim 7 wherein at least a portion of the nozzles are directed in divergent directions.
9. The water jet head of claim 1 wherein the cavity is larger than the holes.
10. The water jet head of claim 3 wherein the body teeth side has a breadth and a length and the body has a thickness thin between the cheek side and the teeth side to be accommodated comfortably between the user's cheek and teeth, being no more than half of the breadth of the body.
11. The water jet head of claim 12 wherein said body thickness is approximately 0.3-inch.
12. The water jet head of claim 1 wherein said cavity is wider than the body bore.
13. The water jet head of claim 1 wherein said body includes a center row of holes, and left and right rows of holes parallel with the center row of holes.
14. The waterjet head of claim 14 wherein the center row of holes is coaxial with the body bore and at least one of the left and right rows of holes is wide of the body bore.
15. The waterjet head of claim 14 wherein the body comprises a smooth cheek side opposite a teeth side, the nozzles being on the teeth side directed toward the teeth when the water jet head is in use and wherein the cavity is wider of the body bore on each cavity side such that said left and right rows of holes orthogonal to the teeth side intersect the cavity orthogonal to the teeth side.
16. The water jet of claim 1 wherein the connector is adapted for quick attachment and release of the water jet head to the flexible hose.
17. An apparatus for flossing teeth including a flexible hose, a diverter attached to a household water line for diverting water to the flexible hose attached thereto on a flexible hose proximal end, and a wand connected to a hose distal end at a wand proximal end and including a valve regulating water flow through the wand, the improvement comprising a water jet head releasably connectable to the wand distal end through a neck extending the water jet head from the wand distal end, water jet head having a body with a smooth cheek side opposite a teeth side and a thickness thin between the cheek side and the teeth side, sized to fit comfortably between a user's cheek and teeth and having a cavity and a plurality of small holes in the body each in fluid communication with the cavity providing fluid egress from the cavity from the teeth side as a plurality of nozzles.
18. The apparatus of claim 17 wherein.
19. A water jet head configured for connection to a dental hygiene device that employs a water jet for flossing teeth, comprising
a body sized to fit between a user's cheek and teeth and having a cavity and a plurality of small holes in the body each in fluid communication with the cavity providing fluid egress from the cavity as nozzles, the nozzles directed in a generally same direction,
a plurality of bristle clusters interspersed among the plurality of small holes and extending from the head as a brush,
a connector on the body with a body bore between the cavity and the connector, the connector attachable to a flexible hose that provides fluid communication between the connector and a pressurized water source.
20. The water jet head of claim 19 wherein the body comprises a smooth cheek side opposite a teeth side, the nozzles and the clusters of bristles being on the teeth side directed toward the teeth when the water jet head is in use.
US11/306,286 2005-12-21 2005-12-21 Teeth flossing apparatus employing an array of water jets Abandoned US20070140777A1 (en)

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US11/306,286 US20070140777A1 (en) 2005-12-21 2005-12-21 Teeth flossing apparatus employing an array of water jets

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US11/306,286 US20070140777A1 (en) 2005-12-21 2005-12-21 Teeth flossing apparatus employing an array of water jets

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110027746A1 (en) * 2009-07-30 2011-02-03 Mcdonough Justin Oral care device
ITPD20100153A1 (en) * 2010-05-17 2011-11-18 Gianni Faleri Toothbrush for dental cleaning
KR200458963Y1 (en) 2011-10-17 2012-03-21 김용석 A toothbrush with water pik
US9022961B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2015-05-05 Mcneil-Ppc., Inc. Oral care cleaning and treating device
US9022960B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2015-05-05 Mcneil-Ppc, Inc. Oral care cleaning and treating device
US9308064B2 (en) 2010-07-26 2016-04-12 Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Devices and methods for collecting and analyzing fluid samples from the oral cavity
CN106213779A (en) * 2016-08-27 2016-12-14 罗淑莲 A kind of fast disassembly type water-spraying toothbrush

Citations (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3593707A (en) * 1968-09-25 1971-07-20 George William Pifer Jet tooth brush
US3610234A (en) * 1968-02-09 1971-10-05 Dennis G Oates Water-jet toothbrush
US4175879A (en) * 1976-05-31 1979-11-27 Pietro Molinari Toothbrush
US4564005A (en) * 1983-12-05 1986-01-14 Marchand Paul A Oral irrigating device
US4793331A (en) * 1988-02-05 1988-12-27 Stewart Clyde F Shower flossing system
US5027798A (en) * 1988-08-10 1991-07-02 Primiano Michael J Water jet teeth flossing apparatus
US5095893A (en) * 1991-04-23 1992-03-17 Rawden Jr Walter J Faucet connected oral cleaning device with pulsating flow
US5297884A (en) * 1992-12-28 1994-03-29 Alberto Cubillas Toothbrush cleaning system
US5484281A (en) * 1994-03-21 1996-01-16 Renow; Alex Showerhead tooth cleansing apparatus
US5683192A (en) * 1996-04-15 1997-11-04 Kilfoil; Dennis C. Toothbrush system with an internal water delivery system operable from a shower
US5746595A (en) * 1996-02-06 1998-05-05 Ford; Frank E. Toothbrush
US6740053B2 (en) * 2002-03-20 2004-05-25 Millenium Media Marketing, Llc Water jet flossing apparatus

Patent Citations (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3610234A (en) * 1968-02-09 1971-10-05 Dennis G Oates Water-jet toothbrush
US3593707A (en) * 1968-09-25 1971-07-20 George William Pifer Jet tooth brush
US4175879A (en) * 1976-05-31 1979-11-27 Pietro Molinari Toothbrush
US4564005A (en) * 1983-12-05 1986-01-14 Marchand Paul A Oral irrigating device
US4793331A (en) * 1988-02-05 1988-12-27 Stewart Clyde F Shower flossing system
US5027798A (en) * 1988-08-10 1991-07-02 Primiano Michael J Water jet teeth flossing apparatus
US5095893A (en) * 1991-04-23 1992-03-17 Rawden Jr Walter J Faucet connected oral cleaning device with pulsating flow
US5297884A (en) * 1992-12-28 1994-03-29 Alberto Cubillas Toothbrush cleaning system
US5484281A (en) * 1994-03-21 1996-01-16 Renow; Alex Showerhead tooth cleansing apparatus
US5746595A (en) * 1996-02-06 1998-05-05 Ford; Frank E. Toothbrush
US5683192A (en) * 1996-04-15 1997-11-04 Kilfoil; Dennis C. Toothbrush system with an internal water delivery system operable from a shower
US6740053B2 (en) * 2002-03-20 2004-05-25 Millenium Media Marketing, Llc Water jet flossing apparatus

Cited By (17)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9572641B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2017-02-21 Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Oral care device
US20110027747A1 (en) * 2009-07-30 2011-02-03 Fougere Richard J Oral care device
US20110027758A1 (en) * 2009-07-30 2011-02-03 Ochs Harold D Methods for providing beneficial effects to the oral cavity
US9668839B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2017-06-06 Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Oral care systems
US9579173B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2017-02-28 Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Oral care cleaning and treating device
US8617090B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2013-12-31 Mcneil-Ppc, Inc. Oral care device
US8684956B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2014-04-01 Mcneil-Ppc, Inc. Oral care device
US9022961B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2015-05-05 Mcneil-Ppc., Inc. Oral care cleaning and treating device
US9022959B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2015-05-05 Mcneil-Ppc, Inc. Oral care systems
US9022960B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2015-05-05 Mcneil-Ppc, Inc. Oral care cleaning and treating device
US9216073B2 (en) 2009-07-30 2015-12-22 Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Oral care device
US20110027746A1 (en) * 2009-07-30 2011-02-03 Mcdonough Justin Oral care device
ITPD20100153A1 (en) * 2010-05-17 2011-11-18 Gianni Faleri Toothbrush for dental cleaning
US9308064B2 (en) 2010-07-26 2016-04-12 Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Devices and methods for collecting and analyzing fluid samples from the oral cavity
US9968335B2 (en) 2010-07-26 2018-05-15 Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Devices and methods for collecting and analyzing fluid samples from the oral cavity
KR200458963Y1 (en) 2011-10-17 2012-03-21 김용석 A toothbrush with water pik
CN106213779A (en) * 2016-08-27 2016-12-14 罗淑莲 A kind of fast disassembly type water-spraying toothbrush

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