BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to musical toothbrushes and more specifically to musical toothbrushes that play fun melodies for children while brushing and changes color after 2 minutes of use to promote good dental hygiene.
2. Description of Related Art
The primary purpose of a musical toothbrush is to provide a fun toothbrush that plays melodies while children brush their teeth. At the present time there are limited alternatives that promote good oral hygiene in an entertaining way. One method is to provide a musical toothbrush which will be fun to use to allow children to learn the correct method of brushing their teeth in a distinctively enjoyable manner. Various toothbrushes have been proposed that play musical tunes while being used to encourage better oral hygiene.
One such toothbrush that plays a musical tune is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,788,734 to Bauer. In the Bauer patent there is described a toothbrush having a chip, a battery, a sound generator, a switch, an amplifier, a loudspeaker and a capacitive or inductive switch all of which are centrally located in the tooth brush handle. The capacitive or inductive switch is activated by the user when the handle of the toothbrush is grasped for use. However, such toothbrushes play musical tunes that do not appeal to children and, therefore, do not promote good oral hygiene in children.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
What is needed is a toothbrush that can interest a child by playing one or more melodies that they want to hear, such as “Take me out to the ball game” and, when that melody finishes, plays “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. What is also needed is a toothbrush that can enhance the tooth brushing experience by glowing with one or more colors when brushing to provide visual effect, such as a tooth brush that glows a pleasing blue color when the child starts to brush and changes to a bright red or orange when the 2 minute brushing time has expired, but may continue to play melodies.
In an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, there is provided an elongated toothbrush handle of translucent material having a plurality of bristles located at a first end and a water tight chamber located between the first and a second end. A processor, digital sound generating means, first and second light emitting means of different colors, a source of power, and switch means are located in the chamber. In operation, the translucent handle glows with the color of the light emitting means that is energized for a specific interval of time and a digital sound chip that plays children melodies. At the end of the specific interval of time the first light emitting means is turned off and the second light emitting means is energized while the children melodies continue to play.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing has outlined, rather broadly, the preferred feature of the present invention so that those skilled in the art may better understand the detailed description of the invention that follows. Additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter that form the subject of the claims of the invention. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they can readily use the disclosed conception and specific embodiment as a basis for designing or modifying other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention and that such other structures do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention in its broadest form.
Other aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description, the appended claim, and the accompanying drawings in which similar elements are given similar reference numerals.
FIG. 1 is a side view of a musical toothbrush that glows with colors in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the handle of the toothbrush of FIG. 1 showing the components of the sound and glow producing circuit in accordance with the principles of the invention;
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 3 is a block diagram of the circuit for producing one or more melodies and controlling the color of the glow of the toothbrush in accordance with the principles of the invention.
Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a side view of a musical toothbrush that glows with one or more colors in accordance with the principles of the invention.
Toothbrush 10 has a handle 12 that includes a chamber 14 at the rear half for receiving the electrical components and a brush 15 having a plurality of bristles for brushing a child's teeth at the front end.
The handle of the tooth brush is composed of translucent material which may have a color that is white. off white, blue (for boys), pink (for girls), or any other color. The handle is translucent, not opaque or transparent, and conceals the electrical components in the handle and allows colored light from one or more LEDs to radiate along the handle to cause the handle to glow with the color of the light that is emitted by the LED.
The rear end of the toothbrush has an end cap that is sealed to the body of the handle to insure that the chamber 14 that contains the electrical components and the speaker remains dry. The chamber 14, in addition to providing a water tight compartment for the electrical components may also function as a resonant chamber for the musical melodies generated by the speaker.
Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a sectional view of the handle of the toothbrush of FIG. 1 with the components 53 of the sound and glow producing circuit. The handle of the toothbrush can have a dimension that can be easily grasped by the hand of a child and a shape that is straight, curved, angled or any shape that is desired. In an embodiment, the front end of the toothbrush that has the bristles can be flexible. The handle can be molded to include the chamber 14, and the electrical components 52 can then be inserted into the chamber and end cap 16 sealed to the end of the handle to provide a chamber that is water proof. In another embodiment, the chamber can be filled with a foam material prior to sealing the end cap to the handle to prevent the electrical component from moving. In still another embodiment the electrical components can be molded into the handle as the toothbrush is being made.
The handle of the toothbrush with the miniature and micro electrical components enclosed has the appearance and shape of a standard child's toothbrush and a size that can be grasped by a child. In addition, the handle can have a size that can fit into a standard toothbrush holding slot of a toothbrush holder.
The electrical components located in the handle of the toothbrush includes a processor 50 that includes a digital sound chip, a speaker 52, an inductive or capacitive switch 54, a source of power such as one or two button type batteries 56, and at least one and preferably two LEDs 58,60 of different colors.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is shown a block diagram of the circuit for producing one or more melodies and controlling the color of the glow of the toothbrush handle. The digital sound chip 62 in the processor 50 contains one or more melodies that a child finds is fun to listen too. In an embodiment, the digital sound chip can include one, two, three or more melodies which are played in sequence. Thus, when the first melody is finished, the second melody will play and so on until the last melody has played, at which time the melodies will then be played over again. In this manner, a melody can last for two minutes which is the recommended time that a child should brush his/her teeth, or each melody can be played for one minute which will allow a child to listen to two melodies while brushing his/her teeth.
The processor 50 is connected to a source of power such as a single or two lithium button type of batteries 56 through an inductive or capacitive on off switch 54. The inductive or capacitive on off switch provides power from the battery to the various components when the handle 12 is grasped and turns off battery power to the components when the handle is released. The source of power is a single or two button type lithium battery. When two batteries are used, they are coupled to each other in a series relationship to provide the required power to operate the electronics, the speaker 52, and the LEDs 58, 60 which are of different colors. The speaker 52 is located in chamber 14 which may functions as a resonant chamber to reinforce the sound from the speaker. In addition, the speaker is positioned to contact the inside surface of the chamber. The wall of the toothbrush that defines the chamber is relatively thin and, therefore, can transmit sound with minimum attenuation. It is to be noted that when the toothbrush is being used, the handle and the speaker are in close proximity to the user's ear. Therefore, the volume of the music from the speaker need not be high.
Connected to the processor 50 is at least one LED and preferably two LEDs that are of different colors. The handle of the toothbrush is translucent and, therefore, will glow with the color of the energized LED located in the chamber. In an embodiment, one of the LEDs can be green ant the other LED can be red. In another embodiment, one of the LEDs can be blue for a toothbrush that is used by a boy, or it can be pink or a color that is close to pink for a toothbrush that is used by a girl. The second LED can be red. In still another embodiment, the toothbrushes can be made with LEDs of various colors to help a child identify his/her toothbrush when his/her sibling is also using the toothbrush here disclosed.
In operation, a child removes his/her toothbrush from the toothbrush holder near the sink in a bathroom, puts tooth paste on the bristles and begins to brush his/her teeth. When the child grips the toothbrush handle, the inductive or capacitive on off switch 54 is turned on and supplies power from the battery 56 to the processor 50. The processor includes a timing circuit which starts counting when the child takes the toothbrush from the toothbrush holder, grips the handle of the toothbrush and puts toothpaste onto the bristles of the toothbrush. Therefore, the two minute timer is actually set for about two and one-half minutes, it being assumed that it will take about one-half of a minute to put toothpaste onto the toothbrush. When the on off switch is turned on, the timer starts to count down, the digital sound chip is activated and starts to play a child melody, and the blue or pink LED is energized giving the toothbrush handle a pleasing colored glow. When the timing circuit times out at the end of two and one-half minutes, the processor switches power from the blue or pink LED to the red LED. This is a signal to the child that he/she has been brushing his/her teeth for about two minutes and can now stop. But, the music does not stop. The music can continue as long as the child is gripping the toothbrush handle. It is the color change of the glowing handle that tells the child that time is up. Thus, if the child wants to hear the end of the song, he/she can continue to brush his/her teeth.
Power from the battery to the electrical components is turned off when the child places the toothbrush into the slot of the toothbrush holder. Thus. when the tooth brush is placed into the toothbrush holder, the toothbrush will no longer glow and the music will stop.
While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the apparatus illustrated and in the operation may be done by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention.