CROSS REFERENCE TO CO-PENDING APPLICATION
This application claims priority to the benefit of the Sep. 22, 2009, in the name of Diane Richardson, filing date of co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/244,478 filed Sep. 22, 2009, for a “WATER GUN TOOTHBRUSH”, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
The present water pump toothbrush relates in general to toothbrushes and, more particularly, to a toothbrush having a pump for transferring fluid from the internal fluid reservoir to a position adjacent a base portion of a plurality of bristles supported by a body of the toothbrush.
Various configurations for toothbrushes are well known in the art. While these devices appear to be suitable for the intended purpose of cleaning teeth, the known toothbrushes suffer from various deficiencies and lack desired features. By way of example and not limitation, known toothbrush devices fail to provide a readily available source of fluid, such as liquid water, for aiding in the cleaning and/or rinsing process.
A water pump toothbrush according to one aspect of the present invention is a manual toothbrush used along with conventional toothpaste. During use, toothpaste is spread on the toothbrush bristles as is conventional. The water pump toothbrush provides the advantage of a readily available source of fluid, such as liquid water, for aiding in the cleaning process by squirting fluid, such as liquid water, on the bristles when the user is ready to begin brushing their teeth. The water pump toothbrush can operate similar to a toy water gun. The fluid, such as liquid water, can squirt out when a button located on a body of the toothbrush is pushed by the user.
A majority of people run water to wet a toothbrush in preparation to begin brushing their teeth, because the combination of water and toothpaste is more efficient working together to clean the teeth.
The water pump toothbrush has many advantages. By way of example and not limitation, the water pump toothbrush eliminates the common habit of continually running water from the faucet and thereby wasting a valuable natural resource. No more hand movement required back and forth to the running faucet to wet the toothbrush in preparation to begin or to continue brushing teeth. The water pump toothbrush keeps the user brushing at a steady pace. The fluid stored inside an internal reservoir defined by the body of the toothbrush is ready to use at the push of a button, which makes the water pump toothbrush convenient and easy to use. The water pump toothbrush is also a convenient way to brush teeth when a source of running water is unavailable. The water gun toothbrush simplifies the task of brushing young children's teeth, and can make brushing more fun for children as they grow older.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
With the water pump toothbrush, a user can now brush with any desired fluid, by way of example and not limitation, liquid water, mouth wash, plaque rinse, and other mouth cleaning liquids.
The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawing wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a simplified perspective view of one aspect of a water pump toothbrush; and
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the water pump toothbrush shown in FIG. 1.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a water pump toothbrush 10 is illustrated. The toothbrush 10 for cleaning teeth includes a body 12 defining an internal fluid reservoir 14. The fluid reservoir 14 may comprise substantially all of the interior of the body 12 or only a portion of the body 12, such as the portion extending from the end of the neck 22 to the end of the body 12 which receives the cap 30. A plurality of bristles 16 are supported at a base portion 18 by a head 20 of the body 12. The head 20 can be supported from a neck portion 22 of the body 12. The neck portion 22 can be integrally with the body 12 or as a discrete neck portion 22 which is removably attachable to the body 12. An outer end portion 24 of the plurality of bristles 16 contact the teeth for cleaning. A fluid flow passage 26 extends from the internal fluid reservoir 14 to a position adjacent the base portion 18 of the plurality of bristles 16. A pump 28 is located in the passage 26 for transferring fluid from the internal fluid reservoir 14 to the base portion 18 of the bristles 16.
The body 12 of the toothbrush 10 can be any size and shape desired. Preferably, the body 12 is of a sufficiently small size and shape to be grasped within the palm of one hand during use. It should be recognized that a larger body 12 can accommodate a larger fluid reservoir 14. The fluid reservoir 14 includes a removable cap or plug 30 allowing the fluid reservoir 14 to be filled or refilled by a user. The cap or plug 30 can be threaded or friction fit to one end of the body 12 to seal and prevent leakage from the reservoir 14. A one way vent valve, not shown, can be provided in the cap 30 or in the body 12 to prevent any build up of vacuum pressure within the reservoir 14 during dispensing of fluid by the pump 28.
The bristles 16 can be provided with uniform size, length, and shape, or can be provided with differing size, length and/or shape if desired. The passage 26 through the neck portion 22 includes at least one opening or port 34, preferably adjacent the base portion 18 of the bristles 16, for dispensing fluid from the reservoir 14. The port or ports 34 are interspersed with the bottom ends of the bristles 14 on the base portion 18. The port or ports 34 can have any suitable diameter, such as one large diameter port 34, or a plurality of smaller diameter ports 34, or a combination of difference diameter ports 34. The passage 26 can also include check valves 36, 38 located on the suction portion of the passage 26 and on the discharge portion of the passage 26 to prevent backflow of fluid.
The pump 28 can be either manual or electric. By way of example and not limitation, the pump 28 in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a piston 44 reciprocally supported in a hollow member 46 fixed in the body 12 to define a pumping chamber 48.
The hollow member 46 is coupled in fluid communication with the passage 26. The pumping chamber 48 has a suction portion 40, which communicates with an inlet to the member 46 and the first check valve 36, and a discharge portion 42 which communicates with an outlet in the member 46, the second check valve 38 and the passage 38. The piston 44 is biased by spring 50 toward a first position, where the pumping chamber is enlarged to a first volume in the chamber 46.
A flexible tube 49 is coupled to the inlet of the member 46 to collect water from the bottom of the reservoir 14 during use of the toothbrush 10.
During use, the “trigger” 52 is pressed by the user to urge the piston 44 against the biasing of spring 50 toward a second position of reduced volume in the chamber 48. The first check valve 36 prevents backflow of fluid through the suction portion 40 of the passage 26 toward the reservoir 14. Fluid discharged by the piston 44 movement is directed through the discharge portion 42 second check valve 38 to the passage 26 to be dispensed out of port 34 at the base portion 18 of the bristles 16. Release of the trigger 52 by the user, draws fluid through the first check valve 36 from the reservoir 14 into the suction portion 40 of the chamber 48 to prime the pumping chamber 48 by filling the pumping chamber 48 with water from the reservoir 1. Backflow of fluid through the passage 26 and the discharge portion 42 is prevented by second check valve 38. It should be recognized that pump 28 can be any desired configuration, such as a manually operated piston pump, a manually operated diaphragm or bladder pump, or a battery operated rotary, piston, or diaphragm pump.