Science: Body: Teeth: Toothbrush
Water Powered Toothbrush   (+3, -1)  [vote for, against]
Uses waterflow from tap to power brush.

[I'm not sure if I should thank phoenix or apologize, since it was the "wind-up toothbrush" idea and commentary that got me to think of this]

Household water is under pressure, which is why it flows so nicely from your taps (if you keep the bill paid). This toothbrush has a hose that attaches to your faucet. After adjusting the hot and cold taps for the right temperature, you press a button on the toothbrush to start the bristles turning. With the flow of water, you'll have to spit frequently (like when using a WaterPik or similar device). And the flow rate can be engineered to be quite minimal, so we won't have to worry about wasting water.

This might open up a market for a new pakaging concept for toothpaste. Well, it won't really be paste anymore. Instead, it would be a jug of concentrated solution, that's attached to the water line between faucet and toothbrush, to mix in just the right amount of toothgoo with the water, for a constant delivery. Yeah, it would work just like those home garden hose fertilizer sprayer thingies.

No, I probably wouldn't buy one. But it would make for an entertaining infomercial.
-- quarterbaker, Mar 07 2002

Baked in 1914 http://www.patented...ppl/water_brush.htm
General purpose water powered brush. [lubbit, Mar 08 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Baked here too
Scroll about half way down. [lubbit, Mar 08 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Yes, you'd have to spit a lot. A heck of a lot.  Instead I would add a return line back down to the sink, bundled with the supply line but diverging at the end so that it can be directed down the drain.  You could maybe have a little button that you pressed that would bleed a little water off for rinsing but I would want most of the water to return from whence it came.

Question: would the 40-60psi be sufficient?
-- bristolz, Mar 07 2002

qb - always researches his ideas thoroughly and tests them 1st hand on me (no 1 guinea pig) : result - thgrhrhhgrggsthtshgss cough cough thrip thrip eeeccccchhh.... goodness my teeth feel clean and fresh...
-- po, Mar 07 2002

You're welcome (no apolgies, please - this is the HB). No threat to my idea (nor mine to yours) since mine is ultimately portable.

You'd definitely want a return line as [bristolz] said. And brace yourself if the Eco-Terrorists show up for wasting water.

I think the mains pressure would be *more* than enough.
-- phoenix, Mar 07 2002

It depends on whether part of the water is used for cleaning, as to whether you'd need a return line. If some was, you'd need some sort of suction device to remove it.

Would be a waste of water, though...But not a bad idea...

Bristolz, the pressure should be sufficient. I've seen water toys that fling fairly heavy things around <A foam rubber sunflower that gets pushed by the water pressure and flails back and forth, spraying water everywhere...>
-- StarChaser, Mar 08 2002

I'm having trouble visuali(s)zing how the return line works. I still see mass amounts of water drooling out of your mouth when using this. Perhaps some form of chin-mounted collection basin would work?
-- waugsqueke, Mar 08 2002

Water powered brushes are baked. Water powered *tooth* brushes... hmmm, I guess they come under the brush category too. Baked.
-- lubbit, Mar 08 2002

[waugsqueke] The return line is from the handle / motor, not the mouth.
-- phoenix, Mar 08 2002

I don't see a need for a return line. Granted, if you had a closed-loop hydroturbine, the water would not be contaminated and could be used for some other purpose (rather than being wasted down the drain). The experience of having fluid flowing out of your mouth, while you're using an instrument in your mouth, is admittedly uncomfortable.

But only at first. WaterPik devices require the user to acclimate to the sensation - and they pump at a greater flow rate than this would require (a WaterPik will pump a liter in about 20-30 seconds). I'm inclined to call this issue a marketing challenge, rather than a roadblock.

The marketing edge would therefore be to emphasize the cleanliness and refreshing feeling that comes from a full rinse. The brush can even be designed to output the water in pulsating jets to massage the gums (hey, just like a WaterPik). So those people already comfortable with water jet oral hygiene systems will be amenable to this device, as it will allow them to perform brushing and water jetting in one operation.

And, as mentioned in my original post, the brush would create a new consumable product in the in-line cleansing goop.

Alternately, this could be designed to operate in the shower. Run the toothbrush off the shower head's water flow, or on its own pipe. Seems shaving in the shower is a successful product marketing notion. And, with the user already in the shower, the sensitivity about oral expurgation of fluid would be diminished.

Oh, and po: happy to provide you with a bit of oral pleasure. You may spit now.
-- quarterbaker, Mar 08 2002

Seems like a lot of hassle connecting and unconnecting a toothbrush to a faucet.

Most indoor faucets aren't even threaded for connection.
-- lumpy, Mar 08 2002

Many of them are threaded, just that the threads are on the inside surface, rather than the outside, of the faucet. A small aerator screen is often fitted to the threads. A replacement aerator with an attractive quick fitting could be attached to the faucet (semi) permanently, making water line installation a 1 second ordeal.
-- bristolz, Mar 08 2002

random, halfbakery