Science: Body: Teeth: Toothbrush
Wind-up toothbrush   (+15)  [vote for, against]
Who needs electricity?

I'll leave the scope of the idea to those who know more about microelectromechanisms than I do.

Originally, I was thinking about an electric toothbrush that could be charged by twisting or cranking the bottom of the handle. I'm not sure if all the necessary electromechanics will fit in the handle, though.

So then I thought, why not a spring-powered wind-up version? Probably not enough 'oomph' for an adult (and it probably won't run for an entire brushing session), but kids would get a kick out of it.
-- phoenix, Mar 06 2002

(?) As soon as wind-up batteries are baked
I'll stop posting wind-up ideas. (But can you imagine winding up a hearing aid battery?) [phoenix, Mar 07 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Forever Flashlight http://www.excalibu.../foreverflashl.html
Shaken, not stirred … operates on the "Faraday Principle of Electromagnetic Induction" for power. [reensure, May 30 2002]

Another possible application Mommy_27s_20Little_20Helper
[normzone, Aug 28 2008]

You could probably get plenty of "oomph" with a foot-pump and a small high-pressure tank in the toothbrush handle to run a pneumatic motor in your toothbrush.
-- lumpy, Mar 06 2002

Steam power?
-- mcscotland, Mar 06 2002

Bite it to wind it up.
-- neelandan, Mar 07 2002

// I'll leave the scope of the idea to those who know... //

OK, here's how to do it. Fix the brush part of the toothbrush to a plastic rod. Rest brush part firmly against teeth. Oscillate rod back-and-forth to generate power. Use plenty of elbow grease to keep the uh, microelectronic circuits working.
-- lubbit, Mar 07 2002

I like this. Using an electric toothbrush is often not just a decision made out of laziness. Beacuse the head and sometimes individual bunches of bristles rotate you get a better clean than with a conventional brush.

If you could get a clockwork toothbrush running for 2 minutes out of a 30 second wind that doesn't break your wrist then I think that this could be a great travel toothbrush.

Sugar-free pastry.
-- st3f, Mar 07 2002

Thank you [st3f]. I was thinking more along the lines of camping trips, long flights or something you could keep in your desk at the office but...
-- phoenix, Mar 07 2002

A //30 second wind..// is pretty long. A crude one could be made from one of those wind-up hopping frog toys. Just remove the frog body and replace the legs with a soft dremel brush. Gearing in the frog-brush could be changed to provide a 10 second wind to 120 secong run time ratio. Also works winth the wind up chickens, dolphins, chattering teeth etc..
-- dag, Mar 07 2002

Couldn't we use Peter Sealy's wind up batteries for this?
-- stupop, Mar 07 2002

Use a pull string mechanism rather that a wind up one and I'd buy this.
-- dare99, Mar 07 2002

hamsters in wheels are woefully underused in applications such as this.
-- po, Mar 07 2002

Suppose--and I say just suppose--a mechanical toothbrush were mounted on a stationary bicycle of some sort so when the rider leaned forward his teeth would touch the brush. Pedalling would make the brush work either through direct gears or by generating electricity. The rider would achieve clean teeth and a good workout simultaneously.
-- wgmcg, Mar 07 2002

just spit in the receptacle thingy, please
-- po, Mar 07 2002

The famous Victor-Victola (and "wind-up" phonographs in general) used hideously large and unweildy clockwork motors to operate. Spring motors are a good idea in theory, but that's it. They simply can't provide enough torque and/or duration to be practical for most applications
-- Mr_Thundercleese, Mar 09 2002

Actually, they were powerful enough to be used as fishing motors for boats. <Like the electric trolling motors you see on them now.> They were largish, too much so to be put in a toothbrush, but it's not like they were the size of a car or anything.
-- StarChaser, Mar 09 2002

It would still be to heavy for practical use. How about using an electric trolling motor to power the brush? It would at least be quiet.
-- Mr_Thundercleese, Mar 09 2002

Whittle toothrush handle down - insert stem in Drexel Tool. Apply toothpaste - insert brush into mouth - Set RPM to 30,000.
-- thumbwax, Mar 10 2002

Explain to dentist exactly why he's now fitting you for dentures.
-- StarChaser, Mar 10 2002

Dap ip correc, Sir
-- thumbwax, Mar 10 2002

Croissant. ANYTHING which might prevent people buying disposable electric toothbrushes, which have only recently infiltrated my consciousness, gets my vote.
-- -alx, Mar 10 2002

Would it have an on off switch? How do you simultainously put toothpaste on wind it and then brush? - sounds messy.
-- Osborn, May 30 2002

Good point [Osborn]. I don't see why it couldn't have a catch mechanism to regulate the spring.
-- phoenix, May 30 2002

Hmmm - some PeterSealy scar tissue. I suppose I should delete the "wind-up batteries" link. Shame...good idea that.
-- stupop, May 30 2002

What about a flywheel powered toothbrush? Flywheels have a better energy density than spring mechanisms - you could really yank it first thing in the morning! Though the gyroscopic forces could resist any angular movement as you tried to angle it around your teeth!
-- Osborn, May 30 2002

Also, the torque reaction would probably break your wrist. Maybe it needs a tail rotor, like a helicopter. Per [mcscotland], definitely steam-powered. (I consider that steam should be the default power source for Halfbakery machines.)
-- angel, May 30 2002

Anything that winds up with a spiral spring is crossaint material. Another thing to add would be a "governor bypass" switch for those really tough spots. When the switch is pressed, the 2 minute winding is "dumped" in a few seconds. Governor bypass is also a good idea for a wind up lawn motor.
-- Amishman35, May 30 2002

So he (and you) did. Amended.
-- angel, May 31 2002

Hmmm... "In the Netherlands, Hans Schreuder has designed a prototype for a hand-wound toothbrush that runs for exactly two minutes, dentists’ recommended brushing time." l
-- hedgehog, Dec 29 2002

Why not have a clockwork toothbrush holder. Use a traditional toothbrush but when it is replaced in the holder a spring is compressed thus loading the mechanism for the next use. When the toothbrush is removed for use a trap door closes & does not open again for two minutes ( ideal brushing time ). This will encourage brushing for the recommended time as the toothbrush will not be able to be replaced before then. It will always be primed for action as replacing the toothbrush winds the clockwork mechanism. No batteries etc. foolproof.
-- liam2, Jun 06 2004

Foiled again. (+)
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 28 2008

"Foiled again."
Yes, yes, the plan I put into motion six years ago has finally come to fruition!
-- phoenix, Aug 28 2008

Or a simple twist top, transferring energy directly to the bristles.
-- johnbakersmon, Aug 28 2008

Not complex enough. Drive it with hydraulics. Of course, you'd lose the exciting taste of gear oil, but if you drove it off of the water flowing out of the faucet at least you'd have an excuse to leave it running.
-- normzone, Aug 28 2008

random, halfbakery