Title:
LIGHTED TOOTHBRUSH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An illuminated toothbrush includes a one-piece body of molded plastic construction having a handle portion and a head portion, bristles extending outwardly from the head portion of the body, one or more sources of visible light located on within the head portion of the body and configured to direct visible light toward the bristles to illuminate locations being brushed during use of the toothbrush, and a circuit contained within the body configured to be activated by a user after use of the toothbrush. When activated, the circuit operates to illuminate the illumination sources for a predetermined period of time corresponding to a desired brushing interval and then turn the illumination sources off.



Inventors:
Jansheski, John M. (Maryville, TN, US)
Application Number:
11/530060
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
09/08/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/167.1, 433/29
International Classes:
A46B9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LUEDEKA NEELY GROUP, P.C. (KNOXVILLE, TN, US)
Claims:
1. A self-contained illuminated toothbrush, comprising, a one-piece body of molded plastic construction having a handle portion and a head portion, bristles extending outwardly from the head portion of the body, one or more sources of visible light located on within the head portion of the body and configured to direct visible light toward the bristles to illuminate locations being brushed during use of the toothbrush, and a circuit including batteries and contained within the body configured to be activated by a user after use of the toothbrush, wherein when activated the circuit operates to illuminate the sources of visible light for a predetermined period of time corresponding to a desired brushing interval and then turn the sources of visible light off, wherein the handle portion is molded around the circuit including the batteries.

2. The toothbrush of claim 1, wherein the sources of visible light emit white light.

3. The toothbrush of claim 1, wherein the circuit includes a switch located on the handle portion.

Description:

FIELD

This invention relates to the field of toothbrushes. More particularly, this invention relates to a toothbrush which includes apparatus internal to the toothbrush for illuminating the site of use of the toothbrush and indicating when a desired brushing time period has elapsed.

BACKGROUND

Manual toothbrushes are convenient to use, especially for travel. However, it is often difficult for a user to clearly view areas being brushed. In addition, many people under-brush and do not brush for a sufficient period of time to effectively clean the teeth. What is desired is a toothbrush which is self-contained and includes apparatus internal to the toothbrush for illuminating the site of use of the toothbrush and to indicate when a desired brushing interval has elapsed.

SUMMARY

The above and other needs are met by an illuminated toothbrush.

In a preferred embodiment, the toothbrush includes a one-piece body of molded plastic construction having a handle portion and a head portion, bristles extending outwardly from the head portion of the body, one or more sources of visible light located on within the head portion of the body and configured to direct visible light toward the bristles to illuminate locations being brushed during use of the toothbrush, and a circuit contained within the body configured to be activated by a user after use of the toothbrush. When activated, the circuit operates to illuminate the illumination sources for a predetermined period of time corresponding to a desired brushing interval and then turn the illumination sources off.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further advantages of the invention are apparent by reference to the detailed description when considered in conjunction with the figures, which are not to scale so as to more clearly show the details, wherein like reference numbers indicate like elements throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an illuminated toothbrush according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a schematic of an electrical circuit used in the toothbrush of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the drawings, the disclosure relates to a toothbrush 10 which includes one or more illumination sources 12 configured to direct illuminating light to locations adjacent the bristles 14 of the toothbrush to illuminate the sites being brushed. An associated electrical circuit 16 operated by a switch 18 enables a user to selectively activate the illumination sources 12.

The toothbrush 10 includes a one-piece body of molded plastic construction and may be constructed by molding a handle portion 20 thereof around the circuit 16, leaving the switch 18 exposed, and a head portion 22 thereof around bases of the bristles 14 and the illumination sources 12 and associated circuit components, leaving the illumination sources partially exposed to emit light in the direction of the bristles 14. The bristles 14 are made of nylon or other conventional toothbrush bristle material.

The illumination sources 12 are preferably light emitting diodes capable of producing white (visible) light.

With reference to FIG. 2, there is shown a schematic of a preferred embodiment of the electrical circuit 16 for controlling activation of the illumination sources 12. In this regard, the circuit 16 is desirably configured such that a user, prior to use of the toothbrush 10 to brush teeth, may press the switch 18 to illuminate the illumination sources 12. The circuit 16 is configured to illuminate the illumination sources 12 for a predetermined period of time corresponding to a desired brushing interval sufficient for effectively cleaning the teeth purposes, such as one or two minutes, and then turn the illumination sources 12 off. This is advantageous to indicate to a user whether or not a sufficient brushing interval has been performed. This feature is particularly advantageous for training children in proper brushing techniques.

The circuit 16 may include a microprocessor controller 24 that enables use of the switch 18. The controller 24 activates the illumination sources 12 when the switch 18 is pressed and automatically shuts off the illumination sources 12 after a predetermined time to conserve battery power and to indicate when the desired brushing interval has elapsed. Positive and negative battery terminals 26 and 28 are provided for connection of one or more small batteries also located within the handle 20. In a preferred embodiment of the circuit 16. the resistor R1 has a value of 50 KΩ, and the resistor R2 has a value of 50Ω.

The foregoing description of preferred embodiments for this invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The embodiments are chosen and described in an effort to provide the best illustrations of the principles of the invention and its practical application, and to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the invention as determined by the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which they are fairly, legally, and equitably entitled.





 
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