Cars have been cleaned for years using high-pressure hoses that rely on water droplets moving at high speed to displace dirt. A number of people have thought of trying the same idea with cleaning teeth to remove food, bacteria and plaque from the teeth.
A SURFACE DETECTION SYSTEM FOR USE WITH A DROPLET SPRAY ORAL
This invention relates generally to droplet spray oral cleaning systems and more particularly concerns a system for determining when the spray is being directed to gum tissues or the teeth, so as to reduce the possibility of harm to gum tissues while otherwise maintaining sufficient power in the spray droplets to effectively clean teeth.
Droplet spray cleaning systems for cleaning teeth are in general known. In some cases, the spray is generated by forcing liquid under high pressures through a swirl nozzle. However, the resulting high pressure spray can cause harm, particularly to oral tissues, if not carefully controlled and monitored.
But treading the line between damaging the mouth and having no effect at all relies on the distance between the spray head and the teeth, says consumer electronics company Philips.
The company has designed a spray head with a couple of probes that project out in front of it. The user simply places these against their teeth to ensure that the sprayer head is the optimum distance away.
The company seems to be planning toothbrushes with the sprays built in. A separate Philips patent describes a sensor for a spray toothbrush that reflects a light beam off tooth enamel to measure how clean, allowing the user to be told exactly when to stop.
Another patent describes a version of the spray that can have its temperature controlled by the user.
A LIQUID DROPLET SPRAY CLEANING SYSTEM FOR TEETH WITH TEMPERATURE AND FILTER CONTROLS
This invention relates generally to liquid droplet spray systems for cleaning teeth, and more particularly concerns selected aspects of such a system, including the feature of maintaining the temperature of the liquid within a selected window and the feature of filtering the liquid so as to prevent clogging of the liquid spray nozzle.
Justin Mullins, New Scientist consultant