While not replacing regular brushing, the Hydroclean easily flushes unwanted particles from the gums and teeth. It is great for users who may avoid flossing due to ailments such as arthritis or disabilities preventing dexterity. The Hydroclean is also ideal for conducting oral treatment with the flow of even water pressure.
Our client was an entrepreneur who had already began the patent process around their idea for a mouth guard-type device that would deliver water directly to the base of all teeth in the mouth at once. The target market for the Hydroclean are consumers who desire the benefits of regular flossing without the difficulty of the reach required to address each tooth gap. Through the development process, additional market applications were discovered and the product is ideal for applying medical treatment to all areas of the mouth – providing better oral care.
The client provided samples of sporting mouth guards as well as dental molding trays for reference. The difficulty lay in creating a product with so many integrated waterways. We had to find a way to create tiny pathways in a soft material with production intent, as well as manage how the water was going to be delivered and then directed away from the mouth back into the sink without backing up.
Through our Strategic Design Process (SDP) we thought of ways in which this product could be developed – either by bonded silicone parts or more rigid injection molded parts. To simulate the silicone parts, special FDA-approved cast urethanes were chosen to create working prototypes. CAD models were printed in SLA, then cast and bonded together for testing and evaluation. Working breadboard models allowed us to see where the device might leak and address it before moving on to production.
In the end, we also incorporated a cup the user can fill with mouthwash for added cleaning and freshness. We had to develop a venturi that would use the water flow to draw in the mouthwash. Fluid dynamic study verifies the positive flow.
The idea of delivering streams of water directly to each tooth in this way is novel, and provides for a less challenging and less painful method for flossing. The Hydroclean is great for users who may avoid flossing due to ailments such as arthritis or disabilities preventing dexterity. It may also be of use in dental application procedures.