CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present application derives priority from provisional patent application No. 60/682,036, filed May 18, 2005.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention is a specially designed, portable, disposable toothbrush with toothpaste gel and mini breath fresheners, sponge tongue pad, and dental floss unit all in one convenient toothbrush. The disposable toothbrush is compact and lightweight, perfect for home, office, travel, or anywhere as a sanitary solution.
2. Description of the Background
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Brushing one's teeth is one of the most important parts of healthy hygiene. Design intent is to provide consumers with a convenient and hygienic means of brushing, flossing, and freshening breath while on the go. Compact and portable, this handy product would allow users to have access to proper oral hygiene at all times, that 1) has a plunger assembly for dispensing toothpaste or gel from within the hollow cylindrical handle of the toothbrush, 2) located in the base end cap, a small receptacle that stores a length of dental floss, 3) has a sponge tongue pad, firmly mounted to the head of the toothbrush for killing any germs and bacteria that could grow inside the mouth, 4) enclosed, clear, plastic, durable casing that fits firmly to the toothbrush body to protect the unit from harmful germs and bacteria when not in use, 5) designed to provide an average of 10 days use and then discarded, 6) has significant benefits and advantages, yet scalable, design fabricated of durable, lightweight, flexible, resilient materials, and 7) affordably priced, and its characteristics are not unlike existing production methodology used today to manufacture similar products. Production would be very straightforward and would have a very sizable market potential and worldwide use.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an innovative product that would provide consumers with an effective and expedient means of brushing teeth. This is a practical approach to healthy, oral hygiene and it provides a quick and sanitary solution.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a disposable toothbrush assembly with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser that can be used for the duration of a 10-12 day trip as it contains enough toothpaste/gel and dental floss for such time period.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable toothbrush assembly with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser that has a sponge tongue pad mounted to the head of the toothbrush for tongue cleaning.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable toothbrush assembly with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser with a firmly fitting, durable brush cover as an appurtenance to the toothbrush body to protect it from airborne germs and bacteria when not in use.
It is still another object to provide a disposable toothbrush assembly integral with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser that is built into the base of the toothbrush body for easy accessibility and use.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable toothbrush assembly with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser that possess a simple and scalable design.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable toothbrush assembly with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser that is fabricated of lightweight materials providing an appropriate degree of flexibility, resiliency, durability, and longevity.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide a disposable toothbrush assembly with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser that may be economically manufactured and sold to provide for widespread use and disposability.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other objects are accomplished by the present invention, which is a disposable toothbrush assembly integral with various toothpastes and gels with mini breath freshener crystals and a dental floss dispenser. The toothbrush assembly comprises a brush head assembly connected to an elongate tubular handle housing having a rotatable base attached at the distal end. The brush head assembly comprises a brush head with rows of bristles surrounded by a plurality of apertures, and a hollow stem. The rear surface of the brush head has an attached sponge pad, for tongue cleaning. The hollow stem has a channel disposed along a longitudinal axis therein for fluid communication with the apertures in the brush head on one end, and with the toothpaste/gel filled in the housing on an opposing end. A non-toxic plastic coiled stem extends up from the top center of the base and a circular platform surrounds the stem. Turning the base activates the platform to move up the stem and pressurize the toothpaste/gel in the housing and propel it up the channel and out through the apertures. A floss dispenser is conveniently housed in the base.
Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment and certain modifications thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the toothbrush assembly 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 2 is a side partial cross-sectional view of the toothbrush assembly 1.
FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective and side partial cross-sectional views, respectively of the present invention, which is a toothbrush assembly 1. The toothbrush assembly 1 comprises a brush head assembly 2 connected to an elongate tubular handle housing 3 having a rotatable base 4 attached at the distal end. The brush head assembly 2 comprises a brush head 5 having rows of bristles 6 surrounded by a plurality of apertures 7, and hollow stem 8 having a channel 9 formed therein. The channel 9 is disposed along a longitudinal axis of the stem 8. The bristles 6 are made of fiber and are full, thick, and criss-crossed with beveled edges to facilitate effective and comfortable teeth cleaning. The bristles 6 may be of any length that is appropriate for toothbrush bristles 6 (they range approximately 1-1½ cm in length). Bristles 6 of soft, medium, or hard configurations may be utilized. One end of the channel 9 is in fluid communication with the apertures 7 in the brush head 5, and an opposing end is in fluid communication with the interior of the handle housing 3. Additionally, the rear surface of the brush head 5 has an attached sponge pad 11, for tongue cleaning. The pad 11 provides additional means of ridding one's mouth of unwanted germs. The sponge pad 11 can be made of closed cell foam or other sponge-like material that will absorb crust, mucus, and bacteria from a user's tongue. Tongue cleaning not only promotes good health and hygiene but also allows for fresh breath and restored taste buds. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends tongue cleaning for better oral health.
One end of the channel 9 of the brush head 5 is in fluid communication with the toothpaste/gel in the housing 3. The housing 3 is filled with approximately a 10-12 day supply of toothpaste/gel (assuming approximately a pea-sized amount per brushing). The handle housing 3 is transparent to provide an indication of the amount of toothpaste/gel left therein, and is further equipped with spaced rubberized annular ribs 10 to provide a sure hand-grip. The ribs 10 are preferably located on the side of the housing 3 where the bristles 6 are located.
Any number of different types of toothpaste/gel may be stored and dispensed from the housing 3 to suit the needs/wants of the user, including: extra whitening, baking soda and peroxide, anti-cavity fluoride, and sensitive formula. Also, the gel preferably comprises mini mint breath freshener crystals to provide quick, fresh breath after using the toothbrush assembly 1. Additionally, a number of flavors may be infused into the paste/gel to suit every individual taste. These flavors may include: vanilla frost, apple cinnamon, spearmint, peach, sunburst orange flavor, very berry, tropical blend, bubble gum, and grape.
The elongate tubular handle housing 3 has a rotatable base 4 mounted at the distal end thereof. The top of the base 4 is defined by a radial shoulder 19 defining a plateau, with a spirally-defined coil stem 12 protruding upward from the center. The stem 12 extends upwards in the housing 3 until it sits beneath an opening of the channel 9. A circular platform 13 sits initially atop the base 4, and platform 13 has an aperture 20 in the center to allow the stem 12 to pass through. The platform 13 rests at the bottom of the coiled stem 12 until the base 4 is turned, therein rotating the coil stem 12 as a worm gear, at which time the platform 13 is urged upward along the coiled stem 13. The worm-gear action derives from engagement of the platform 13 and the coiled stem 12, the coiling of the stem 12 permitting rotational control of the base 4 in the course of the gear-drive engagement.
Toothpaste/gel that is filled in the housing 3 surrounds the stem 12 and platform 13. As the base 4 is turned, the platform 13 moves up the coiled stem 12, and thereby pressurizes the toothpaste/gel, pushing it up the housing 3, through the channel 9, and out of the apertures 7 near the bristles 6 on the brush head 5. One full twist (360 degrees) of the base 4 actuates the platform 13 such that it pressurizes the toothpaste/gel and propels a volume of it needed for a single brushing (a pea-sized amount) upward and out through the apertures 7. The user may further twist the base 4 around in increments of 360 degrees to dispense additional paste/gel if desired. After turning the base 4, the platform 13 stays at the height that it has moved up the coil 12. Turning the base 4 further will cause the platform 13 to move further up the coil 12 until the coil 12 reaches the top of the housing 3 and all of the toothpaste/gel held therein is dispensed.
The spiral coil stem 12 is approximately ⅓ inch in diameter and approximately 3.5 inches in length. The diameter of the aperture 20 in the circular platform 13 is slightly greater than the diameter of the stem 12. This allows the platform 13 to fit closely around the stem 12 and yet allow the platform 13 to move up the coiled stem 12 when the base 4 is rotated. The diameter of the platform 13 is slightly less than the diameter of the housing 3 such that the platform 13 abuts the sides of the housing 3 as the platform 13 pushes the paste/gel up through the housing 3.
The distal end of the housing 3 includes a bottom wall 24 slightly recessed from a rim 25, which provides a bearing surface against radial shoulder 19 of the base 4. The center of the wall 24 is interrupted by an opening 27. The stem 12 and platform 13 surrounding it are both inserted through the opening 27 when connecting the housing 3 and base 4 together.
The base 4 has a compartment 14 defined at the lower end thereof for housing a floss dispenser 15. A panel 21 covers the compartment 14. The center portion of the panel 21 is preferably formed of clear plastic while the remaining portion of the panel 21 is opaque plastic. The floss dispenser 15 comprises a spool 16 of dental floss wound around it, a spindle 17, and an aperture 18 in the base 4. The spool 16 is rotatably mounted on the spindle 17, which extends vertically and is attached to both ends of the compartment 14 in the base 4. The center portion of the panel 21 allows for viewing of the spool 16 and spindle 17. Directly next to the distal end of the spindle 17 is an aperture 18 through which the floss 17 is dispensed. A free end of the floss extends out through the aperture 18 to the exterior of the base 4. The aperture 18 has a sharp rim so that a user may pull the desired length of floss out and then over the rim to cut it. Any type and flavor of dental floss may be utilized include minted wax floss. The toothbrush assembly 1 comprises a 10-12 day supply of floss (approximately 20′).
The housing 3 may be injection molded with a channel 9 in the brush head 5 and an opening 27 in the distal end for attachment of the base 4. The base 4, coiled stem 12, and platform 13 can also be injection molded. The toothpaste/gel is filled into the housing 3 through the opening 27 in the distal end. The stem 12 and surrounding platform 13 are both inserted through the opening 27 when connecting the housing 3 and base 4 together. The base 4 and housing 3 are connected via an interference fit.
The brush assembly 1 may be packaged to firmly fit within a durable brush cover 30, which serves to protect the assembly 1 from airborne germs and bacteria when not in use. The brush cover 30 can be molded. The brush assembly 1 and cover 30 can be constructed of polymeric material, and may be opaque, clear, or translucent. Lettering may be printed onto the housing 3 and/or cover 30 to provide commercially identifying information and visually enhance the appearance. The cover 30 may be imprinted with specific graphics and/or text message indicia to convey source of goods. Alternatively the graphics/text message indicia may be flat roll died or embossed.
The entire toothbrush assembly measures approximately 7.5 inches in length and 1¼ inch in width.
The lightweight, compact toothbrush assembly 1 provides users with a toothbrush, toothpaste/gel with breath freshener, and dental floss all in one convenient unit. The assembly 1 is easy to use and makes oral hygiene during travel or at home quicker and more efficient. The assembly 1 can be manufactured in a variety of colors to suit any individual's taste. Additionally, the assembly 1 may be discarded when either the toothbrush/gel and/or the floss are depleted.
The above described disposable toothbrush assembly 1 is preferably fabricated of polyethylene. The plastic spiral coil and all other components are non-toxic. One skilled in the art will understand that any materials possessing an appropriate amount of flexibility, resiliency, and durability may be used for the toothbrush assembly 1 and brush cover 30.
As is evident from the above disclosure, the device 1 of the present invention possesses a simple, yet scalable design that may be economically manufactured and sold to provide for widespread use. The device 1 utilizes lightweight materials chosen to provide the appropriate degree of flexibility, resiliency, durability, longevity required by the nature of its usage, and yet its cost is minimal to allow for inexpensive manufacturing and ready disposal.
Having now fully set forth the preferred embodiments and certain modifications of the concept underlying the present invention, various other embodiments as well as certain variations and modifications of the embodiments herein shown and described will obviously occur to those skilled in the art upon becoming familiar with said underlying concept. It is to be understood, therefore, that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically set forth in the appended claims.