FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/687,064 filed Jun. 3, 2005, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein and made a part hereof.
This invention relates generally to oral hygiene, and, more particularly, to a new and improved double-sided toothbrush for cleaning one's teeth.
While all of the aforementioned prior art constructions are more than adequate for the basic purpose and function for which they have been specifically designed, they are uniformly deficient with respect to their failure to provide a simple, efficient, and practical double sided toothbrush that is specifically designed to clean the upper teeth while cleaning the bottom teeth, and also while cleaning the sides of the teeth will also clean the cheek, and while brushing the tongue will at the same time clean the roof of the mouth from food particles and bacteria buildup.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
As most toothbrush users are all too well aware, a crucial part of their dental hygiene regimen involves removing trapped food particles and plaque that buildup in the mouth. It is extremely difficult for many people to adequately and or properly clean their teeth. The double-sided toothbrush has bristles on both sides of the toothbrush increasing ones oral hygiene. Additionally, the toothbrush disclosed in this application, is advancement for cleaning teeth and maintaining superior oral hygiene. There exists a longstanding need among all people for an improved method for cleaning ones teeth. Any person able enough to brush their teeth can use the double-sided toothbrush. This is a new and improved toothbrush that facilitates engaging and cleaning not only the teeth but also the tongue, cheek, and roof of the mouth to remove food particles and plaque without causing damage. The invention is directed to overcoming one or more of the problems as set forth above.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
To overcome problems as set forth above, in one aspect of the invention a double-sided toothbrush with cleaning bristles on both sides of the toothbrush is provided. The exemplary double-sided toothbrush according to principles of the invention includes a handle and a brush head assembly operably coupled to the handle. The brush head has a front side and a back side. Primary bristles attached to the front side of the brush head assembly. Secondary bristles are attached to the back side of the brush head assembly. The average length of the primary bristles is greater than the average length of the secondary bristles. Illustratively, the average length of the secondary bristles may be 0.35 to 0.75 times the average length of the primary bristles, with the primary bristles being about 7.0 to 10.0 mm in average length. The secondary bristles may also have a different firmness than that of the primary bristles, a different hardness than that of the primary bristles, a different bristle density than that of the primary bristles, a different configuration than that of the primary bristles, and a different surface area than that of the primary bristles. Additionally the secondary bristles have an active ingredient such as an antibiotic, flavorant, anti-bacterial agent, medicant, coagulant, anti-inflammatory agent, fluoride compound, anticalculus agent, desensitizing agent, local anaesthetic agent and polishing agent.
The foregoing and other aspects, objects, features and advantages of the invention will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings, where:
FIG. 1 is a side plan view of an exemplary double-sided toothbrush according to principles of the invention; and
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of an exemplary double-sided toothbrush according to principles of the invention; and
FIG. 3 is a side plan view of another exemplary double-sided toothbrush according to principles of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a side plan view of another exemplary double-sided toothbrush according to principles of the invention.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the figures are not intended to be drawn to any particular scale. The invention is not limited to the exemplary embodiments depicted in the figures or the shapes, relative sizes, proportions or materials shown in the figures.
With reference to FIG. 1, FIG. 2, FIG. 3 and FIG. 4, wherein like numerals represent like features, an exemplary double-sided toothbrush according to principles of the invention includes a handle 100 (not fully shown) and a head assembly 130. The handle 100 may be any type of handle suitable for a toothbrush, including but not limited to straight, angled, flexible, ergonomic, ornamental or otherwise. The head assembly 130 includes a base 115 and bristles 110, 120 attached thereto. The bristles 110, 120 may be seated in the form of tufts in holes in the base and fastened by the ends inserted into the holes with anchors, adhesives or chemical or thermal bonds.
Groups of adjacent bristles form a brushing surface. Bristles comprising a brushing surface may be the same size, of varying sizes, angled or straight relative to the base 115. Additionally, the bristles may be comprised of any materials suitable for toothbrush bristles. Furthermore, the brushing surfaces may including scrubbing, cleansing or rubbing structures in addition to bristles. Indeed, the brushing surfaces are intended to represent a broad category of toothbrush brushing surfaces suitable for use in cleaning teeth.
The head assembly of the present invention includes two separate opposed brushing surfaces 125, 105—i.e., a primary brushing surface 125 and a secondary brushing surface 105. The primary brushing surface 125 includes primary bristles 120 used when brushing teeth. For convenience of reference, the side of the head assembly 130 having the primary bristles 120 is referred to herein as the front of the toothbrush head assembly 130, and the opposite side is referred to as the back. The opposite side (i.e., back) of the toothbrush head assembly 130, features secondary bristles 110 comprising a secondary brushing surface 105.
In a preferred embodiment, the average height H2 of the secondary bristles 110 is substantially less than the average height H1 of the primary bristles 120. In a particular preferred embodiment, the average height H2 of the secondary bristles 110 is approximately 0.35 to 0.75 times the average height H1 of the primary bristles 120. Illustratively, the primary bristles may be approximately 7 to 10 mm in length, while the secondary bristles may be approximately 3 to 7 mm in length. The length L of the primary 125 and secondary 105 brushing surfaces may either be the same or different.
The width W of the brushing surfaces may vary depending upon the size of the toothbrush. A narrow brush may be provided for use by children, while a wider brush may be provided for adult use. Exemplary widths range from 5 to 20 mm.
Having a primary brushing surface 125 and a secondary brushing surface 105 offers several advantages over conventional toothbrushes. One advantage is that a single toothbrush in accordance with principles of the invention may provide brushing surfaces of different hardness, stiffness, configuration and/or composition. By way of example and not limitation, the primary brushing surface 125 may provide a straight soft or medium brushing surface, while the secondary brushing surface 105 may provide a firm or hard brushing surface, with straight or angled bristles. A hard/firm brushing surface is particularly useful for cleaning stubborn stains and removing plaque buildup and food particles. A softer brushing surface or brushing surface with an alternative configuration (e.g., size, shape, contour, bristle density, arrangement or configuration) may be preferable for routine brushing and caring of sensitive dental and oral surfaces. A lower bristle density provides fewer bristles per unit area. Different materials may be utilized to provide different scrubbing, frictional and abrasive properties for the primary and secondary bristles.
Another advantage of having both a primary brushing surface 125 and a secondary brushing surface 105 is an ability to clean different oral surfaces simultaneously. The primary brushing surface 125 may be used to scrub bottom teeth while the secondary brushing surface 105 scrubs upper teeth, or vice versa. Thus, the secondary brushing surface 105 provides a means for cleaning any oral or dental surfaces that are opposite the primary brushing surface 105 and within reach.
Yet another advantage of having both a primary brushing surface 125 and a secondary brushing surface 105 is an ability to provide various brushing surface configurations to facilitate cleaning hard to reach areas. For example, inwardly angled secondary brushing surfaces 305, 310, as shown in FIG. 3, may be provided to facilitate reaching behind teeth. Alternatively, outwardly angled brushing surfaces 405, 410, or small surface area brushing surfaces 400 may be provided to clean hard to reach dental and oral areas, as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, a user may effortlessly switch from a conventional brushing surface to a specialized brushing surface adapted for cleaning hard to reach areas, all without removing the brush from his or her mouth.
An important aspect of a preferred embodiment of the present invention is a manageable size. Specifically, the total height of the brush, including the heights H1, H2 of both brushing surfaces 105, 125, plus the height of the base 115 is not too great to comfortably fit in one's mouth. The reduced height H2 of the secondary brushing surface 105 makes this possible. For many users, a brush head with a pair of opposed full-height brushing surfaces would be impossible or at least difficult to manage. Advantageously, the relatively short secondary bristles 110 do not create too great an obstacle for brushing.
In yet another aspect of an exemplary embodiment of the invention, the double-sided toothbrush may include an active substance functionally applied to the secondary (and/or primary) bristles 110, 120. The bristles may be coated or impregnated with the substance. The active substance may comprise an antibiotic, flavorant, anti-bacterial agent, medicant, coagulant, anti-inflammatory agent, fluoride compound, anticalculus agent, desensitizing agent, local anaesthetic agent and/or polishing agent. The side having the active ingredient may be used when needed. Thus, for example, bristles having a desensitizing agent may be used when a sensitive area is contacted. At other times the other side may be used to avoid over-usage or unnecessary treatment.
While the invention has been described in terms of various embodiments, implementations and examples, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the appended claims including equivalents thereof. The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Variations and modifications may be affected within the scope and spirit of the invention.