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Patentsuche

  1. Erweiterte Patentsuche
VeröffentlichungsnummerUS20070209953 A1
PublikationstypAnmeldung
AnmeldenummerUS 11/690,679
Veröffentlichungsdatum13. Sept. 2007
Eingetragen23. März 2007
Prioritätsdatum31. März 2006
Auch veröffentlicht unterCA2583049A1
Veröffentlichungsnummer11690679, 690679, US 2007/0209953 A1, US 2007/209953 A1, US 20070209953 A1, US 20070209953A1, US 2007209953 A1, US 2007209953A1, US-A1-20070209953, US-A1-2007209953, US2007/0209953A1, US2007/209953A1, US20070209953 A1, US20070209953A1, US2007209953 A1, US2007209953A1
ErfinderFrank Conte, Eric Ferry, Neal Malani
Ursprünglich BevollmächtigterFrank Conte
Zitat exportierenBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Externe Links: USPTO, USPTO-Zuordnung, Espacenet
Dental Floss Dispensing Device
US 20070209953 A1
Zusammenfassung
A dental floss dispensing device comprises a body and a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly, the body has a cavity therein, the cavity has a longitudinal axis. The assembly is disposed at least partially within the cavity of the body and is movable along the longitudinal axis of the cavity. The assembly is selectively positionable between at least a storage position where the dispenser is at least partially within the cavity of the body and an accessible position where the dispenser is at least partially outside the cavity of the body. The floss cutter is accessible when the assembly is in the accessible position and is concealed when the assembly is in the storage position. When the assembly is in the storage position the dispenser is concealed and no dental floss extends outside of the device. The assembly is selectively positionable between the accessible position and the storage position by rotating the body relative to the dental floss dispenser.
Bilder(6)
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Ansprüche(20)
What is claimed is:
1. A dental floss dispensing device comprising:
a body, the body having an outer surface, an inner surface and a cavity therein, the cavity having a longitudinal axis; and
a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly, the assembly being disposed at least partially within the cavity of the body and being movable along the longitudinal axis of the cavity and being selectively longitudinally positionable between at least a storage position wherein the assembly is at least partially within the cavity of the body and an accessible position where the assembly is at least partially outside the cavity of the body, the dental floss dispenser and the floss cutter being accessible when the assembly is in the accessible position and being concealed when the assembly is in the storage position.
2. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 1, wherein the assembly is operatively connected to the body and is positioned, between at least the storage position and the accessible position, by rotation of the body relative to the assembly.
3. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 2, further comprising:
a positioning mechanism for selectively positioning the assembly between at least the storage position and the accessible position, the mechanism including at least one engagement tab, a guide cylinder including at least one longitudinally extending guide slot therein receiving the tab, and at least one helical groove receiving the tab.
4. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 3, wherein the at least one engagement tab protrudes outwardly from the assembly and wherein the at least one helical groove is located on the inner surface of the body.
5. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 4, wherein
the guide cylinder is intermediate the assembly and the body, and
the at least one engagement tab simultaneously
is received within and extends through the guide slot of the guide cylinder, and
is received within the helical groove of the body
whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a first direction causes the at least one engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the at least one helical groove and longitudinally along the at least one guide slot of the guide cylinder, thereby moving the assembly towards the accessible position, and
whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a second direction, opposite to the first direction, causes the at least one engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the at least one helical groove and longitudinally along the at least one guide slot of the guide cylinder, thereby moving the assembly towards the storage position.
6. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 1, wherein when the assembly is in the storage position, no dental floss extends outside of the dispensing device.
7. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 3, wherein:
the at least one engagement tab is a first engagement tab and a second engagement tab, each tab protruding outwardly from the assembly;
the at least one longitudinally-extending guide slot is a first longitudinally-extending guide slot and a second longitudinally-extending guide slot;
the at least one helical groove is a first helical grove and a second helical grove, each helical groove being located on the inner surface of the body;
the guide cylinder is intermediate the assembly and the body; and
the first engagement tab simultaneously
is received within and extends through the first guide slot of the guide cylinder, and
is received within the first helical groove of the body
the second engagement tab simultaneously
is received within and extends through the second guide slot of the guide cylinder, and
is received within the second helical groove of the body
whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a first direction causes
the first engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the first helical groove and longitudinally along the first guide slot of the guide cylinder, and
the second engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the second helical groove and longitudinally along the second guide slot of the guide cylinder, and
thereby moving the assembly towards the accessible position; and
whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a second direction, opposite to the first direction, causes
the first engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the first helical groove and longitudinally along the first guide slot of the guide cylinder, and
the second engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the second helical groove and longitudinally along the second guide slot of the guide cylinder, and
thereby moving the assembly towards the storage position.
8. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 7, wherein the assembly is completely removable from the body.
9. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 8, wherein at least one of the engagement tabs is movable to selectively:
disengage the tab from its helical groove and from its guide slot, allowing the assembly to be disengaged from the body; and
engage the tab into its helical groove through its guide slot, allowing the assembly to be engaged with the body.
10. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 1, wherein the assembly includes a recess constructed and arranged to allow a user to pinch dental floss extending across the recess.
11. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 10, wherein the recess is positioned in front of a hole from which dental floss is dispensed.
12. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 11, wherein the assembly includes an interior cavity containing a dental floss spindle providing dental floss to the hole from which the floss is dispensed.
13. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 10, wherein the assembly includes an interior cavity containing a dental floss spindle and a tunnel extending from the cavity for allowing dental floss to be dispensed.
14. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 13, wherein the assembly includes a recess constructed and arranged to allow a user to pinch dental floss extending from the tunnel across the recess.
15. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 1, wherein the assembly includes a mirror.
16. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 15, wherein the mirror is located on an opposite side of the assembly from the dental floss dispenser.
17. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 12, wherein the floss cutter is positioned so as to be substantially longitudinally aligned with the hole.
18. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 13, wherein the floss cutter is positioned so as to be substantially longitudinally aligned with the tunnel.
19. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 1, further including a clip attached to the body.
20. The dental floss dispensing device of claim 1, wherein, the assembly is fully within the cavity of the body when in the storage position.
Beschreibung
    CROSS-REFERENCE
  • [0001]
    The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Nos. 60/744,041 filed on Mar. 31, 2006 and 60/887,884 filed on Feb. 2, 2007. The entirety of both of these applications is incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to a dental floss dispensing device, and more particularly to a dental floss dispensing device having a dental floss dispenser that is selectively positionable in at least a storage position and an accessible position.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Dental hygiene is an important part of everyday life. It requires regular and frequent attention to one's teeth. Proper dental hygiene is performed using a variety of tools, including dental floss. The regular use of dental floss is recommended by dentists and dental hygienists in order to clean in between the teeth to remove food remnants and bacteria. Dental floss is commonly supplied in portable dispensers that contain a dental floss spindle. Known prior art devices include U.S. Pat. No. 5,762,079; U.S. Pat. No. 6,997,191; U.S. Pat. No. 6,766,809. While these devises may fulfill their respective particular objectives, they are still not optimal. In particular many people still do not floss every day. Those that do floss rarely carry around dental floss dispensers with them. Most people simply floss at home. There is therefore a need in the art for an improved portable dental floss dispenser.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a dental floss dispenser that is selectively positionable between a storage position and an accessible position. The storage position preferably completely conceals the dental floss dispenser thereby storing the dental floss dispenser (making it inaccessible to the user), whereas the accessible position gives the user access to the dental floss dispenser, and thus the dental floss.
  • [0005]
    Another objective of the present invention is to provide a floss cutter positioned adjacent the dental floss dispenser, to form a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly. As such, the floss cutter is accessible when the dispenser is in the accessible position and concealed when the dispenser is in the storage position. Therefore, when the dispenser is in the accessible position, the user can pull a strand of floss until a desired length and then cut off the strand of floss by using the floss cutter. Conversely, when the dispenser is in the storage position, the floss cutter is concealed (and is inaccessible) thereby reducing the risk of injury when the dental floss dispenser is not being used.
  • [0006]
    A further objective of the present invention is to provide a dental floss dispenser comprising a body and a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly. The assembly is selectively positionable between the accessible position and the storage position by rotating the body relative to the assembly, thereby providing a simple and convenient way of using the dental floss dispensing device.
  • [0007]
    An additional objective of the present invention is to provide a dental floss dispensing device wherein the dental floss dispenser is completely removable from the body of the dental floss dispensing device thereby facilitating the replacement of the dental floss spindle. In such a case, the user can either replace the whole dental floss dispensing dispenser with a new dental floss dispenser or can only replace the dental floss spindle itself.
  • [0008]
    A further objective of the present invention is to provide a dental floss dispensing device wherein a recess is positioned on the dental floss dispenser. The recess is suitable for allowing the user to pinch dental floss.
  • [0009]
    Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, in one aspect there is provided a dental floss dispensing device comprising: a body, the body having an outer surface, an inner surface and a cavity therein, the cavity having a longitudinal axis; and a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly, the assembly being disposed at least partially within the cavity of the body and being movable along the longitudinal axis of the cavity and being selectively longitudinally positionable between at least a storage position wherein the assembly is at least partially within the cavity of the body and an accessible position where the assembly is at least partially outside the cavity of the body, the dental floss dispenser and the floss cutter being accessible when the assembly is in the accessible position and being concealed when the assembly is in the storage position. It is preferred that the assembly be fully within the cavity of the body, and that all dental floss is completely retained therein (i.e. no strands of dental floss are outside of the body), when the assembly is in storage position.
  • [0010]
    Preferably, the assembly is operatively connected to the body and is positioned, at least between the storage position and the accessible position, by rotation of the body relative to the assembly.
  • [0011]
    It is also preferred that there be a positioning mechanism for selectively positioning the assembly between at least the storage position and the accessible position, the mechanism including at least one engagement tab, a guide cylinder including at least one longitudinally extending guide slot therein receiving the tab, and at least one helical groove receiving the tab. (In the context of the present invention, the “guide cylinder” is merely so called because of the presence of the guide slot.)
  • [0012]
    The at least one engagement tab preferably protrudes outwardly from the assembly and the at least one helical groove preferably is located on the inner surface of the body.
  • [0013]
    It is also preferred that the guide cylinder be intermediate the assembly and the body, and the at least one engagement tab simultaneously be received within and extend through the guide slot of the guide cylinder, and be received within the helical groove of the body, whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a first direction causes the at least one engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the at least one helical groove and longitudinally along the at least one guide slot of the guide cylinder, thereby moving the assembly towards the accessible position, and whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a second direction, opposite to the first direction, causes the at least one engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the at least one helical groove and longitudinally along the at least one guide slot of the guide cylinder, thereby moving the assembly towards the storage position.
  • [0014]
    It is also highly preferred that the at least one engagement tab be a first engagement tab and a second engagement tab, each tab protruding outwardly from the assembly; the at least one longitudinally-extending guide slot be a first longitudinally-extending guide slot and a second longitudinally-extending guide slot; the at least one helical groove be a first helical grove and a second helical grove, each helical groove being located on the inner surface of the body; the guide cylinder be intermediate the assembly and the body; and the first engagement tab simultaneously be received within and extend through the first guide slot of the guide cylinder, and be received within the first helical groove of the body the second engagement tab simultaneously be received within and extend through the second guide slot of the guide cylinder, and be received within the second helical groove of the body whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a first direction causes the first engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the first helical groove and longitudinally along the first guide slot of the guide cylinder, and the second engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the second helical groove and longitudinally along the second guide slot of the guide cylinder, and thereby moving the assembly towards the accessible position; and whereby rotational movement of the body relative to the assembly in a second direction, opposite to the first direction, causes the first engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the first helical groove and longitudinally along the first guide slot of the guide cylinder, and the second engagement tab to move simultaneously helically along the second helical groove and longitudinally along the second guide slot of the guide cylinder, and thereby moving the assembly towards the storage position.
  • [0015]
    It is preferred that the assembly be completely removable from the body.
  • [0016]
    It is also preferred that at least one of the engagement tabs be movable to selectively: disengage the tab from its helical groove and from its guide slot, allowing the assembly to be disengaged and removed from the body; and engage the tab into its helical groove through its guide slot, allowing the assembly to be engaged with the body.
  • [0017]
    The assembly preferably includes a recess constructed and arranged to allow a user to pinch dental floss extending across the recess. The recess may be positioned in front of a hole from which dental floss is dispensed, and the cutter may be positioned so as to be substantially longitudinally aligned with the hole.
  • [0018]
    It is highly preferred that the assembly include an interior cavity containing a dental floss spindle providing dental floss to the hole from which the floss is dispensed.
  • [0019]
    Alternatively, the assembly may include an interior cavity containing a dental floss spindle and a tunnel extending from the cavity for allowing dental floss to be dispensed. In such cases, the assembly may include a recess constructed and arranged to allow a user to pinch dental floss extending from the tunnel across the recess. Also, the cutter may be positioned so as to be substantially longitudinally aligned with the tunnel.
  • [0020]
    It is also preferred that the assembly include a mirror, and that the mirror be located on an opposite side of the assembly from the dental floss dispenser.
  • [0021]
    It is preferred that a clip be attached to the body, to attach keys or a key chain, for example.
  • [0022]
    Embodiments of the present invention each have at least one of the above-mentioned objects and/or aspects, but do not necessarily have all of them. It should be understood that some aspects of the present invention that have resulted from attaining the above-mentioned objects may not satisfy these objects and/or may satisfy other objects not specifically recited herein.
  • [0023]
    Additional and/or alternative features, aspects, and advantages of the embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0024]
    For a better understanding of the present invention, as well as other aspects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following description which is to be used in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, where:
  • [0025]
    FIG. 1 is a rear-left side perspective view of a dental floss dispensing device in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention wherein a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly is in an accessible position;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 2 is a front-left side perspective view of the dental floss dispensing device of FIG. 1, wherein the dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly is in a storage position;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 3 is an exploded rear-left perspective view of the dental floss dispensing device of FIG. 1;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 4 is a left elevation view of the dental floss dispensing device as shown in FIG. 1;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the dental floss dispensing device as shown in FIG. 4 taken along the line B-B;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 6 is a left elevation view of a body of the dental floss dispensing device of FIG. 1;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the body of the dental floss dispensing device as shown in FIG. 6 taken along the line B-B (the line B-B of FIG. 6 being unrelated to the line B-B of FIG. 4);
  • [0032]
    FIG. 8 is left elevation view of a guide cylinder of the dental floss dispensing device of FIG. 1;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the guide cylinder of the dental floss dispensing device as shown in FIG. 8 taken along the line A-A;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 10 is a right elevation view of the guide cylinder of the dental floss dispensing device as shown in FIG. 8; and
  • [0035]
    FIG. 11 is bottom-left perspective view of the dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly of the dental floss dispensing device of FIG. 1 depicted in its opened position, wherein the dental floss spindle is apparent.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0036]
    Referring to the drawings and initially to FIGS. 1 and 3-5, a dental floss dispensing device in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a body 2 and a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly 5 having dental floss dispenser 4 and an adjacent a floss cutter 6. The body 2 has an outer surface 8, an inner surface 10 (see FIG. 3) and a cavity 12 (see FIG. 3) therein, the cavity 12 having a longitudinal axis 14 (see FIG. 3). The assembly 5 is disposed partially within the cavity 12 of the body 2 and is movable along the longitudinal axis 14 of the cavity 12, the assembly 5 is selectively positionable between a storage position (see FIG. 2) where the assembly 5 is at least partially (and in this embodiment fully) within the cavity 12 of the body 2 and an accessible position (see FIG. 1) where the assembly 5 is partially outside the cavity 12 of the body 2 rendering accessible both the dental floss dispenser 4 and the floss cutter 6 to the user. Accordingly, the floss cutter 6 and the dispenser 4 are accessible when the assembly 5 is in the accessible position (see FIG. 1) and concealed when the assembly 5 is in the storage position (see FIG. 2).
  • [0037]
    As was previously described, the body 2 of the dental floss dispensing device is formed by a cylinder having an outer surface 8 and an inner surface 10. In accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention the inner surface 10 of the body 2 comprises a first helical groove 22 and a second helical groove 30, as best shown on FIG. 7. The body 2 is made of injection-molded ABS plastic, but could also be any other suitable plastic material such as polystrene, polycarbonate, polyproplene, or a metal (e.g. die-cast zinc).
  • [0038]
    Although two grooves are disclosed in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a body including only one groove is within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0039]
    As shown on FIGS. 3 and 8-10, a guide cylinder 18 is positioned, at least partially, within the cavity 12 of the body 2 of the dental floss dispensing device, between the inner surface 10 of the body 2 and the dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly 5. The guide cylinder 18 is formed by a cylinder, opened at the one end, and having a bottom at the other end. In addition, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the guide cylinder 18 includes a protruding ring that is visible when the guide cylinder 18, the body 2, dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly 5 and an hemispherical end portion 48 of the dental floss dispensing device are assembled together.
  • [0040]
    Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 10, the guide cylinder 18 includes a first guide slot 20 and a second guide slot 32 (also described as top and bottom longitudinal tracks in the U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/744,041, from which the present application claims priority). The first guide slot 20 and the second guide slot 32 limit the dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly 5 to move upward or downward only with respect to the body as the engagement tabs 16 and 28 (described hereinbelow) when received within the guide slots 20 and 32 will prevent any movement other than that allowed by the guide slots 20 and 32. In addition, the first guide slot 20 and the second guide slot 32 include locking track portions at their ends. The locking track portions prevent push back effects resulting from a force applied on the dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly 5 with respect to the body 2 when the assembly 5 is in its accessible position.
  • [0041]
    Further, the bottom of the guide cylinder 18 includes two looped fasteners, each one having a tubular shape, to which an attachment clip 44 is installed. Although, two guide slots are disclosed in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a guide cylinder including only one guide slot is within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0042]
    The guide cylinder 18 is made of injection-molded polypropelene but could also be made any other suitable material such as a plastic material such as ABS, POM, polystrene, or polypropelene.
  • [0043]
    The dental floss dispensing device further comprises a dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly 5, shown in FIGS. 1, 3-5 and 11. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the dental floss dispenser and floss cutter assembly 5 is formed from a first portion 24 and a second portion 26 (also described as top and bottom portions in the U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/744,041, from which the present application claims priority). The first portion 24 and the second portion 26, when assembled together, form a cylindrical shape. Further, the first portion 24 and the second portion 26 enclose a floss spindle 40. The floss spindle 40 is free to rotate within the assembly 5. A line of dental floss 36 extends from the floss spindle 40 located inside the assembly 5 to the outside of the dispenser 4 through a hole 38 positioned on the dispenser 4 of the assembly 5.
  • [0044]
    In an alternative embodiment, the hole 38 may be replaced by a tunnel, the tunnel extending from the inside of the assembly 5 to the outside of the assembly 5, thereby guiding the line of dental floss 36 from the inside of the assembly to the outside of the assembly.
  • [0045]
    In addition, the assembly 5 has a recess 34, suitable for allowing a user to pinch dental floss 36 extending from the hole 38 associated with the dispenser 4, in front of the hole 38. The floss cutter 6 is positioned on the top of the first portion 24, substantially in line with the hole 38. Therefore, the line of dental floss 36 extending to the outside of the dispenser 4 through the hole 38 is held in place by the floss cutter 6, above the recess 34 (see FIG. 5).
  • [0046]
    Further, the assembly 5 includes a first engagement tab 16 and a second engagement tab 28 that protrude outwardly from the outer surface of the first portion 24 and the outer surface of the second portion 26, respectively. The second engagement tab 28 is movable with respect to the assembly 5 by being located on a retractable portion of the second portion 26, allowing the second engagement tab 28 to retract into the assembly 5. The retractable portion is provided, in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, by two incisions on the second portion 26 on both sides of the second engagement tab 28. The retractable portion also includes a grooved portion in order to allow a user to easily apply a force on the retractable portion thereby causing the second engagement tab 28 to retract into the assembly 5.
  • [0047]
    Referring now to FIG. 11, in the preferred embodiment the assembly 5 is made of polypropelene but could also be made of any other suitable material such as a plastic material such as ABS, POM, polystrene, or polypropelene. Further, the first portion 24 and the second portion 26 are parts of the same piece and are linked at their bottom parts by a flexible portion of material. Consequently, the first portion 24 and the second portion 26 can be bent with respect to the axis defined by the flexible portion of material, thereby enclosing the floss spindle 40 between the first portion 24 and the second portion 26.
  • [0048]
    In addition, the assembly 5 has a second recess positioned on the second portion 26 (opposite the dispenser 4) and a mirror 42 is snapped-on the second recess. The assembly 5 further has a hemispherical cap 46 fixed to one of its ends.
  • [0049]
    The dental floss dispensing device further comprises a hemispherical end portion 48 fixed to the guide cylinder 18. The hemispherical end portion 48 has an opening located in its center, allowing a clip 44 to be fixed to the two looped fasteners of the guide cylinder 18, through its opening. In other embodiments, the hemispherical end portion 48 can be replaced or augmented by a functional element such as a pen, laser pointer, lipstick dispenser or a knife.
  • [0050]
    In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the first guide slot 20 and the second guide slot 32 of the guide cylinder 18, the first helical groove 22 and the second helical groove 30 of the body 2, the first engagement tab 16 and the second engagement tab 28 of the assembly 5, when assembled together, form a positioning mechanism. The positioning mechanism selectively positions the assembly 5 between the storage position and the accessible position through rotation of the body 2 relative to the assembly 5.
  • [0051]
    In operation, the assembly 5, the body 2, the guide cylinder 18, the hemispherical end portion 48 and the clip 44 are assembled together. The first engagement tab 16 of the assembly 5 engages the first helical groove 22 of the body 2 through the first guide slot 20 of the guide cylinder 18. The second engagement tab 28 of the assembly 5 engages the second helical groove 30 of the body 2 through the second guide slot 32 of the guide cylinder 18. Thus, when a user rotates the body 2 relative to the assembly 5 in a first direction, the first engagement tab 16 and the second engagement tab 28 move helically along the first helical groove 22 and the second helical groove 30 and longitudinally along the first guide slot 20 and the second guide slot 32, respectively, thereby moving the assembly 5 towards the accessible position. The combined movements cause the assembly 5 to move longitudinally upwards with respect to the body 2, but not rotate with respect thereto. Conversely, when the user rotates the body 2 relative to the assembly 5 in a second direction, opposite to the first direction, the first engagement tab 16 and the second engagement tab 28 move helically along the first helical groove 22 and the second helical groove 30 and longitudinally along the first guide slot 20 and the second guide slot 32, respectively, thereby moving the assembly towards the storage position. The combined movements cause the assembly 5 to move longitudinally downwards with respect to the body 2, but not rotate with respect thereto.
  • [0052]
    In practice, the user rotates the body 2 relative to the assembly 5 by holding the hemispherical end portion 48 with one hand and by rotating the body 2 with the other hand. When the user moves the assembly 5 towards the accessible position, the assembly 5 protrudes partially outside the cavity 12 of the body 2 exposing at least the dental floss dispenser 4 and the floss cutter 6. The user then pinches the line of dental floss 36 above the recess 34 and pulls the dental floss 36 until a desired length of dental floss has been extracted from the dispenser 4. Next, the user cuts off a piece of dental floss of the desired length by using the floss cutter 6. When the user moves the assembly 5 towards the storage position, the dispenser 4 and cutter 6 retract within the cavity 12 of the body 2 thereby storing the dental floss and concealing the floss cutter 6. Therefore, the floss cutter 6 is stored out of sight when the dispenser 4 is in its storage position, reducing the risk of injury resulting from an accidental contact with the floss cutter 6 when the dental floss dispensing device is unused.
  • [0053]
    In addition, the assembly 5 is completely removable from the body 2 of the dental floss dispensing device thereby facilitating the replacement when the dental floss spindle 40 is empty. To do so, the user presses the grooved portion of the second portion 26 of the assembly 5 in order to retract the second engagement tab 28 into the assembly 5. Accordingly, the second engagement tab 28 is disengaged from the second helical groove 30 of the body 2 and from the second guide slot 32 of the guide cylinder 18, allowing the assembly 5 to be freed from the body 2 of the dental floss dispensing device. The first engagement tab 16 is disengaged from the first helical groove 22 of the body 2 and through the open section of the first guide slot 20 of the guide cylinder 18 when the assembly 5 is extracted from the body 2. Subsequently, the user extracts the assembly 5 from the body 2 of the dental floss dispensing device and either replaces the assembly 5 by a new assembly 5 or only replaces the dental floss spindle 40 located within the assembly 5. Then, the user presses the grooved portion of the second portion 26 of the assembly 5 and introduces the assembly 5 into the body 2 of the dental floss dispensing device thereby engaging the first engagement tab 16 into the first helical groove 22 of the body 2 and through the open section of the first guide slot 20 of the guide cylinder 18. Next, the user releases the grooved portion of the second portion 26 thereby engaging the second engagement tab 28 into the second helical groove 30 of the body 2 and into the second guide slot 32 of the guide cylinder 18, allowing the assembly 5 to be clipped into the body 2 of the dental floss dispensing device.
  • [0054]
    Modifications and improvements to the above-described embodiments of the present invention may become apparent to those skilled in the art. The foregoing description is intended to be exemplary rather than limiting. The scope of the present invention is therefore intended to be limited solely by the scope of the appended claims.
Patentzitate
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Referenziert von
Zitiert von PatentEingetragen Veröffentlichungsdatum Antragsteller Titel
WO2017046551A1 *14. Sept. 201623. März 2017Andrew ForresterThread dispenser
Klassifizierungen
US-Klassifikation206/409
Internationale KlassifikationB65D85/00
UnternehmensklassifikationA61C15/043
Europäische KlassifikationA61C15/04C
Juristische Ereignisse
DatumCodeEreignisBeschreibung
17. Mai 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: CONTE, FRANK, CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FERRY, ERIC;MALANI, NEAL;REEL/FRAME:019346/0497
Effective date: 20070323