Title:
Toothbrush with textured bristle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The toothbrush with textured bristles provides a tooth cleaning implement that allows for a greater abrasive or scrubbing effect than that of a conventional toothbrush. The toothbrush with textured bristles includes an elongated handle having a head portion and a plurality of bristles extending from the head portion. Each of the bristles is formed from a non-porous material and has opposed fixed and free ends and a side surface extending between the fixed and free ends. The side surface is textured to abrade the user's teeth during brushing thereof. The textured side surface may be formed as a substantially helical surface having alternating helical ridges and helical grooves or, alternatively, may be formed as a plurality of spaced apart rings.



Inventors:
Almaguer, Oscar R. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/585614
Publication Date:
03/18/2010
Filing Date:
09/18/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A46B9/04
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
DE3116189A11982-12-23
Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LITMAN LAW OFFICES, LTD. (POST OFFICE BOX 41200, SOUTH STATION, ARLINGTON, VA, 22204, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A toothbrush with textured bristles, comprising: an elongated handle having a head portion; and a plurality of bristles extending from the head portion, each of the bristles being formed from a non-porous material and having opposed fixed and free ends and a side surface extending between the fixed and free ends, the side surface being textured to abrade the user's teeth during brushing thereof.

2. The toothbrush with textured bristles as recited in claim 1, wherein the textured side surface comprises a substantially helical surface having alternating helical ridges and helical grooves.

3. The toothbrush with textured bristles as recited in claim 1, wherein said textured surface comprises a plurality of spaced apart rings formed on the bristle.

4. The toothbrush with textured bristles as recited in claim 3, wherein each said ring has a substantially rounded periphery.

5. The toothbrush with textured bristles as recited in claim 3, wherein each said ring has a substantially square profile.

6. A bristle for a brush, comprising an elongated main shaft formed from a non-porous material and having opposed ends and a side surface extending between the opposing ends, the side surface being textured along an axial direction of the elongated main shaft.

7. The bristle for a brush as recited in claim 6, wherein the textured side surface comprises a substantially helical surface having alternating helical ridges and helical grooves.

8. The bristle for a brush as recited in claim 6, wherein said textured surface comprises a plurality of spaced apart rings formed on said main shaft.

9. The bristle for a brush as recited in claim 8, wherein each said ring has a substantially rounded periphery.

10. The bristle for a brush as recited in claim 8, wherein each said ring has a substantially square profile.

11. A toothbrush with textured bristles, comprising: an elongated handle having a head portion; and a plurality of bristles extending from the head portion, each of the bristles being formed from a non-porous material and having opposed fixed and free ends and a side surface extending between the fixed and free ends, the side surface being textured along an axial direction of the bristle to abrade the user's teeth during brushing thereof, the textured side surface being a substantially helical surface having alternating helical ridges and helical grooves.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/136,612, filed Sep. 18, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to toothbrushes, and particularly to a toothbrush having textured bristles.

2. Description of the Related Art

Teeth cleaning is the removal of dental plaque and tartar from teeth in order to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Severe gum disease causes at least one-third of adult tooth loss. Almost all cavities occur where food is trapped between teeth, inside deep pits, and fissures in grooves on chewing surfaces where the brush, toothpaste, mouthwash, saliva, and chewing gum, cannot reach. Careful and frequent brushing with a toothbrush, along with the use of dental floss, help to prevent build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth. These bacteria metabolize carbohydrates in meals or snacks and excrete acid which demineralizes tooth enamel, eventually leading to tooth decay and toothache, if acid episodes are frequent or are not prevented. Calculus or tartar buildup on teeth usually forms opposite salivary ducts due to calcium deposits in resident plaque. Frequent brushing and swishing of saliva around the mouth helps prevent these deposits: Cavities can be costly, in terms of the monetary cost to drill out the cavities and insert dental fillings, and also in terms of the tissue already damaged.

Generally, dentists recommend that teeth be cleaned professionally at least twice per year. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and, if too much tartar has built up, debridement. This is usually followed by a fluoride treatment for children and adults. Between cleanings by the dentist or dental hygienist, good oral hygiene is essential for preventing tartar build-up. This is performed by carefully and frequently brushing with a toothbrush and the use of dental floss to prevent accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Thus, brushing of the teeth is universally recommended as the most effective way to maintain oral hygiene.

A wide variety of toothbrushes and other home dental cleaning implements have been used for centuries, however none are as effective as the scraping, debridement and other abrasive-based operations performed by dental professionals. Thus, a toothbrush with textured bristles solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The toothbrush with textured bristles provides a tooth cleaning implement that allows for a greater abrasive or scrubbing effect than that of a conventional toothbrush. The toothbrush with textured bristles includes an elongated handle having a head portion, as is conventionally known in toothbrushes, and a plurality of bristles extending from the head portion. Each of the bristles is formed from a non-porous material and has opposed fixed and free ends with a side surface being defined therebetween. The side surface is textured to abrade the user's teeth during brushing thereof. The textured side surface may be formed as a substantially helical surface having alternating helical ridges and helical grooves or, alternatively, the bristle may be formed as a central shaft with a plurality of spaced apart rings annularly formed thereon.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a head of a toothbrush with textured bristles according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a bristle for the toothbrush having textured bristles according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the bristle of the toothbrush having textured bristles according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of another alternative embodiment of the bristle of the toothbrush having textured bristles according to the present invention.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, the toothbrush with textured bristles has an elongated handle 10 having a head portion 12. The handle 10 may have any desired length or shape, such as that commonly associated with typical toothbrushes. The head portion 12 has a plurality of bristles 14 extending outwardly therefrom. The bristles 14 are preferably formed from a non-porous plastic material that is easily cleanable, preferably by simply rinsing with water from a typical household faucet, as is conventionally known.

The bristles 14 are substantially cylindrical, each bristle 14 preferably having the same predetermined diameter, and having the same length as those of a conventional toothbrush. Each of the plurality of bristles 14 has one end fixed to the head portion 12 by any suitable method, as is conventionally known in the arts of general brushes and toothbrushes, and an opposite free end or tip 15 for contacting the user's teeth 16.

The plurality of bristles 14 function similarly to those of a conventional toothbrush. With a normal stroke, the plurality of bristles 14 brush a desired outer surface area 18 of the teeth 16. The tips 15 of the bristles 14 lightly abrade and brush the surface area 18 of the teeth 16, as well as guiding the bristles 14 into the spaces formed between the teeth 14, and under the gums, under bridges, unfit caps, or other difficult-to-reach areas, particularly in the back of the user's mouth. Bristles 14 are formed from a resilient material, and as each tip 15 lightly abrades and scrubs the desired surface area 18 of the teeth 16, a side surface 19 of each of the bristles 14 also lightly abrades and brushes the desired surface area 18 of the teeth 16.

The bristles 14 of FIG. 1 may have any desired texturing on the side surfaces thereof, allowing for increased abrasion during brushing. In a first embodiment, represented by the single exemplary bristle 20 (one of the plurality of bristles 14 of FIG. 1) shown in FIG. 2, between the fixed end of the bristle 20 (i.e., the end of bristle 20 which is secured to the head 12) and the tip 15, the bristle 20 is twisted or coiled to form a helical surface. The twisted or helical shape of the bristle 20 provides a number of textured surfaces 19a, 19b, 19c formed by the alternating helical ridges and grooves on the surface of the bristle 20.

Relative to a conventional toothbrush bristle, bristle 20 has a greatly increased surface area with preferably dozens of microscrubbing contact surface areas formed by the longitudinally extending ridges of the helical surface for bearing against the teeth 16. Thus, as opposed to a conventional, smooth, cylindrical bristle, bristle 20 contacts and scrubs the teeth with both the tip 15 and each of the textured surfaces 19a, 19b, 19c, etc. In addition to the abrasion of the textures surfaces 19a, 19b, 19c, when brushing the teeth, the helical bristle 20 is able to move back and forth. entrapping microscopic food particles and other particles and contaminants, which become lodged in the valleys formed between each ridge of the surface.

In the alternative embodiment of FIG. 3, the exemplary bristle 30 (one of the plurality of bristles 14 of FIG. 1) is attached to the head 12 of the toothbrush at a fixed end thereof (similar to that described above), and has a free end or tip 35. Between the fixed end and the tip 35, the bristle 30 includes a number of spaced apart ring members or annular beads 39a, 39b, 39c formed on a central, cylindrical shaft. It should be understood that the ring members 39a, 39b, 39c are shown in FIG. 3 for exemplary purposes only, and may have any desired shape, relative dimensions or spacing therebetween. For example, the ring members may be rounded, squared, angled, or may have any other desired contour. As with bristle 20, the ring members 39a, 39b, 39c of bristle 30 form additional surfaces along the length of the bristle 30 for abrading the desired surface area of teeth 16, and also allow for the collection and removal of particles and the like between adjacent ring members.

In the embodiment of FIG. 3, the rings are each shown as having a substantially rounded peripheral surface. It should be understood that the rings 39a, 39b, 39c, etc. may have any desired shape, such as a substantially square or rectangular profile, as shown in the alternative embodiment of FIG. 4, or angled, sloped, or of any other cross-sectional shape. It should be further understood that the shape of the bristles 20, 30 may alternatively be applied to other types of bristle brushes, such as bath brushes, industrial plastic brushes or steel brushes. Further, in FIGS. 1-4, the texturing of the side surface of each bristle is shown as extending along the entire length of the bristle. It should be understood that the texturing may cover only a selected portion of the bristle, with the remaining portion being substantially smooth and cylindrical.

Thus, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.





 
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