Title:
Oral brush
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An oral brush with a handle having a longitudinal axis and a head mounted on the handle, the head including an elongated hub extending generally axially from the handle and bristles mounted in the hub, including bristles along most of the length of the hub which extend radially in all directions from the hub and which taper down in length from the base end of the hub to the front tip of the hub, and including bristles extending from the front tip of the hub in all directions as generally semispherical radii, the free ends of the bristles of the head defining a conical or bullet-shaped envelope.



Inventors:
Munk, Peter (Stamford, CT, US)
Application Number:
09/746562
Publication Date:
11/29/2001
Filing Date:
12/22/2000
Assignee:
MUNK PETER
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/143.1, 15/206
International Classes:
A46B9/04; (IPC1-7): A46B9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Martin Novack Esquire (Delray Beach, FL, US)
Claims:
1. An oral brush with a handle having a longitudinal axis and a head mounted on the handle, said head comprising an elongated hub extending generally axially from the handle and bristles mounted in the hub, including bristles along most of the length of the hub which extend radially in all directions from the hub and which taper down in length from the base end of the hub to the front tip of the hub, and including bristles extending from the front tip of the hub in all directions as generally semispherical radii, the free ends of the bristles of said head defining a conical or bullet-shaped envelope.

2. The brush as defined by claim 1, wherein said handle comprises a generally cylindrical body having a pattern of pairs of concave recesses on opposing sides thereof.

3. The brush as defined by claim 2, wherein the pairs of concave recesses successively along the longitudinal direction of said handle have rotational orientations that alternate by 180 degrees.

4. The brush as defined by 3, wherein said handle is formed of plastic and has a rounded knob at its back end.

5. The brush as defined by 4, wherein said handle is formed of plastic and has a rounded knob at its back end.

6. A cleaning method using the brush as defined by claim 1, for cleaning oral surfaces using hand and finger motions.

7. A cleaning method using the brush as defined by claim 2, for cleaning oral surfaces using hand and finger motions.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/171,363, filed Dec. 22, 1999, and said Provisional Patent Application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to a hand held manual brush used to clean oral surfaces and, more particularly, to a brush that facilitates advantageous motions and media for efficient cleaning of teeth, gums, cheek lining, muco-buccal fold, and tongue, with reduced trauma and damage to oral tissues.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The prior art contains various approaches to brushes for cleaning the teeth and dentures. Among these are the following: U.S. Pat. No. 4,328,604 (Adams) discloses a toothbrush with two different types of bristles; short, stiff bristles for teeth; long, thin bristles for other surfaces. U.S. Pat. No. 107,228 (Goodman) discloses a toothbrush with ridges in the handle. U.S. Pat. No. 4,053,959 (Wiley) discloses a toothbrush with a spherical head having opposite flatted sides and a bent handle. U.S. Pat. No. 4,911,187 (Castillo) discloses a toothbrush with a central pick for cleaning between teeth and under braces. U.S. Pat. No. 3,067,446 (McGauley) discloses a toothbrush with grooves and protuberances in the handle. U.S. Pat. No. 2,263,885 (McGauley) discloses a toothbrush with a handle with a spiral configuration of ridges and grooves. U.S. Pat. No. 3,010,131 (Kisky) discloses a toothbrush with a handle having nodes and antinodes in the handle. U.S. Pat. No. 1,813,076 (Newell) discloses a brush with radiating bristles for cleaning dentures.

[0004] It can be noted that none of the above citations disclose a device for cleaning multiple oral surfaces with a brush head or a handle that allows easy rotational motions using the hand and fingers rather than requiring awkward wrist motions. The prior art approaches also suffer at least one of the following flaws:

[0005] A. They are difficult to use properly.

[0006] B. The head does not fit the contours of oral anatomy.

[0007] It is among the objects of the present invention to provide a manual brush which overcome these and other disadvantages of prior art approaches.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] A form of the invention is a manual brush with a tapered cone or bullet-shaped configuration with bristles extending out in all directions, perpendicular to the brushing surface, and a handle which is generally round in cross-section and features a pattern of depressions. The combination of brush head and handle provides a unique symmetry which will allow almost any operator to effectively clean the teeth, gums, cheeks, tongue, and other areas.

[0009] The invention features a bullet-shaped, or tapered cone-shaped head which will fit well and allow easy access to previously difficult-to-clean areas. The radiating bristles fan out 360 degrees from the central retainer allowing simultaneous cleaning of multiple surface, as demonstrated below. The cross-sectional symmetry will allow the operator to use a hand-rolling, finger-rolling rotational technique (which can be contrasted with an awkward wrist-driven motion with traditional devices of the prior art) in addition to the usual horizontal, vertical, and circular motions.

[0010] By using four different motions, the operator has an excellent opportunity to remove plaque, food debris, and microbes from the oral surfaces. The 360 degrees cross-sectional symmetry of the handle also provides an easy grip for the human hand. This shape, combined with the unique pattern of depressions, makes for a handle that ordinary operators as well as low-dexterity operators (such as the young or mentally/physically challenged) will use with ease. Almost any grip by any hand using any motion at any angle will clean oral surfaces effectively. The feeling of success will motivate the operator to do an even better job, and further enhance home oral hygiene.

[0011] Further features and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1A is a plan view of an oral brush in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

[0013] FIG. 1B is a side view of the brush of FIG. 1A.

[0014] FIG. 1C shows an end view of the brush of FIG. 1A.

[0015] FIG. 1D is a cross-section through a section defined by arrows A-A of FIG. 1A.

[0016] FIG. 1E is a cross-section through a section defined by arrows B-B of FIG. 1B.

[0017] FIG. 1F shows the larger end of the head bristles of the brush of FIGS. 1A and 1B.

[0018] FIG. 1G shows the smaller end of the head bristles of the brush of FIGS. 1A and 1B.

[0019] FIG. 2 shows a s et of teeth and illustrates how the invention may be utilized to clean the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of upper and lower teeth.

[0020] FIG. 3 illustrates cleaning of facial and lingual surfaces of posterior teeth.

[0021] FIG. 4 illustrates the adaptation of the brush head to the lingual surfaces of the anterior teeth.

[0022] FIG. 5 depicts how well the multi-directionally radiating bristles adapt to the anatomy of the occlusal surfaces of the upper and lower teeth.

[0023] FIG. 6A shows the way users misuse a traditional prior art tooth brush.

[0024] FIG. 6B shows traditional bristles of a prior art toothbrush cleaning the gingual sulcus but only when held at the ideal angle, which many users fail to do.

[0025] FIG. 6C shows the advantage of the bullet-shaped head of the invention as it cleanses the gingival sulcus of plaque.

[0026] FIG. 7 depicts the cleansing of the dorsum of the tongue using the invention. The central groove, often a breeding ground for bacteria, can easily be cleaned with an antero-posterior or rotary motion.

[0027] FIG. 8 shows the cone-shaped head of the brush of the invention, adapting to the mucobuccal fold.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0028] FIGS. 1A through 1G show an embodiment of the brush 10 of the invention. The brush head 11 has bristles 15 extending from a central retainer 20 which can be a wire or a core (see also FIGS. 1F and 1G). The bristles form a cone or bullet-shaped head which is and important feature of the invention. This feature allows access to areas of the mouth which have hitherto been difficult to clean. The 360 degree symmetry in cross-section of the head allows a rotary motion to be used. The bristles on the very end of the head will guard the operator's tissues from trauma caused by the portion of the handle that extends beyond the bristles in traditional toothbrushes. The handle 30 features depressions 34 which are placed about the handle in a specific alternating pattern on all sides. An end knob 37 will be noted as another safety feature.

[0029] FIG. 2 illustrates how the brush 10 of the invention may be utilized to clean the occlusal (chewing) surfaces of upper and lower teeth 70, either individually or simultaneously, using a horizontal antero-posterior motion.

[0030] FIG. 3 illustrates cleaning of facial and lingual surfaces of posterior teeth. Unlike traditional toothbrushes, which can only clean these surfaces if the head is held at the ideal angle, the invention allows a margin of error and fits well to these contours. The cone-shaped head will simultaneously cleanse the inner mucosa (lining) of the cheek, as well as the muco-buccal fold. The invention may also be used in a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotational technique in these areas.

[0031] FIG. 4 illustrates the adaptation of the brush head to the lingual surfaces of the anterior teeth. In this area, the operator can easily utilize a vertical, horizontal, or rotary technique.

[0032] FIG. 5 depicts how well the multi-directionally radiating bristles 15 adapt to the anatomy of the occlusal surfaces of the upper and lower teeth 70.

[0033] FIG. 6A shows the way many users misuse a traditional toothbrush 90. The brush is not held on a perfect 45 degrees angle relative to the teeth. The bristles therefore, will not clean plaque at the gingival sulcus. The result can be gingivitis and gum disease. Also, chronic misuse will lead to abrasion and destruction of hard and soft tissues.

[0034] FIG. 6B shows traditional bristles of prior art toothbrush 90 cleaning the gingual sulcus but only when held at the ideal angle, which many operators fail to do.

[0035] FIG. 6C shows the advantage of the bullet-shaped head with bristles 15 as it will correctly cleanse the gingival sulcus of plaque regardless of operator grip because the angle is always the same. Again, a horizontal, vertical, circular, or rotary technique may be used.

[0036] FIG. 7 depicts the cleansing of the dorsum of the tongue 88. The central groove, often a breeding ground for bacteria, can easily be cleaned with an antero-posterior or rotary motion.

[0037] FIG. 8 shows the cone-shaped head with bristles 15 adapting well to the mucobuccal fold 78, another area which is difficult to clean with traditional toothbrushes.

[0038] There has been described an elongated manual brush, having a cone-shaped head with bristles radiating in all directions from a central retainer which are generally perpendicular to the brushing surface. At the tip of the brush head are bristles which are in line with the long axis of the handle. The brush is attached to a handle which is generally round in cross-section but for a pattern of depressions which alternate on all sides of the handle. The depressions comprise rows of concavities extending down the length of the handle, terminating in an end-knob. The combination of head and handle comprise a unit with a unique symmetry. The toothbrush will allow use in horizontal, vertical, circular or rotary motions, for easy cleaning of teeth, gums, cheek lining, muco-buccal fold, and the tongue. It can be used by ordinary people and by people who lack mental or physical ability in oral hygiene, to improve oral hygiene. Use of the toothbrush will reduce trauma and damage to oral tissues. Also, use of the toothbrush will reduce halitosis (oral malodor) by improving the removal of debris, plaque, and microbes from oral surfaces, and it will reduce gagging by virtue of a less bulky tapered head.





 
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