Title:
Toothbrush
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toothbrush comprising a head and a handle, wherein the handle has a gripping portion arranged to be grasped by a user. The head is arranged such that a first longitudinal axis of the head is generally perpendicular to a second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion. The head is also rotatably mounted to an end of the handle such that the head is rotatable about a rotation axis generally parallel to and offset from the second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion.



Inventors:
Johnson, Taikura (Tom Prica, AU)
Application Number:
09/814586
Publication Date:
05/16/2002
Filing Date:
03/22/2001
Assignee:
JOHNSON TAIKURA
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/167.1, 15/172, 15/176.1, 132/120, 15/143.1
International Classes:
A46B5/02; A46B9/04; (IPC1-7): A46B9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SNIDER, THERESA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDRIKSON & BYRON, P.A. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:

The claims defining the invention are as follows:



1. A toothbrush comprising a head and a handle, wherein the handle includes a gripping portion arranged to be grasped by a user, the head is arranged such that a first longitudinal axis of the head is generally perpendicular to a second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion and the head is rotatably mounted to a first end of the handle such that the head rotates about a rotation axis generally parallel to and offset from the second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion.

2. A toothbrush in accordance with claim 1, wherein the handle includes a shoulder portion adjacent the first end thereof, the shoulder portion serving to offset the rotation axis of the head from the second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion.

3. A toothbrush in accordance with claim 2, wherein the shoulder portion includes a thickened portion, the thickened portion being arranged such that the user's thumb rests on the thickened portion during use.

4. A toothbrush in accordance with claim 3, wherein the thickened portion includes a grip pad against which the user's thumb rests, the grip pad being arranged to provide additional grip between the user's thumb and the toothbrush

5. A toothbrush in accordance with claim ], wherein the head includes a neck portion extending generally perpendicular to the first longitudinal axis of the head.

6. A toothbrush in accordance with claim 5, wherein a swivel means is provided to allow rotatable interconnection between the neck portion and the first end of the handle.

7. A toothbrush in accordance with claim 6, wherein the swivel means comprises a ball and socket joint

8. A toothbrush in accordance with claim 1, wherein the head is removable from the handle to allow replacement of the head.

9. A toothbrush in accordance with claim 8, wherein the removable head may be replaced with a shaving head.

10. A toothbrush in accordance with any one of the preceding claims, wherein the head includes bristles, the bristles being arranged to vary in height across head.

Description:
[0001] The present invention relates to a toothbrush.

[0002] A large number of toothbrushes have been produced with different variations in shape and configuration of handle, head and bristles. Toothbrushes generally comprise an elongate handle and elongate head where the head is rigidly fixed to the handle and the longitudinal axis of the head is approximately parallel to that of the handle.

[0003] This type of toothbrush usually requires the brush to be held at a number of different angles in order to effectively contact all of the surfaces of the user's teeth and maintain the vertical brushing action that is generally accepted to be most beneficial. This is turn requires the user to change their grip on the handle a number of times during brushing.

[0004] The present invention attempts to overcome at least in part the disadvantages of previous toothbrushes.

[0005] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention there is provided a toothbrush comprising a head and a handle, wherein the handle includes a gripping portion arranged to be grasped by a user, the head is arranged such that a first longitudinal axis of the head is generally perpendicular to a second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion and the head is rotatably mounted to a first end of the handle such that the head rotates about a rotation axis generally parallel to and, offset from the second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion.

[0006] The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toothbrush in accordance with the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the toothbrush of FIG. 1 with the head of the toothbrush rotated by approximately 180 degrees;

[0009] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the toothbrush of FIG. 1 with the head of the toothbrush rotated by approximately 90 degrees;

[0010] FIG. 4 is a cross-section view of the joint between the head and the handle of the toothbrush of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 5 is the plan view of the toothbrush of FIG. 1 showing removal of the head; to and

[0012] FIG. 6 is a plan view of tie toothbrush of FIG. 1 with the head removed and showing an optional shaving head.

[0013] Referring to the Figures, there is shown a toothbrush 10 comprising a handle 12 and a head 14.

[0014] The head 14 of the toothbrush 10 includes bristles 16 and is connected to the handle 12 via a neck portion 18. The head 14 is oriented in relation to the neck portion 18 such that a first longitudinal axis of the head 14 is generally transverse to the neck portion 18.

[0015] The handle 12 includes a shoulder portion 22 adjacent the first end thereof and a gripping portion 24 extending from a second end thereof to the shoulder portion 22. The gripping portion 24 and the neck portion 18 are preferably oriented generally parallel to each other with the shoulder portion 22 serving to offset the head 14 and the neck portion 18 from a second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion 24. The distance of offset is such that the user's hand is sufficiently clear of the face when the toothbrush 10 is held extending generally vertically up or down from the teeth.

[0016] The neck portion 18 is connected to the handle 12 adjacent a first end thereof by a swivel means 20. The swivel means 20 is arranged to allow the head 14 and neck portion 18 to rotate about the handle 12 such that the first longitudinal axis of the head 14 rotates about an axis generally parallel to the second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion 24. Due to the shoulder portion 22, the axis about which the head 14 rotates is also offset from the second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion. The swivel means 20 may be in the form of a ball and socket joint as shown in FIG. 4 or other mechanical equivalent. Preferably, the head 14 and neck portion 18 would be releasable from the handle 12 at the swivel means 20 as shown in FIG. 6. This would allow replacement of the head 13 when the bristles 16 become worn.

[0017] The bristles 16 extend across a surface of the head 14 in a generally known manner. Preferably, the bristles 16 would vary in height across the length of the head 14 in order to clean effectively all areas between the teeth.

[0018] The shoulder portion 22 includes a thickened intermediate portion 26 including a grip pad 28. The grip pad is 28 located such that the user's thumb may be placed on the grip pad 28 when the fingers are wrapped around the gripping portion 24. The grip pad 28 may be composed of rubber or the like and/or may include a treaded portion to prevent the user's thumb from slipping when pressure is applied.

[0019] In use, the user holds the toothbrush 10 with fingers wrapped around the gripping portion 24 and thumb resting on the grip pad 28 For cleaning the external surfaces of the front teeth, the toothbrush 10 is held with the handle 12 generally vertically and with the head 14 upwards. The head 14 is rotated about the swivel means 20 such that the bristles 16 face generally away from the second longitudinal axis of the gripping portion 24 (as shown in FIG. 1) so that the gripping portion 24 and the user's fingers are always clear of the user's chin. To clean the external surfaces of the side teeth, the handle 12 is maintained at the same angle and the head 14 is rotated about the swivel 20 (as shown in FIG. 3). This rotation maintains the bristles 16 in contact with the teeth

[0020] In order to clean the internal surfaces of the upper teeth, the handle 12 is held in the same manner as described initially above but the head 14 is rotated about the swivel means 20 by approximately 180 degrees (as shown in FIG. 2). To clean thc internal surfaces of the lower teeth the head 14 of the toothbrush 10 is then held such that the handle 12 extends generally upward from the teeth.

[0021] While cleaning all surfaces of the teeth, the handle 16 remains generally upright and the brushing motion of the head 14 therefore remains generally up and down.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 7 it is noted that the head 16 may be replaced with a shaving head 32 to allow use as a razor.

[0023] Modifications and variations as would be apparent to a skilled addressee are deemed to be within the scope of the present invention