Title:
Cover for a toothbrush head
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Cover for a toothbrush head having a spherical body simulating a small ball capable of receiving the brush head inside. The spherical body incorporates an orifice or opening of “T” configuration that is slightly larger than the cross section of the brush head with its bristles. The inside of the spherical body incorporates a sleeve, in a diametrical arrangement, whose outer mouth fits the orifice or window of the spherical body, while its rear mouth is closed either by a partition associated with the actual sleeve or by the corresponding wall of the spherical body. The sleeve and spherical body are secured together by adhesive, heat-welding or any other appropriate conventional manner.



Inventors:
Calatayud, Augustin Oteo (Madrid, ES)
Application Number:
11/218531
Publication Date:
09/07/2006
Filing Date:
09/06/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A46B7/02; A46B17/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUI, LUAN KIM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. Cover for a toothbrush head of the type consisting of a spherical body simulating a small ball capable of receiving the brush head inside, characterized in that said spherical body incorporates an orifice or opening of “T” configuration that is slightly larger than the cross section of the brush head with its bristles, the inside of the spherical body incorporating a sleeve, in a diametrical arrangement, whose outer mouth fits the orifice or window of the spherical body, whilst its rear mouth is closed either by means of a partition associated with the actual sleeve or by the corresponding wall of the spherical body, sleeve and spherical body being duly secured together by means of adhesive, heat-welding or any other appropriate conventional means.

2. Cover for a toothbrush head according to claim 1, characterized in that the outer mouth of the sleeve, that which corresponds to the orifice or opening of the spherical body, is included in an imaginary curved plane whose curvature coincides with that of the spherical body so that said mouth of the sleeve is flush with the opening or orifice of the spherical body.

Description:

SUBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cover for the head of a toothbrush that, as said cover, has the function of covering and protecting said head, especially the bristles involved therein, preventing its soiling during periods when the brush is not being used.

The object of the invention is to achieve a protector that is attractive to its young consumer-public, giving rise to a greater tendency to brush the teeth and also offering optimum hygiene conditions and very easy handling.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As is known, it is customary for toothbrushes to have a protector for cover for their head, which prevents soiling of the bristles involved therein as a result of the brush accidentally falling to the floor, owing to the deposition of dust, etc.

In an attempt to make the protector attractive to the consumer-public, especially in the case of children or juveniles, the actual applicant happened upon the idea of using a protector that in addition to fulfilling its function as a protector resembled a small football capable of accommodating the head of a toothbrush inside it.

The first practical embodiment of this idea is contemplated in Utility Model U 9700451, in which the protector consists of two halves, hinged together, between which there is an orifice whose shape and size coincide with the cross section of the brush in its area close to the head. Although it provides an optimum level of protection for the head of the brush, this solution nevertheless, as a fundamental problem, is somewhat difficult to handle since at each operating cycle of the brush it is necessary to open the protector in order to extract the brush from it and to close it again after the brush has been re-introduced therein, all this with a hinge mechanism involving a high risk of damage or breakage owing to the permanent stresses to which it will be subjected, all the above being simultaneous with appreciable structural complexity.

In an attempt to obviate this problem, the actual applicant arrived at an alternative for the protector, namely that shown in Utility Model U 9702520, in which, retaining the configuration of the protector similar to that of a small football, said protector assumed a single-piece form, essentially spherical and hollow, with a window in its side wall that was, in terms of shape and size, adapted to the profile or cross section of the head with its bristles, such that said head could be “plugged into” the protector, where it was perfectly guided and stabilized with the cooperation of internal partitions emerging from the surrounding spherical body, some parallel to and others perpendicular to the head of the brush, but in both cases with their edges located in imaginary planes, extending the edges of the outer “T”-shaped orifice for insertion of the head.

This solution is structurally more simple and very appreciably extends the service life of the protector, but it still presents a problem in terms of two fundamental aspects:

on the one hand, the operation of coupling the head of the brush inside the protector presents difficulties, since in the initial stage there is a possibility that the head will tilt a great deal with respect to the protector, i.e. the latter in the majority of cases is not opposite its guides, which requires operations of lateral tilting of the brush with respect to the protector until the correct coupling position is achieved;

on the other hand, the inner partitions of the hollow body define, inside the protector, cells or spaces that are very difficult to access and that promote the accumulation of dirt and consequently very unsatisfactory conditions of cleanliness, which means that the protector leaves much to be desired in terms of hygiene.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The cover proposed by the invention, in the form of the second type of protector of those mentioned above, i.e. that consisting of a substantially spherical, single-piece body provided with a housing for the head of the brush, fully satisfactorily solves the problem set forth above in terms of the two aspects commented upon.

To that end, more specifically, and on the basis of the conventional “T”-shaped orifice of the spherical wall of the cover, for penetration of the head, the invention consists in over-sizing said orifice with respect to the head by a degree sufficient to allow the coupling therein of a sleeve with the same “T”-shaped cross section, which extends inside the spherical body as far as a point diametrically opposite said entry orifice, said sleeve being closed at the back and being coupled to and fixed tightly into said orifice via its mouth such that it forms a compartment inside the spherical body that is totally separate from the rest thereof and that fits the head of the brush in such a manner that said compartment, as it has continuous, planar walls of constant cross section, can easily be cleaned in order to keep it permanently in optimum condition in terms of hygiene, at the same time as it guarantees easy, rapid and convenient coupling/uncoupling of the head inside it as there is no interior element against which said head can collide and which might tend to prevent its longitudinal displacement.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To supplement the description being given and in order to assist better comprehension of the characteristics of the invention, in accordance with a preferred practical illustrative embodiment thereof, said description is accompanied, as an integral part thereof, by a set of drawings in which, in an illustrative and non-limiting manner, the following has been shown:

FIG. 1—This shows a perspective exploded view of a cover for a toothbrush head produced in accordance with the object of the present invention, alongside which there is a partial representation of the complementary brush, specifically its end that corresponds to the head;

FIG. 2—This shows a detail in lateral elevation and in longitudinal section of the whole represented in the previous figure, duly assembled;

FIG. 3—Lastly, this shows a detail of the above in cross section.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

An examination of the above figures shows how the cover proposed by the invention consists of a hollow, spherical body (1) provided on its outer surface with a plurality of grooves, simulated seams or any other type of reticulated pattern defining pentagonal and hexagonal areas on said surface with the aim of said body (1) resembling a small football, with the special feature that the wall of said hollow, spherical body (1) has a wide orifice or opening (2) of “T” configuration, essentially coinciding with the profile of the head (3) of the toothbrush that the cover is designed to receive, but substantially over-sized with respect to said profile, as stated above.

Inside the hollow, spherical body (1), in a diametrical arrangement, there is a sleeve (4) of constant cross section, which cross section coincides in terms of shape and size with that of the head (3) of the toothbrush, including its bristles (5), which it is designed to receive in a close fit.

This sleeve (4) has a front, or outer, mouth (6) with said “T”-shaped cross section suitable for receiving the head (3-5) of the brush and included in a curved imaginary plane, coinciding with the curvature of the actual spherical body (1) so that its edges are perfectly flush with the orifice (2) of the much-mentioned spherical body (1), it being possible for said sleeve (4) to be closed by its back wall (7), which is also curved/convex, or be closed by means of the actual wall of the hollow, spherical body (1) to which, in any case, the sleeve (4) is non-removably fixed by means of adhesive, ultrasonic welding, etc.

In any event, given the constant cross section and the continuous internal surface of the sleeve (4), the head (3-5) of the brush can easily be coupled into and decoupled from its inside, said sleeve (4) at the same time forming, inside the spherical body (1), a compartment that is totally separate from the rest of the spherical body (1), which compartment, as it also has a continuous cross section and smooth surfaces, can easily be cleaned for maintenance purposes and consequently to keep the cover as the whole in optimum hygienic condition.

It remains only to point out, lastly that, as is obvious, the length of the sleeve (4) must be equal to or greater than the length of the head (3) of the brush in order to achieve integral protection of all its bristles (5).





 
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