Title:
Tooth care kit enclosure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A two piece enclosure suited to contain a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a spool of dental floss and other items related to tooth care is presented. The enclosure has features that resist the items from contacting the bristles of the toothbrush. The enclosure has partitions to hold the items in specific locations to permit the enclosure to be compact.



Inventors:
Harangozo, Martin John (Louisville, KY, US)
Application Number:
11/079569
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
03/15/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D44/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STEITZ, RACHEL RUNNING
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARIN HARANGOZO (LOUISVILLE, KY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A relatively compact enclosure made up of two pieces that can generally hold in position within the enclosure a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a spool of dental floss, other tooth care items such as a toothpick, any combination of these items, or any single item where: the first piece is generally a container with an opening, and; the second piece is to some degree a mirror image of the first piece, and is larger so that the pieces with the openings symmetrically facing each other, may be assembled by placing the second piece over the first piece; an improvement in that the enclosure has one or more features that serve to generally position one or more of the items in the enclosure, so that the items are arranged in the enclosure to minimize the enclosure size, and, the items are somewhat restrained by the features from making contact with the bristle portion of the toothbrush.

2. The enclosure of claim 1 where the first piece is generally a plane, with a wall around its perimeter creating a container.

3. The enclosure of claim 1 where the length of the enclosure is greater than the width of the enclosure.

4. The enclosure of claim 1 where the width of the enclosure varies along the length of the enclosure such that one end is more narrow than the other end.

5. The enclosure of claim 1 where the first and second pieces of the enclosure have the same height.

6. The enclosure of claim 1 where the first and second pieces of the enclosure have different heights.

7. The enclosure of claim 1 where the first and second pieces of the enclosure may be assembled with a hand force fit.

8. The enclosure of claim 1 where the first and second pieces of the enclosure may be disassembled with a hand force fit.

9. The enclosure of claim 1 where the hand force required to disassemble the enclosure pieces is different in magnitude than the hand force required to assemble the pieces.

10. The enclosure of claim 1 where the larger piece has at least one partition inside this piece, where at least a portion of this partition does not make contact with the perimeter, but leaves a gap between this partition and the perimeter, and, this partition is located so that when the pieces are assembled with a toothbrush and other items, the partition serves to generally separate the items in the enclosure from the bristle portion of the toothbrush.

11. The enclosure of claim 1 where the smaller piece has one or more partitions or pairs of partitions inside this piece and are configured and positioned so that they form a channel along the length of the piece.

12. The enclosure of claim 1 where the larger piece has one or more protrusions inside this piece located so that the protrusions prevent the pieces from assembling beyond the protrusions.

13. The enclosure of claim 1 where the larger piece has one or more openings along the perimeter of this piece.

14. The enclosure of claim 1 where there are one or more holes, in one or both pieces of the enclosure.

15. The enclosure of claim 1 where the first and second pieces are attached to each other.

16. The enclosure of claim 1 where the material may be any thermoplastic, thermoset, composite, ferrous, non ferrous, ceramic, wood or other material, or any combination of these materials.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In some prior art arrangements, the enclosures related to tooth care items have the capacity to hold a toothbrush. In other arrangements the enclosures can hold a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste and other tooth care items, however, they are sometimes large and bulky, and in some enclosures or enclosure orientations, the items are permitted to touch the bristles of the toothbrush. This presents an inconvenience when the enclosure is used during travel, or away from home such as an office where space is at a premium.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention is a two piece enclosure that can hold items commonly used in tooth care such as a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a spool of dental floss, and other tooth care items such as a toothpick. The enclosure is compact and convenient to carry and use. The tooth care items are arranged in a manner that enables the enclosure with the items to utilize a relatively small amount of space. This enclosure may generally be conveniently placed in ones pocket, kept at a desk, packed in traveling luggage, and, included in personal item containers such as a shaving kit bag, purse, belt purse, handbag etc. Specifically, the objectives of the invention are:

To provide an enclosure for tooth care items which overcomes the disadvantages previously stated.

To provide an enclosure specifically designed to hold items often used in personal tooth care such as a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, and a spool of dental floss. This invention is not limited to containing only the three items mentioned, as it can contain additional items related to tooth care such as a toothpick.

To provide an enclosure for tooth care items where the items are generally separated from the bristles of the toothbrush.

To provide a means for the tooth care items to be arranged in the enclosure for a compact assembly.

To provide an enclosure for tooth care items that is inexpensive, as the configuration presented can be easily mass produced using common manufacturing methods, including but not limited to injection molding, and stamping.

BRIEF DESCRIPTON OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the first piece of the enclosure.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the first piece of the enclosure.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the first piece of the enclosure shown with a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, and a spool of dental floss.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, and a spool of dental floss suitable for use in this enclosure.

FIG. 5 is an elevation view of the first and second pieces of the enclosure assembled with the tooth care items.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the second piece of the enclosure.

FIG. 7 is an elevation view of the second piece of the enclosure.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the second piece of the enclosure, emphasizing features to appear in FIG. 9 and FIG. 10.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged view of the emphasized portion of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a section view of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a plan view of the first and second pieces of the enclosure attached to each other.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A two piece enclosure where the first piece 1 of the enclosure holds a toothbrush 2, a tube of toothpaste 3, and a spool of dental floss 4. The second piece 5 of the enclosure has a similar shape, is slightly larger, and serves as a cover to the first piece 1. The second piece 5 slides over the first piece 1 with a push fit so that some hand effort is required to assemble the enclosure. Some hand effort is required to disassemble the enclosure. Additionally, features may be used to cause the pieces to assemble with a snap characteristic such that the force required to disassemble the pieces is greater than the force required to assemble them.

The toothbrush 2, the tube of toothpaste 3 and the spool of dental floss 4 are prior art. The spool of dental floss 4 shown, is a spool within a housing of the shape depicted, and is sometimes available where tooth care items are sold.

The shape of the enclosure is relatively long and narrow to allow space for a relatively long and narrow toothbrush 2.

One end 6 of the enclosure is relatively wider than the other end 7 to hold a spool of dental floss 4.

The wider end 6 of the first piece 1 of the enclosure has partitions 8a, 8b perpendicular to the plane surface. The partitions 8a, 8b serve as a channel 9 to center the toothbrush 2 in the enclosure 1. These partitions 8a, 8b also separate the spool of dental floss 4 from the tube of toothpaste 3.

The narrow end 7 of the first piece 1 of the enclosure has partitions 10a, 10b perpendicular to the plane surface. The partitions 10a, 10b serve as a channel 11 to center the toothbrush 2 in the enclosure 1.

The second piece 5 of the enclosure has a pair of protrusions 12, 13 each one located near each end of this piece 5, extending approximately one half inch from the plane. These protrusions 12, 13 serve to prevent the second piece of the enclosure 5 from closing entirely on to the first piece 1. This provides additional volume for the items in the enclosure, particularly the tube of toothpaste 3, which may extend beyond the height of the perimeter walls of the first piece 1 of the enclosure as shown in FIG. 5.

The protrusions mentioned 12, 13 where one of the protrusions 13 has an additional protrusion 14 located at the center of the protrusion 13, extending beyond the remaining portion of the protrusion 13. The extension 14 serves to divide the bristles of the toothbrush 2 from the tube of toothpaste 3 and other items used in this enclosure when the pieces 1 and 5 are assembled.

The second piece 5 of the enclosure has an opening 15 placed in the walls of this piece to expose a greater area of the first piece 1 when the pieces are assembled. This exposed surface facilitates the hand removal of the second piece 5 from the first piece 1.

The enclosure has one or more holes 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d in one or both pieces 1, 5 of the enclosure to permit air ventilation.

FIG. 11. Show the enclosure pieces where the pieces are attached to each other 17a, 17b in a way that permits the pieces to be assembled and disassembled.