Title:
TOOTHBRUSH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In one aspect, the present invention is directed to a toothbrush comprising: a toothpaste dispenser wherein the toothpaste container thereof is deployed within the toothbrush; a passageway from the container to the bristles of the toothbrush, wherein the container and the passageway generate a closed space; and a closure at the end of the passageway, for preventing contact between the air and the toothpaste stored within the closed space. According to one embodiment of the invention, the dispenser dispenses toothpaste upon applying pressure to the container. The toothbrush may further comprise a no-return mechanism, for preventing toothpaste within the closed space from falling back. The no-return mechanism may comprise a valve that comprises, e.g., a flexible lid attached to the body of the toothbrush, for closing the passageway of the valve.



Inventors:
Pitaro Israel, Lidya Haya (Lod, IL)
Angel, Geuola (Bat Yam, IL)
Charchi, Oren (Karmiel, IL)
Application Number:
12/325286
Publication Date:
06/11/2009
Filing Date:
12/01/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A46B9/04
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Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Daniel J. Swirsky (Beit Shemesh, IL)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A toothbrush comprising: a toothpaste dispenser, wherein the toothpaste container thereof is deployed within said toothbrush; a passageway from said container to the bristles of said toothbrush, wherein said container and said passageway generate a closed space; and a closure at the end of said passageway, for preventing contact between the air and the toothpaste stored within said closed space.

2. A toothbrush according to claim 1, wherein said dispenser dispenses toothpaste upon applying pressure to said container.

3. A toothbrush according to claim 1, further comprising a no-return mechanism, for preventing toothpaste within said closed space from falling back.

4. A toothbrush according to claim 4, wherein said closure comprises a valve.

5. A toothbrush according to claim 4, wherein said valve comprises a flexible lid attached to the body of said toothbrush, for closing the passageway of said valve.

6. A toothbrush according to claim 1, wherein said closure comprises a switch for turning said closure from an open state to a closed state, and vice versa.

7. A toothbrush according to claim 1, wherein said closure comprises a valve.

8. A toothbrush according to claim 7, wherein said valve comprises a flexible lid attached to the body of said toothbrush, for closing the passageway of said valve.

9. A toothbrush according to claim 1, wherein the volume of said container is between about 3 to 10 cc.

10. A toothbrush according to claim 1, further comprising a mechanism for automatically opening said closure upon dispensing toothpaste, and automatically closing said closure upon stopping toothpaste dispensing.

11. A toothbrush according to claim 10, wherein said mechanism comprises a sliding member which unblocks said passageway upon pressure of toothpaste, and returns to block said passageway upon releasing said pressure.

12. A toothbrush according to claim 11, wherein said sliding member returns to block said passageway by a spring.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority benefit from Israel Patent Application No. 188,065, filed Dec. 11, 2007, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of teeth care appliances. More particularly, the invention relates to a toothbrush which comprises a toothpaste dispenser.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Combination toothbrush/toothpaste dispensers are known in the art, but the mechanisms presented by the prior art are complicated, using a relatively large number of parts, thus requiring a correspondingly complex manufacturing effort.

Since a user grows accustomed to a certain form of toothbrush and a particular toothpaste flavor, the use of toothbrushes comprising toothpaste dispensers is rare. Nevertheless, in some situations, such as while traveling or camping, the user may be satisfied with an unfamiliar toothbrush and toothpaste.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a toothbrush comprising a toothpaste dispenser, which overcomes the abovementioned drawbacks.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a toothbrush comprising a toothpaste dispenser, which is directed for traveling and camping.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The following embodiments and aspects thereof are described and illustrated in conjunction with systems, tools and methods, which are meant to be merely illustrative, not limiting in scope. In various embodiments, one or more of the above-described problems have been reduced or eliminated, while other embodiments are directed to other advantages or improvements.

In one aspect, the present invention is directed to a toothbrush comprising:

    • a toothpaste dispenser, wherein the toothpaste container thereof (20) is deployed within the toothbrush;
    • a passageway (22) from the container to the bristles (8) of the toothbrush, wherein the container and the passageway generate a closed space; and
    • a closure (15) at the end of the passageway, for preventing contact between the air and the toothpaste stored within the closed space.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the dispenser dispenses toothpaste upon applying pressure on the container.

The toothbrush may further comprise a no-return mechanism, for preventing toothpaste within the closed space from falling back.

The no-return mechanism may comprise a closure (15). The closure (15) may comprise a valve (12). The valve (12) may be also employed as a no-return mechanism. Valve (12) may comprise a flexible lid (46) attached to the body of the toothbrush, for closing passageway (48) of the valve.

The closure may comprise a switch (14) for turning the closure from an open to a closed state, and vice versa.

Preferably, the volume of the container is between about 3 to 10 cc.

The toothbrush may further comprise a mechanism for automatically opening the closure upon dispensing toothpaste, and automatically closing the closure upon completing toothpaste dispensing (illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8).

The mechanism may comprise a sliding member (15) which unblocks passageway (22) upon toothpaste pressure, and returns to block the passageway upon pressure release. The mechanism may be based on applying the force of a spring (19).

In addition to the exemplary aspects and embodiments described above, further aspects and embodiments will become apparent by reference to the figures and by study of the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view which schematically illustrates a toothbrush according to one embodiment of the invention, from one viewpoint.

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view which schematically illustrates a toothbrush according to one embodiment of the invention, from another viewpoint.

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-section of a toothbrush which schematically illustrates its structure, according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross section which schematically illustrates a toothpaste dispensing operation, according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 schematically illustrates the open state of a closure, according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 schematically illustrates the closed state of the closure of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 schematically illustrates the closed state of a closure according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 8 schematically illustrates the open state of the closure of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 schematically illustrates the closed state of a valve, according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 10 schematically illustrates the open state of the valve of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 schematically illustrates the closed state of a valve, according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 12 schematically illustrates the open state of the valve of FIG. 11.

It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed solely for purposes of illustration and not as a definition of the limits of the invention, for which reference should be made to the appended claims. It should be further understood that the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale and that, unless otherwise indicated, they are merely intended to conceptually illustrate the structures and procedures described herein. Reference numerals may be repeated among the figures in order to indicate corresponding or analogous elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In some instances, well-known methods, procedures, components and circuits have not been described in detail, for the sake of clarity.

Overview

The present invention is directed to a toothbrush which also comprises a toothpaste dispenser, thereby diminishing the space required for storing a toothbrush and the toothpaste thereof.

The toothbrush according to preferred embodiments of the present invention comprises two major parts: a toothbrush assembly and a toothpaste dispenser.

According to embodiments of the invention, the toothpaste dispenser is embedded within the construction of the toothbrush assembly, such that dimensions of the toothbrush assembly are not significantly increased, thereby maintaining the common form of a toothbrush although it also comprises a toothpaste dispenser.

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view which schematically illustrates a toothbrush according to one embodiment of the invention, from one viewpoint.

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view which schematically illustrates a toothbrush according to one embodiment of the invention, from another viewpoint

Although toothbrush 2 comprises a toothpaste container, the size thereof corresponds to a common size of a toothbrush, therefore being disposable after using several times. For example, assuming a user uses 1 cc for a tooth brushing “session”, a quantity of 5 cc will be adequate for 5 times. Preferably, the volume of the toothpaste container has to be between 3 to 10 cc, which may correspond to 3 to 10 tooth brushing sessions.

In order to dispense toothpaste from the toothpaste dispenser, a user must turn switch 14 to its “open” state, and press surface 6 with his thumb. Preferably, the paste is poured out at the bottom of bristles 8.

After use, the user turns switch 14 to its “closed” state, in order to protect the remaining toothpaste stored in the container from contact with the air, thereby preventing undesirable drying.

Surface 6 is also referred to herein as “squeezer”.

The Toothpaste Dispenser

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-section of a toothbrush which schematically illustrates its structure, according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a cross-section which schematically illustrates a toothpaste dispensing operation, according to one embodiment of the invention.

The dispenser assembly comprises a toothpaste container 20 embedded within handle 4 of the toothbrush assembly, and a passageway 22, connected at one end thereof to container 20. The paste is dispensed through the other end of passageway 22, which is deployed between bristles 8 of the toothbrush assembly.

Squeezer 6 is a part of the walls of the toothpaste container. According to one embodiment of the invention, the squeezer is deployed on the outer surface of the toothbrush, and therefore is available to contact by a user. Squeezing the container by pressing on squeezer 6 with a thumb results in diminishing the volume of container 20, and as a result, the toothpaste stored within the container exits via outlet 16, which according to the examples herein is deployed between bristles 8.

The space enclosed within toothpaste container 20 and the toothpaste passageway 22 is a closed space. One of the objects of the invention is preventing contact between the air and the closed space, thereby preventing drying of the stored toothpaste.

Squeezer 6 may be made of deformable material, in order to prevent its returning to the initial form, thereby preventing the toothpaste from falling back.

Of course, more complicated mechanisms may be used for squeezing the toothpaste container, but the present mechanism is characterized by simplicity, and as a result the manufacturing effort is decreased.

The Closure (15)

As illustrated, switch 14 is connected to a slider 15 which operates as a closure to toothpaste outlet 16. FIGS. 5 and 6 schematically illustrate the structure and operation of a closure, according to one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 5 schematically illustrates the open state of closure 15, and FIG. 6 schematically illustrates the closed state thereof.

According to this example, the closure comprises two states, “open” and “closed”. In the “open” state, passageway 22 is open, and in the “closed” state, passageway 22 is closed. As illustrated, in the open state, opening 32 of the slider coincides with the opening of outlet 16, and in the closed state, opening 32 of the slider does not coincide with the opening of outlet 16.

FIGS. 7 and 8 schematically illustrate the structure and operation of a closure, according to another embodiment of the invention. FIG. 7 schematically illustrates the closed state of closure 15, and FIG. 8 schematically illustrates the open state thereof.

According to this embodiment, a spring 19 returns slider 15 to its “idle” state. Thus, upon pressing squeezer 6, the toothpaste pushes slider 15 to the open state of the closure, thereby enabling the toothpaste to be pushed out of the container. Upon releasing squeezer 6, spring 19 returns slider 15 to its closed state.

It should be noted that according to this embodiment of the invention, the manual switch 14 is eliminated, since opening and closing closure 15 results from pressing and releasing (correspondingly) squeezer 6.

The advantage of this embodiment of the closure is that the user need not open closure 15 manually, since this operation is carried out automatically.

In addition, according to this embodiment of the invention, there is no need of a valve 18 to prevent the toothpaste from falling back.

The Valve (18)

Valve 18 is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and detailed in FIGS. 9 and 10.

The object of valve 18 is to prevent the paste stored within passageway 22 from falling back when squeezer 6 is released, in the case wherein the squeezer is made of flexible material. However, if squeezer 6 is made of deformable material, which does not return to its original shape upon releasing, the valve may be omitted. Thus, valve 18 operates as a no-return mechanism for the dispensed paste.

FIGS. 9 and 10 schematically illustrate a valve, according to one embodiment of the invention.

Numeral 44 denotes an opening, through which paste passes, and numeral 42 denotes a flexible lid for opening 44. When paste is pushed “upwards” (with regard to the illustration), lid 42 bends, allowing the paste to pass through opening 44. When paste is pushed “downwards”, lid 42 seals opening 44, thereby prevents paste passage through opening 44.

An Additional Embodiment

FIG. 11 schematically illustrates the closed state of a valve, according to one embodiment of the invention. FIG. 12 schematically illustrates the open state of the valve of FIG. 11.

According to this embodiment of the invention, a valve 12 is deployed at the outlet 16. In this way, the valve performs both the operation of a no-return mechanism, and the operation of a closure.

Benefits of the Present Invention

The tooth brush according to the present invention is mostly useful while traveling, camping, and so forth. Its manufacturing is relatively easy due to the minor number of parts it consists of. Its dimensions doesn't exceed from the dimensions of a “common” toothbrush. As a result of its minor number of parts it can be used as a one-time apparatus, or a disposable apparatus.

PARTS LIST

In the figures and/or text herein, the following numerals have been mentioned:

  • Numeral 4 denotes a handle of a toothbrush assembly;
  • numeral 6 denotes a “squeezer” (a surface on which a user presses in order to dispense toothpaste);
  • numeral 8 denotes the bristles of a toothbrush assembly;
  • numeral 10 denotes the “head” of a toothbrush assembly;
  • numeral 12 denotes a valve deployed at the end of passageway 22;
  • numeral 14 denotes a switch for closing/opening the closure;
  • numeral 15 denotes a slider which is a part of the closure;
  • numeral 16 denotes an outlet of a toothpaste dispenser;
  • numeral 18 denotes a valve;
  • numeral 19 denotes a spring;
  • numeral 20 denotes a toothpaste container;
  • numeral 22 denotes a passageway from container 20 to outlet 16;
  • numeral 32 denotes an opening of slider 15;
  • numeral 42 denotes a flexible lid of valve 18;
  • numeral 44 denotes an opening of valve 18; and
  • numeral 46 denotes a flexible lid of valve 12.

While certain features of the invention have been illustrated and described herein, the invention can be embodied in other forms, ways, modifications, substitutions, changes, equivalents, and so forth. The foregoing description of the embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of this disclosure. It is intended that the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by the claims appended hereto.





 
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