Title:
Toothbrush holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a sanitary toothbrush holder that holds toothbrushes in place to hang up right or upside down resulting in a cleaner brush that is air dried. It provides a better, easier and secure method of storing the brush after use. It is especially effective for children to place the brush against the holder with little difficulty.



Inventors:
Ruppert, Richard D. (Ottawa Hills, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/317664
Publication Date:
07/23/2009
Filing Date:
12/23/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/303, 15/167.1
International Classes:
A44B99/00; A45C11/00; A46B9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ORTIZ, RAFAEL ALFREDO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Schaffer, Schaub & Marriott, Ltd. (Toledo, OH, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A toothbrush holder for use with a toothbrush having a metallic element comprising: a magnetic block for engaging the metallic element in the toothbrush and for removably securing the toothbrush to the block; and a securing means for mounting the magnetic block on a surface that is convenient for a user of the toothbrush.

2. The holder of claim 1 wherein the magnetic block is at least partially covered in a plastic material to facilitate cleaning the holder.

3. The holder of claim 2 wherein the magnetic block is embedded in the plastic material.

4. The holder of claim 1 wherein the securing means is an adhesive that is placed on one surface of the magnetic block, the adhesive being sufficient to secure the block to the surface.

5. The holder of claim 1 wherein the securing means is a threaded fastener that can be positioned in at least one aperture in the magnetic block to secure the magnetic block to the surface.

6. The holder of claim 1 wherein the securing means is a metal plate that is secured to one side of the surface and the magnetic block is positioned on the other side of the surface, the magnetic force of the magnetic block securing the magnetic block to the metal plate to removably secure the magnetic block to the surface.

7. The holder of claim 1 wherein the securing means is a metal plate that is secured to the surface, the magnetic force of the magnetic block securing the magnetic block to the metal plate to removably secure the magnetic block to the surface.

8. A toothbrush for use with a magnetic holder comprising: a head having bristles positioned thereon, the bristles being disposed for brushing the teeth of a user; a handle connected to the head, the handle extending from the head; a piece of metal is secured to either the head or the handle for securing the toothbrush to the magnetic holder.

9. The toothbrush of claim 8 wherein the piece of metal is bonded to the exterior of the handle or the head.

10. The toothbrush of claim 8 wherein the piece of metal is embedded in the handle or the head.

11. The toothbrush of claim 10 wherein the piece of metal is positioned close enough to the exterior surface of the handle or the head to allow the magnetic holder to removably secure the toothbrush to magnetic holder.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application No. 61/011,847, filed on Jan. 23, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is generally directed to a holder that can be utilized to position toothbrushes in a convenient location and a toothbrush for use with the holder. A Toothbrush is an awkwardly shaped device that is used on a daily basis but is difficult to store in between uses. As the toothbrush is used in the mouth on the teeth of the user, it is important that the toothbrush be maintained in a sanitary environment. It is also important that the toothbrush be stored in a way that allows the brush to dry between uses. In the past, various toothbrush holders have been designed that have a slot for the handle of the toothbrush but the slot is not large enough to allow the brushes on the end of the toothbrush to pass through the slot. Frequently this style of holder has several slots positioned around a center section that can be used to hold a cup or other container. The brushes of the toothbrush engage the holder and introduce sanitary concerns for this type of storage. In addition, it is not always easy to position the handle in the slot and frequently the toothbrushes will fall and come into contact with other less sanitary surfaces in the bathroom. The toothbrushes in such a holding device are also frequently in close proximity to the toothbrush of other users and this can be a less than desirable sanitary condition. Frequently, toothbrushes are stored in a glass between uses where the glass is positioned on a counter in the bathroom. The use of a glass as storage device for a toothbrush has the same deficiencies as the previously discussed holder.

Accordingly, there is a need for a toothbrush holder that will store a toothbrush in a sanitary manner. It is also desirable to have a holder that allows the toothbrush to be stored in a convenient location where the toothbrush is easily removed and replaced in the storage device. There is also a need for a toothbrush that can be used with the holder to conveniently and sanitarily store the toothbrush.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a toothbrush holder that is capable of suspending a toothbrush that contains a piece of steel or iron in the handle. A battery operated (chargeable or non-chargeable) toothbrush that contains iron or steel in the handle of the brush can also be suspended on the magnetic toothbrush holders.

The advantages of the invention are that the holder provides for easy placement of the toothbrush against the holder especially for children. Those with impaired hand function and senior citizens may find this new holder easier to access and to remove and replace the toothbrush back on the holder. The brush is held in the open air for drying. The holder is spaced apart from the toothbrush and the toothbrush is not likely to become soiled in a bathroom medicine cabinet or vanity cabinet resulting in improved sanitation. The holder can be attached to a medicine cabinet or a utility cabinet made of iron or steel (metal). The magnetized toothbrush holder can be attached to a plate of metal (iron or steel) glued to a non-metal cabinet or a utility cabinet drawer. The holder can be easily removed for cleaning and replaced when desired. The magnetized toothbrush holder can be attached to a mirror with the use of flat steel or iron plate glued to the back of the mirror. The holder will be held in place by the magnetic attraction between the magnet and the metal plate on the back of the mirror. An anti-static paper can be attached to the holder to enhance the attachment of the holder on the mirror. The holder may be removed for purposes of cleaning the mirror and later replaced. The holder allows more than one brush to be held in place and the number of brushes held is dependent upon the design of the holder and the available space for placement.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a metal plate that can be used to secure the toothbrush holder of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front cross sectional view of the toothbrush holder of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the magnet used in the toothbrush holder.

FIG. 4 is a side cross sectional view of the toothbrush holder.

FIG. 5 is a side perspective view of a toothbrush that can be used with the holder.

FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of a toothbrush that can be used with the holder.

FIG. 7 is a side perspective view of a toothbrush that can be used with the holder.

FIG. 8 is a front elevation view of the toothbrush holder positioned in a medicine cabinet.

FIG. 9 is a front elevation view of the toothbrush holder positioned in a drawer.

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of the toothbrush holder position on a mirror.

FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of the holder positioned on a mirror by a magnet.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a toothbrush that can be used with the holder.

FIG. 13 is a side elevation view of the holder used with the toothbrush of FIG. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

The present invention relates to a sanitary toothbrush holder that holds toothbrushes in place to hang up right or upside down resulting in a cleaner brush that is air dried. The toothbrush can also be held in a horizontal orientation if that is more convenient or preferred. It provides a better, easier and secure method of storing the brush after use. It is especially effective for children to place the brush against the holder with little difficulty.

The present invention allows the toothbrush holder to be in open view on a mirror or in a drawer and does not compromise the sanitary aspects of the toothbrush. Located on a mirror it will remind the user, especially children, of the presence of the brush and encourage daily use.

The design of the holder can be different shapes as long as the holder has sufficient magnetic material in the holder, and brush can be different shapes as long as there is iron or steel in the brush, usually the handle.

This invention, as shown in FIGS. 1-10, relates to a magnetic toothbrush holder 10 for holding in place toothbrushes 21 containing iron or steel 27 (metal) in the handle 22 or head 23 of the toothbrush. The toothbrush may be held upright or upside down to easily allow the brush to dry in the open air. The toothbrush is securely, but removably, held on the holder. The holder is a magnet 25 that can be encased in a plastic 30 such as epoxy, acrylic or other suitable plastic types of materials which allows a brush with metal in the handle or on the outside of the handle to be held in a secure manner. Although a magnet 25 can be used to directly secure a toothbrush 21, it has been found preferable to enclose or encase the magnet in a plastic material to enhance the appearance and sanitary condition of the toothbrush holder 10. It is important that a significant portion of the magnetic attraction of the magnet 25 pass through or be present on the exterior-of the plastic cover to allow the magnet to secure a toothbrush 21. The brush is easily removed and replaced by children and may be placed in a conspicuous location on a mirror or in a cabinet as a reminder for children.

A toothbrush 21 with metal in the handle 22 and/or head 23, or on the outside of its handle or head, as well as battery operated toothbrushes 24 with metal in the handle, as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, will be attracted to the toothbrush holder 10 and held in place in an upright, upside down, or horizontal position. In a preferred design the metal piece 27 is encased in the material of the handle 22 or head 23 of the toothbrush 21. The metal piece needs to be sufficiently close to the exterior surface of the handle or head to allow the magnet 25 to releasably secure the toothbrush 21 to the holder 10.

The toothbrush and the holder maybe designed to have different shapes to accommodate being positioned on a mirror, medicine cabinet or vanity cabinet of a bathroom. The holder 10 may be composed of a plastic or acrylic resin 30 that encloses a magnet 25 of ferrite or magnetized metal.

The present invention, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, allows the holder to be attached to different surfaces including iron or steel (metal) medicine cabinets 35 and vanity cabinets or drawers. The magnetic attraction of the magnet 25 in the holder 10 is sufficient to secure the holder 10 on the metal surface of medicine cabinet or vanity. An adhesive can also be placed on the surface of the holder 10 that is placed against the cabinet or vanity to assist in securing the holder in the desired location.

The present invention, as shown in FIG. 9, permits cabinets 43 made of wood or composition material to be used by gluing a plate 15 of iron or steel (metal) to the cabinet. The magnetic toothbrush holder will be attracted to the plate of steel or iron and held in position on the plate 15.

The present invention as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11 may be used on a mirror 45 by gluing a plate of metal 15 to the back side of the mirror and attaching the magnetic toothbrush holder to the front of the mirror. Anti-static paper 47 can be placed on the side of the holder 10 that contacts the mirror to assist in securing the toothbrush holder 10 to the mirror 45. The toothbrushes attached to the holder are in full view of adults and children.

It should also be recognized that the magnetic piece could be positioned on or in the toothbrush and that he metallic piece could be positioned in the holder. As shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the toothbrush 61 has a magnetic insert 65 in the handle 62 or head 63 of the toothbrush. The holder 70 has a metallic piece 76 that is encased in plastic 30 as previously described. The magnet holds the toothbrush on the holder through the attraction between the magnet and the metallic piece. If the toothbrush contains the magnetic insert, the toothbrush can be positioned on a magnetic surface such as a medicine cabinet or a drawer without the need for a holder.

Although the holder 10 has been described as being used with toothbrushes 21, it should be recognized that the holder can be used with other devices. In the bathroom, files, tweezers, nail clippers and other metallic items could be stored on a holder to such items in a handy and secure location. In addition, traditionally non-metallic items like combs and brushes could be stored on the holder by adding a metallic component to these products. The holder could also be used in other rooms or locations to conveniently store items that are frequently used. The items would need to be metallic or have a metallic component added to the items. The holder 10 would be mounted in one of the ways herein described.

The above detailed description of the present invention is given for explanatory purposes. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the whole of the foregoing description is to be construed in an illustrative and not a limitative sense, the scope of the invention being defined solely by the appended claims.





 
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