US 3680169 A
A first embodiment of a brush to facilitate the cleaning of teeth of human beings wherein the brush head has a plurality of longitudinal projections which non-removably cooperate with mating recesses within the brush handle. A second embodiment of the brush to facilitate the cleaning of teeth wherein the base of the brush cooperates in a tight fitting manner with the brush handle and is ejectable therefrom by a slidable wedge shaped member.
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United States Patent US. Cl. ..l5/l76, 15/167 R Int. Cl. ..A46b 7/04 Field of Search ..15/ 176, 167, 224 R, 194
4/1931 Gray ..15/l67RX 5/1933 Dodson ..15/l76 I III Thompson 1 Aug. 1, 1972  TOOTHBRUSH 2,719,315 10/1955 Sheehan ..l5/l76 X 1 Invenwfl gg Thompson, L08 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS ge 626,239 10/1961 Italy ..l5/l76  Assignee: William B. Koerner, Topango, Caliti,
a part interest Primary Examiner- -Peter Feldman  File d: Oct. 12, I970 Attorney-Jessup 81. Beecher ] App]. No.: 80,002  ABSTRACT A first embodiment of a brush to facilitate the cleaning of teeth of human beings wherein the brush head has a plurality of longitudinal projections which nonremovably cooperate with mating recesses within the brush handle. A second embodiment of the brush to facilitate the cleaning of teeth wherein the base of the brush cooperates in a tight fitting manner with the brush handle and is ejectable therefrom by a slidable wedge shaped member.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures TOOTHBRUSH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The field of this invention relates to hygiology and more particularly to that branch of hygiology that deals with the teeth.
One of mans first thoughts was that of finding ways of keeping the body clean and therefore increasing ones life by preventing body decay. Man early observed that his teeth were subject to premature decay unless kept clean, and this had resulted in the invention of both the toothbrush and dentifrice in many forms. However, with all the many improvements in this field, which is known to the average person as dental hygiene, man has failed to provide a satisfactory, inexpensive disposable toothbrush.
Usually a toothbrush is formed of a rigid handle to which there is secured adjacent one end thereof several rows of bristles. Such toothbrushes have taken many forms and designs in an effort to facilitate the cleaning of teeth. It has been common to design such brushes to last, for a substantial period of time. A particular type of bristle is employed which is to retain its brush-like characteristics after a substantial period of time of continual use. Because of such construction, the cost of such toothbrushes is sufficiently significant so as to preclude disposability.
Within recent years the populace has become progressively more transient. Business men are taking a greater number of business trips each year. Because the society in general has become more affluent, people have more leisure time which permits such people to spend more time away from home. During the time in which people are away from home, the common procedure is to carry their toothbrush within their luggage or ontheir person. As a result, frequently the toothbrush comes into contact with unsanitary conditions. One way to overcome the possibility of a persons toothbrush becoming unsanitary is to employ the use of a disposable toothbrush of disposable toothbrush head.
Heretofore, there have been many attempts at designing such disposable toothbrushes or disposable toothbrush heads. One of the main disadvantages of disposable toothbrushes in the prior art has been the manufacturing cost. For such a toothbrush to be in widespread use, the cost of such must be so small that the user is not apprehensive about discarding such after a single use. In the designing of disposable toothbrush heads, wherein the handle is employed over and over again, no means has been employed to facilitate the removal of the head after use. Further, the inserting of the head within the handle has not been a simple and quick operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The first embodiment of the toothbrush of this invention employs the use of a rigid handle within which are formed at one end thereof a plurality of longitudinal recesses. The recesses have substantially parallel sidewalls with the recesses being separated by a substantially thin wall. The thin wall between adjacent recesses is to cooperate in an interference fit between adjacent longitudinal projections formed upon the base of the brush head. Once the brush head is forcibly pressed into cooperation with the recesses, the brush head thusly becomes substantially integral with the handle with the entire toothbrush being designed to be used once and discarded.
The second embodiment of the toothbrush of this invention employs the use of a brush head which is to be firmly retained within a rectangularly shaped recess within the toothbrush handle. The base of the brush head is to be slightly oversized with respect to the recess within the handle and so when inserted within the recess would retain the brush head therein and prevent it from being accidentally dislodged during normal use. A wedge shaped member is slidably mounted upon the handle and is to be capable of manual actuation to locate the apex of the wedge between the brush head and the handle. As a result, the brush head becomes disassociated with the handle thereby effecting removal of the used brush head and permitting reinstallation of a new brush head.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the second embodiment of the toothbrush of this invention taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOWN EMBODIMENTS Referring particularly to the first embodiment of thisinvention, there is shown in FIG. 1 a toothbrush 10 hav- 7 ing a handle 12 and a brush head 14. The brush head 14 is composed of bristles 16 which are secured to a base 18. A plurality of longitudinal projections 20 are secured to base 18 in a parallel relation. Projections 20 are adjacently spaced apart forming gaps 22 therebetween. Each of the gaps 22 are to be of equal width. Each of the projections 20 are to have substantially parallel side walls which surround the free end.
Adjacently located to the fore end 24 of handle 12 are a plurality of longitudinal recesses 26. It is to be noted that three such recesses 26 are shown in the drawing and are to be so located as to matingly cooperate with the projections 20 of the brush head 14. Between adjacent recesses 26 is a wall 28. Each of the recesses 26 are to have substantially parallel side walls and of sufficient depth to permit full cooperation of a projection 20. The width of the walls 28 are to be such that upon cooperation of projections 20 within the recesses 26, an interference fit occurs between each wall 28 and its respective gap 22. Actually, the arrangement is such that substantial force is to be required to insert projections 20 within the recesses 26. But, upon such cooperation being effected, the projections 20 snap into cooperation with the recesses 26 thereby forming a substantially integral unit between the handle 12 and the brush head 14. Because the brush head 14 is pressed into cooperation with the handle 12 in a single movement, the apparatus (not shown) to effect such movement is relatively noncomplex and small in physical size. As a result, the expense for such machinery is not significant. Also, such a machine can mass produce a large number of toothbrushes in a relatively short period of time. Therefore, the manufacturing cost of each toothbrush is held to a minimum. In actual practice, it is envisioned that each toothbrush will cost only a few cents apiece. Therefore, even the most cost conscious individual should not be apprehensive about using the toothbrush and discarding such after a single use.
Within FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawing the second embodiment. 30 of the toothbrush of this invention is shown. Toothbrush 30 includes a handle 32 and a brush head 34. Brush head 34 includes bristle 36 which is secured to a base 38.
Within the handle 32 at the fore end 40 thereof is formed a rectangularly shaped recess 42. The dimensions of recess 42- are to be slightly in excess of the rectangularly shaped base 38 of the brush head 34. The arrangement between the brush head 34 and the handle 32 is such that the base 38 may be easily inserted with manual force within recess 42, However, the base 38 is retained within recess 42 sufiiciently to prevent accidental dislodgement thereof during usage of the toothbrush 30. Again, the action of inserting the base 38 within recess 42 resembles a snap action wherein an interference fit is provided between the base 38 and the recess 42. However, the interference fit within the second embodiment 30 is substantially less than the force of the interference fit within the first embodiment l0.
Formed within the lower side of handle 32 is a slot 44. The shank portion of the headed fastener 46 passes through slot 44 and is secured to a member 48. The.
head portion of fastener 46 is not capable of passing through slot 44. Member 48 is slidably movable with respect to handle 32, limitedby the length of slot 44. Member 48 has an enlarged portion 50 at one end thereof which is designed to facilitate manual graspingthereof. The free end of member 48 is beveled to form a wedge 52. Wedge 52 is to be located adjacent base 38 of the brush head 34. By manual movement of member 48 toward brush'head 34, the wedge 52 is to move between the base 38 and the fore end 40 of the handle 32. A notch 54 upon base 38 facilitates the insertion of wedge 52 between base 38 and fore end 40. When the wedge 52 has been moved sufficiently wherein adequate thickness of the wedge 52 is located between the base 38 and the fore end 40, the brush head 34 is caused to be removed from recess 42. Removal of brush head 34 would normally be accomplished after usage. Upon the used brush head 34 being removed, it is to be discarded. A new brush head is then to be inserted within recess 42 after retraction of member 48 in the aft position shown in FIG. 4 of the drawing.
It is to be considered that one skilled in the art could readily employ numerous modifications without departing from the scope of this invention. For example, the headed fastener 46 and notch arrangement 44 is only one of many ways in which member 48 is to be located adjacent to handle 32 and permitted longitudinal movement within a certain range. Also, although the material of construction of both the head and handle of both first and second embodiments is envisioned to be a plastic, other materials of construction could be i'fi i i $83823bffiliiilllfiiilbiifii285%? U 6 tion. The bases 18 and 38 of the brush heads 14 and 34, respectively, are each to be formed of a rigid plastic construction but somewhat less rigid than the handles and possessing a certain amount of inherent resiliency. The resiliency of the bases is to facilitate cooperation of such with their respective handle. The bristles l6 and 36 are to also be formed of plastic but of a plastic material which is substantially more resilient than the bases 18 and 38. However, the bristles l6 and 36 must be sufficiently rigid to effect a cleaning of the teeth but at the same time be deflectable so as to not cause injury to the users gums. As previously stated, the toothbrush of this invention is tobe primarily employed by a transient populace. However, because the expense of each of the toothbrushes is designed to be insignificant, individuals could readily employ such a toothbrush on a daily basis. For example, people could carry such a toothbrush on their person to the place where they work so as to brush their teeth after a meal at work.
What is claimed is: l. A toothbrush comprising: a handle element having a recess formed adjacent one end thereof; a brush head to cooperate with said recess in a tight fitting manner; means movable into contact with said brush head to effect removal of such from said recess; and said means comprises a wedge shaped member connected to said handle element, said wedge shaped member being manually movable between a fore position and an aft position, said fore position being when a portion of said wedge shaped member is located between said brush head and said handle element, said aft position being when said wedge shaped member is not in contactual relationship with said brush head.
2. A toothbrush as defined in claim 1 wherein:
said wedge shaped member is in continuous contactual relation with said handle element.
3. A toothbrush as defined in claim 2 wherein:
said brush head being formed of a less rigid material than said handle element.
4. A toothbrush as defined in claim 3 wherein:
said recess being substantially rectangular in configuration.
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