Patent application title: DISPOSABLE DENTAL APPLIANCE
Serafino Canino (Torrington, CT, US)
Scott Gelormino (Torrington, CT, US)
ICC INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS CORPORATION
IPC8 Class: AA45D4018FI
Class name: Toilet kit including toothbrush and pick, scraper, floss, or mirror
Publication date: 2009-02-12
Patent application number: 20090038635
A disposable device for cleaning teeth which incorporates cleaning and/or
fluoride components is disclosed. An open compartment defines an
elongated volume and an elongated opening extending around the periphery
of the top of the volume. A flange is disposed adjacent to the periphery
of the top of the volume. The flange is integral with the compartment.
This compartment is configured to be substantially flat. A closure member
is disposed over the flange. This closure member is secured around the
entire periphery of the top of the volume. The closure member may be
removed when it is so desired. The compartment can be sealed. The tubular
member is contained in the compartment. A quantity of toothpaste is
disposed in the compartment.
1. Apparatus for cleaning the teeth, comprising:(a) an open compartment,
said compartment defining an elongated volume and an elongated opening
extending around the periphery of the top of said volume;(b) a flange
disposed adjacent to the periphery of the top of said volume, said flange
being integral with said compartment, said flange being configured to be
substantially flat;(c) a closure member disposed over said flange, said
closure member being secured around the entire periphery of the top of
said volume defined by said opened apartment, whereby said open
compartment is sealed;(d) a tubular member; and(e) a quantity of
toothpaste disposed in said compartment.
2. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said flange is substantially planar in configuration.
3. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said compartment comprises a bottom and sidewalls.
4. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said toothpaste is disposed on said tubular member.
5. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said tubular member has a surface which is uneven.
6. Apparatus as in claim 5, wherein said uneven surface is configured to include annular ridges.
7. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said tubular member is foam plastic.
8. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said tubular member is a plastic material which incorporates scrubbing members, such as bristles.
9. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said compartment comprises a bottom and sidewalls and wherein said toothpaste is disposed on the bottom of said compartment.
10. Apparatus as in claim 1, further comprising a tooth-pick and a toothpick subcompartment is defined by said compartment.
11. Apparatus as in claim 1, further comprising a brushpick.
12. Apparatus as in claim 1, further comprising a floss-pick.
13. Apparatus as in claim 1, further comprising a separate but connected reservoir in which toothpaste is contained.
14. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the toothpaste is a gel or semi-gel.
15. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the tubular member is closed.
16. Apparatus as in claim 15, wherein the tubular member is rolled onto itself to form a substantially flat member.
The invention relates to a disposable device for cleaning teeth which incorporates cleaning and/or fluoride and/or other components.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Brushing of the teeth on a regular basis is critical to maintenance of good dental health. Tooth decay occurs when food material, for example, and especially, sugary food material, resides in the mouth for a period of time, acting as a culture medium and food for bacteria. If the food is positioned adjacent to a tooth, the culturing bacteria will tend to cause tooth decay. The problem is particularly serious when such culturing of the bacteria occurs for an extended period of time, for example about 36 hours. Sweet foods, such as cookies, cake and the like, if not properly removed from the teeth, are particularly quick to grow bacteria and if not promptly removed from the mouth, will evolve into a serious decay-promoting condition relatively quickly.
Accordingly, it is important that the materials be properly removed from the mouth. However, as a practical matter, few people have the opportunity to brush their teeth during the day, or while on the move. Moreover, even if brushing is done, it does not remove particles of food lodged between the teeth. Accordingly, flossing, typically on a daily basis, is required. However, here again, few people move about their chores during the day with a toothbrush and floss on their person. When people are traveling, the situation is compounded.
Moreover, in recent years, travel has become increasingly common in the United States and throughout the world. When traveling, individuals require personal health items, such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioners and so forth. Many hotels provide such items to their guests, typically placing them in guest rooms. Typically, while not often furnished, toothbrushing devices may comprise an inexpensive toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste to be used by the traveler. Alternatively, many travelers bring their own toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste which may commonly be found in a small travel size package.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the invention, a disposable toothbrush is provided which makes the provision of a separate toothpaste containing package unnecessary. The same is achieved using an open compartment that defines an elongated volume and an elongated opening extending around the periphery of the top of the volume. A flange is disposed adjacent to the periphery of the top of the volume. The flange is integral with the compartment. This compartment is configured to be substantially flat. A closure member is disposed over the flange. This closure member is secured around the entire periphery of the top of the volume. The compartment is thus sealed. A finger mountable, for example tubular, member may be contained in the compartment. The closure member may be removed when desired. A quantity of toothpaste is disposed of in the compartment.
The flange may be substantially planar in configuration.
The compartment may be comprised of a bottom and sidewalls.
The toothpaste may be deposited on the tubular member.
The tubular member may have a surface which is uneven.
The open compartment may have an additional tooth-pick sub-compartment.
The open compartment may have an additional brush sub-compartment.
The open compartment may have an additional floss-pick compartment.
There may be an additional separate reservoir where toothpaste is contained.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION THE DRAWINGS
The operation of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the toothbrushing kit of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the toothbrushing kit of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a front plan view of the toothbrushing kit of the invention showing the opening of the kit;
FIG. 4 is a prospective view from the bottom of the toothbrushing kit of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the of the toothbrushing kit of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a prospective view of a brush that is useful in the kiy of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a front view of the brush of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a side view of the brush of FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the toothbrushing kit of the invention;
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the toothbrushing kit of the invention;
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the toothbrushing kit of the invention;
FIG. 12 is another alternative embodiment of a toothbrush useful in the inventive toothbrushing kit and incorporating ridges;
FIG. 13 is a view of a single-compartment alternative version of the invention;
FIG. 14 is a view of an alternative toothbrushing kit incorporating a tooth-pick compartment according to the invention;
FIG. 15 is a view of an alternative toothbrushing kit incorporating a brush compartment according to the invention;
FIG. 16 is a view of an alternative toothbrushing kit incorporating a floss compartment according to the invention;
FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view of another alternative brush useful in the invention;
FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of yet another alternative brush useful in the invention;
FIG. 19 is a cross-sectional view of still another alternative brush in the invention;
FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view of yet still another alternative brush in the invention;
FIG. 21 is yet still another alternative embodiment of a brush useful with the invention;
FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the brush of FIG. 21;
FIG. 23 is an alternative embodiment of the invention in which the toothpaste is contained in a separate reservoir;
FIG. 24 is a view similar to FIG. 16, but with improved floss-pick; and
FIG. 25 is a view of the floss-pick of FIG. 24 in use.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to FIG. 1, the inventive kit 10 comprises a tray 12. Tray 12 is integral with a flange 14, as illustrated in FIG. 2. A foil 16 is disposed over the top surface 18 of flange 14. The bottom surface 20 of foil 16 is secured to the top surface 22 of flange 14 by contact adhesive (such as a self adhesive material), heat sealing, or any other suitable means. Such seal is conducted over, for example, the entire area of top surface 22, except for portion 24 which is defined by an interface boundary 26, between that portion of flange 14 which is adhered to foil 16 and that portion of flange 14 which is not adhered to foil 16. (FIG. 1).
This ensures that while the contents of tray 12 are hermetically sealed from the atmosphere by foil 16, a corner 28 may be pried upwardly in the direction of the arrow 30, thus allowing the entire foil 16 to be peeled upwardly as illustrated in FIG. 3 and then removed entirely leaving tray 12 with its contents behind. Foil 16 may be metallic, or it may be a simple plastic film. Foil 16 may also be a metallized plastic film, such as Mylar (trademark).
As illustrated in FIG. 4, tray 12 includes a pair of compartments 32 and 34 which house brushes 36 and 38. Compartments 32 and 34 are elongated, as illustrated most clearly in FIG. 5. Compartments 32 and 34 are of conventional construction, similar to those used for packaging butter, jelly, honey and other disposable items. Brushes 36 and 38 have inner diameters 40, which are sufficiently large to receive the index finger of a user. See FIGS. 6 and 7.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment, brushes 36 and 38 are, for example, circular in cross-section, as illustrated in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. However, when brushes 36 and 38 are inserted into compartments 32, they are compressed into an oval shape, as illustrated in FIG. 9.
While, in accordance with a preferred embodiment, both brushes are of substantially equal diameter, alternatively, one may be large enough to receive the index finger and the other one may be large enough to receive the middle finger, if it is desired to have a kit in which it is possible to use two fingers simultaneously to cleanse the teeth. Alternatively, the brushes may be used one at a time, and be of, for example, identical dimension.
When it is desired to use the inventive brushes, foil 16 or the alternative plastic film is pulled of by grasping and pulling corner 28, as shown in FIG. 3. Foil 16 is pulled by the user until it is detached from tray 12, and may be discarded as the inventive system contemplates a single use. Cover 16 is used to seal the tray because the cleaner material, which adheres to or is impregnated in brushes 36 and 38, will become dried out and less effective and pleasant to use without a cover.
One then inserts the index and middle finger into the brushes and applies the toothpaste to the teeth with a forward up and down and/or with forward and rearward motion to scrub the teeth. A wide variety of motions may be used, for example, elliptical or circular scrubbing.
While it is not necessary to do so, it is useful for the user to rinse out the mouth prior to beginning the brushing operation. This has two effects. First, it removes excess material from the mouth, thus reducing the volume of material which must be dealt with by the inventive brushes. This is particularly important, because the brushes have a relatively shallow brushing volume which can become fouled easily if excessive material remains.
The second advantage of such rinsing with water is that spreading of the toothpaste is promoted and the comfort associated with the same is achieved. In addition, if the mouth has been rinsed with water, a more concentrated toothpaste may be used, thus increasing the amount of active ingredient which may be effectively adhered to the brushes. Use of gel or some gel concentrated toothpaste is contemplated in accordance with the invention.
While up-and-down motion will also work to effectively clean the teeth, brushing and scrubbing motion should be directed away from the gum line to avoid driving particulate matter into the region between the face of the teeth and the edge of the gums, where such material will tend to culture bacteria which cause dental caries.
In accordance with the preferred embodiment, scrubbers 36 and 38 may comprise any suitable material such as an open cell or closed cell foam plastic material, although open cell foam plastic materials, such as sponge-like materials with relatively small open pockets are preferred. The scrubbers are contained in tray 12 together with typical constituents of toothpaste formulas. In accordance with the invention, these may include fluorides, whiteners, mouthwash, antiseptics, plaque remover, mildly abrasive polishing compounds, baking soda, peroxide, anti-cavity agents, and so forth. These materials may be incorporated by being mixed into the general toothpaste formula. Alternatively, they may be present in discrete patches, microcapsules, or in some other form.
In accordance with the invention, because the housing is hermetically sealed, the toothpaste formula in the housing remains fresh until it is used.
In accordance with the invention, toothpaste may be deposited on the top-exposed side of each brush or scrubbers 36 and 38, or, alternatively, may be deposited all around the brush. The pores in the sponge-like material of the brush, may be made sufficiently large to accommodate secure location of toothpaste on the brush. In accordance with the invention, toothpaste is maintained in a moist, pasty state, not unlike conventional toothpaste in a tube, on account of the hermetic seal which isolates the contents of the housing from the outside atmosphere. The result is that the toothpaste has sufficient adhesion to stay in place on the brush as it is removed from the housing and as the brush is handled by the user.
In accordance with the invention, the brush may take the configuration of a cylindrical tube with two open ends. Alternatively, one of the ends of the tube may be closed.
If a simple tube with two open ends is desired, foam tubing may be cut, for example, by feeding it onto a metallic rod with a domed end, after which the tube is cut, leaving a brush mounted on the rod for subsequent transport and, for example, rotation in front of a spray applicator of toothpaste. After such application the tubular toothbrush may be set into a housing for subsequent sealing and use by a consumer.
Alternatively, if either of the brushes has a cylindrical configuration which is closed at one end, the brush may be formed by depositing plastic material in the melt state on a metal rod with a domed end, for example, by dipping the metal rod in the melted plastic, and allowing the plastic which forms the brush scrubber to cure for subsequent removal and subsequent processing.
In the event that one desires that the toothpaste be on only the exposed side of the brush, the toothpaste may be applied after the brushes are positioned in the housing prior to closure of the housing by foil 16. Conversely, in the event that it is desired that toothpaste be located around the entire cylindrical sidewall of the brush, toothpaste may be applied by any suitable mechanism, such as being sprayed on the tubes prior to placement into tray 12.
In the alternative embodiments of this specification, these embodiments have been numbered with reference numbers which are multiples of 100 higher than the numbers of corresponding or analogous parts of the embodiment of FIG. 1, where practical, for purposes of clarity of illustration.
In a accordance with the preferred embodiment, brushes 36 and 38 are cylindrical in cross-section, allowing them to be compressed, perhaps flat or oval-shaped as illustrated in FIG. 1, thus reducing the overall volume of the kits, while allowing the brushes to expand after the tray has been opened. If desired, the compartments may be made shallower and the brushes may be compressed into the compartments, so that when brushes 136 and 138 are compressed into compartments 132, they are substantially flat, as illustrated FIG. 10.
One alternative is for toothpaste 46 to be deposited in the bottom of compartments 32 and 34, as illustrated in FIG. 11.
Another alternative is illustrated in FIG. 12. In this case, the brushes 238 include a plurality of annular grooves 242.
Still another alternative is illustrated in FIG. 13, where brushing kit 310 comprises a single compartment 332.
In accordance with the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 14, a brushing kit 410 comprises a tray 412 with a compartment for a toothpick 444. The tray 412 is illustrated with the plastic or foil cover removed.
In accordance the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 15, a brushing kit 510 comprises a tray 512 with a compartment for a brushpick 548.
Yet another alternative is illustrated in FIG. 16, where a brushing kit 610 comprises a tray 612 with a compartment for a floss-pick 650.
FIG. 17 illustrates an alternative embodiment of a brush or scrubber 736 useful in the kit of the present invention in which brush bristle fibers 752 are incorporated into the foam plastic, which forms brush 736. The position of the finger 740 of the user during a brushing operation is illustrated.
FIG. 18 illustrates the brush of FIG. 17, but in which a quantity of toothpaste 746 is adhered to the outside of brush 736.
FIG. 19 is similar to the brush illustrated in FIG. 18, except that brush 836 has a closed end 854.
FIG. 20 shows a brush 936 similar to that illustrated in FIG. 19 except that it includes a layer of lubricant 956 to promote insertion of the finger into the brush 936.
FIGS. 21-22 show yet another embodiment of the invention in which the brush has a closed end and is wound onto itself to form a substantially flat brush 1036. Brush 1036 may be unrolled and mounted on the finger by placing the fingertip against inner end 1058 and unrolling the same until it is positioned as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 19.
FIG. 23 shows yet another alternative embodiment of the invention in which a toothbrushing kit 1110 contains toothpaste 1146 in a separate reservoir 1151.
FIG. 24 illustrates another alternative embodiment of the inventive kit 1210 similar to that of FIG. 16, except that floss-pick 1250 includes a hook 1260 for cleaning the space 1261 between the inside faces of teeth 1262 as illustrated in FIG. 25.
While an illustrative embodiment of the invention has been described, and several alternatives given in the above description, it is understood that some modifications of the same will be obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art. The invention is meant to encompass such obvious modifications and is limited and defined only by the appended claims.
Patent applications by Scott Gelormino, Torrington, CT US
Patent applications by Serafino Canino, Torrington, CT US
Patent applications by ICC INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS CORPORATION
Patent applications in class And pick, scraper, floss, or mirror
Patent applications in all subclasses And pick, scraper, floss, or mirror