2~ 04277 A COMBINATION OF TOOTHBRUSH
AND TOOTHPASTE DISPENSER
FIELD OF T~E INVENTION
This invention relates in palticular to the field of dental care accessories and generally to a combination of a brush or the like and fluid dispenser.
DESCR~TION OF PRIOR ART.
The fast rhythm of modern societies has necessitated the development of portable products that users can carly around on travel, and conveniently in public locations such as the workplace. A
toothbrush that integrates in its body a toothpaste dispenser is an example of such products.
A number of portable toothbrush inventions that embody a toothbrush and a toothpaste dispenser contained in the handle ha~e already been patented. However these inventions did not successfully address the issue of manufacturability, cos~ efficiency and reliability, which are necessary requirements in order to turn these ideas into a product .
An example of these invention is in the Canadian patent number 2002600 which describes a dispenser that rely on a dispensing component that advances in a cavity by mean of a pusher ridged post, the cavity contains the toothpaste. The invention however does not demonstrate how the dispensing component can be returned to its starting position, once toothpaste is depleted, to allow refill and re-use, this seem to be complicated consideAng the mechanism involved. Apart from that, the center of the dispensing component is not adequately sealed from the ridged post, a leak of toothpaste around the post will eventually dry and hinder the proper function of the most critical pan, that is the said resilient element no. 18.. Another drawback, the toothpaste is delivered to the bristles through a ~ ~
number of dispensing tubes that protrude among the bAstles and definitely can interfere with the proper ~;
use of the bristles.
Other examples are found in the Canadian patents number 2026433 and the International patent number WO 91/13569. Although these patents describe a variety of dispensing mechanisms, none addresses the most practical need of the potential users of such invention, that is a highly reliable and durable mean to dispense controlled amoumts of toothpaste on a toothbrush while taking into consideration the cost efficiency and the manufacturability factor for the various components OBJECT OF THE INVENTION.
The object of this invention is to provide a reliable and reusable combination of a toothbrush and toothpaste dispenser kit incorporating an economically replaceable bristles.
Also to provide a combination of a toothbrush and toothpaste dispenser incorporating a locking mechanism to prevent accidental release of toothpaste when not in use.
Also another object of the invention is to address the cost factor which make this toothbrush combination available economicalb to a larger sector of users.
SUMMARY OF T~IE INVENlION. I
The basic components of this invention are: a replaceable toothbrush head, a flexible collapsible cartridge containing the toothpaste and sealed in the cavity of the handle; and a push-button air pump at the right end of the handle. Pressing the push-button will result in an incremental positive pressure inside the pressure chamber. The cartridge, being exposed only to the outside pressure in the pressure : -chamber, wlll cottaptp ~mt elet4e a ~peoiftc pmopnt of toothpaste ttLrough a ohannel leading lo the ~, 210~277 dispensing valve. The dispensing valve which is a uni-directional valve delivers the toothpaste to the toothbrush head through a slot opening. One depression of the push-button is sufficicnt to release an adequate amount of toothpaste for one time use, however the amount can be increased by repeatedly activating the push-button as needed. Upon full collapse of the cartridge and consequently complete depletion of lhe toothpaste, further activation of the pump will result in useless pressure build-up in the pressure chamber. At a given pressure value, a vent valve in the pump will open, and the pressurized air in the chamber will vent through it releasing an audible sound indicating to the user a refill or a replacement of the cartridge is needed. By unscrewing the neck elongation, in order to access the cartridge for replacement or refilling, the pressure on the inside and outside of the car~ridge will equalize, hence restoring its original form and thc refill with the favorite toothpaste can then be accomplished.
In order to accommodate the user convenience, the center of the push-button is designed with a profile that fit with the profile on the tip of the toothbrush cover, ladies with long finger nails can use the cover to activate the push-button. Also a locking arrangement is provided to prevent unintentional release of the toothpaste when the toothbrush is not in use, this is simply accomplished by rotating the lock at the end of the handle clockwise to a stop. The unused toothpaste in the cartridge and the neck elongation remains totally sealed from lhe outside, residue of the toothpaste in the brush head will also be sealed by the formation of a thin layer of dry paste in the narrow slot at the root of the bristles, this will be forced open to the outside ne:ct time the push-button is depressed.
In order to accommodate cost and manufacturability, the selection of components with simple configuration and multiple functions was intentional. All plastic components comprised in this invention are made of commercial thermoplastic materials and are produceable by standard molding process which is most adequate for high production volume. Other components such as springs are off-the shelf commercial components and are readily available with no further processing needed. Most of these components does nol necessitate close tolerance control during production, this improves considerably production cost.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DR~WINGS.
:, For a better understanding of the forgoing invention, its features and operation, reference will be made to the accompanying detailed drawings wherein:
Figure 1 is a full scale main views of the toothbrush.
Figure 2 is a longitudinal schematic cross section of the toothbrush (Section A-A), taken as indicated in figure l, as well as a schematic view of an enlargement of dispensing valve area (View-B), the later is again cross sectioned perpendicular to the axis of the toothbrush (Section D-D) to show the configuration in this direction.
Figure 3 is a schematic view of an enlargement of the push-button and pump area (View-C), where shown on figure 2. This is again cross sectioned perpendicular to the axis of the toothbrush (Section E-E) to show ffirther details.
With reference to figure 2 -Section A-A, the toothbrush comprises: The push-button (S) and pump section, the handle (12) that houses the toothpaste cartridge (3), and a replaceable toothbrush head (1) securely attached to the neck elongation (8) using attachment sleeve ~14). The said neck elongation (8) contains the dispensing valve (4) at its end interfacing with the toothbrush head (1). Handle (12) and elongation (8) are cormected through a threaded junction to allow insertion or removal of the said cartridge inside the said handle.
With reference to figure 3, view-C and section E-E. The pump is defined by casing (6), Push-bulton (5), Piston (9) and spring (11). The push-button (5) as may be seen in the embodiment of section E-E
has eight circumferencially spaced outwardly projecting protrusions (C), these are to maintain a circumferencial radial space with casing (6) in order to create air passage (L), it also has two projections extended axially toward said cartridge (3). Firstly, the inner projection (W) is to connect the push-button with the handle (12) and prevent relative rotation to it by the effect of the longitudinal :-~ sidges (Y) in the handle central portion. Secondly, the outer projection (O), on which piston (9) engages snugly but slideably has also eight circumferencially spaced outwardly projected protrusions ( I
) in order to create air passage (M) with said piston, it also has on its inner surface two lugs (F~ 180 degrees apart inwardly projected and axially extended. The said lugs normally aligns axially with two .. - 2 -21~277 corresponding slots (G) in the said casing (6). The axial movement of said push-button (5) is allowcd only when said lugs and slots are aligned, and prevented when they are misalligned by the effect of rotating said casing (6) clockwise to a stop, hence effecting a locking.
The push-button in the normal position seals against said casing (6) along its surrace (K~. The piston (9) sealingly but slideably engages the inner surface of casing (6). Casing (6) also seals against handle (12) at interface (X) and has on its outer diameter eight circumferencially spaced projections (U), as seen in section E-E, to create air passage (N) with the end of said handle (12). Said piston (9~ is made of moderately flexible thermoplastic material so it can be snapped in position onto the push-button, similarly the push-button can be snapped in position inside the casing (6).
In operation, pressing push-button (5) will bring it into intimate contact with piston (9) along interface (~i) sealing off the air volume inside the pump, further forward movement of the push-button will pressurize the air volume in the pressure chamber forcing cartridge (3) to collapse. Upon release of the push-button, the seal along interface (Il) will open by the effect of compression spring (11) allowing air into the pump across the push-button and the piston through air passage (L) and (M) respectively, filling the vacuum in the pressure chamber (P) in preparation for a new activation cycle.
With reference to figure 2 - Section A-A and View B, the cavity in the handle (12) represents the pressure chamber (P) and houses the cartridge (3). The toothpaste in the cartridge is directly connected to the transfer channel (S) in the neck elongation (8) leading to the dispensing valve (4) which dispenses toothpaste to the toothbrush head (1) through slot (Z).
With reference to figure 1, the toothbrush head (1) has a slot (R) (seen also in figure 2, section A-A ) in the rniddle to allow the flow of the dispensed toothpaste to the bristles (Q), the close proximity of the bristles elements with only .020 inch spacing at the root will obstruct the tlow of the pressurized fluid sideways, and enhance the flow upward.
Finally, Cover (13) protects the toothbrush head and attaches to the front end of the handle (12) through a threaded junction.