GB2361632A - Mouth/tooth brush and method of cleaning mouth/teeth - Google Patents

Mouth/tooth brush and method of cleaning mouth/teeth Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2361632A
GB2361632A GB0010003A GB0010003A GB2361632A GB 2361632 A GB2361632 A GB 2361632A GB 0010003 A GB0010003 A GB 0010003A GB 0010003 A GB0010003 A GB 0010003A GB 2361632 A GB2361632 A GB 2361632A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
brush head
mouthbrush
handle
reservoir
preceding
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB0010003A
Other versions
GB2361632B (en
GB0010003D0 (en
Inventor
Maureen Sullivan
Original Assignee
Maureen Sullivan
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Maureen Sullivan filed Critical Maureen Sullivan
Priority to GB0010003A priority Critical patent/GB2361632B/en
Publication of GB0010003D0 publication Critical patent/GB0010003D0/en
Publication of GB2361632A publication Critical patent/GB2361632A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2361632B publication Critical patent/GB2361632B/en
Application status is Expired - Fee Related legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B17/00Accessories for brushes
    • A46B17/04Protective covers for the bristles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B11/00Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water
    • A46B11/001Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water with integral reservoirs
    • A46B11/002Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water with integral reservoirs pressurised at moment of use manually or by powered means
    • A46B11/0041Flexible or deformable reservoirs, e.g. resilient bulbs, compressible tubes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B3/00Brushes characterised by the way in which the bristles are fixed or joined in or on the brush body or carrier
    • A46B3/18Brushes characterised by the way in which the bristles are fixed or joined in or on the brush body or carrier the bristles being fixed on or between belts or wires
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B5/00Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware
    • A46B5/02Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware specially shaped for holding by the hand

Abstract

A mouthbrush (toothbrush) comprises a handle 12 having a brush head 14 located at one end thereof, a detachable or integrally formed reservoir (16 figure 2B) for tooth cleaning fluid which may be squeezable by hand, and means to enable the tooth cleaning fluid to be dispensed from the reservoir to the brush head. The dispensing means may comprise a passageway 22 passing through the handle and a tube 40 linking the passageway and a dispensing point part way along the brush head. The brush head may have filaments located around its circumference in a helical manner, wherein the filaments are held in place by a helically wound member which may be the dispensing tube. The brush handle may have a generally circular or spiral cross-section, whereby the spiral shape of both the brush head and handle is intended to assist the user in employing a rolling motion of the brush head. The brush head may be covered by a tethered cap (18 figure 1) when not in use, the cap having internal projections (43 figure 3) for helping to clean the brush head.

Description

2361632 TITLE Mouthbrushes and Methods of Cleaning the Mouth/Teeth

DESCRIPTION

This invention, in its various aspects, relates to mouthbrushes and methods of cleaning the mouth/teeth. The mouthbrushes are of the type having a handle which, in use, is held in the hand of the person who is cleaning their mouth/teeth or in the hand of somebody else who is cleaning the mouth/teeth of a young child, invalid or animal. The invention was conceived to promote the cleaning by children of primary school age of their teeth, but it does have other applications.

The impact of oral hygiene instruction, particularly for young children, is significantly weakened by the real obstacles in observing it. It is, for instance, not possible for staff to take a whole school, or even a few classes, through cloakrooms and supervise the quite complex sequence of toothbrushing after meals or breaks, without seriously curtailing teaching time. In addition to a toothbrush, each child needs a supply of toothpaste and adequate tap and basin facilities. A first aspect of the invention, or preferred features of it, are concerned with this problem.

In accordance with the first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mouthbrush having a handle, a brush head at one end of the handle, a reservoir for tooth cleaning fluid, and means to enable fluid to be dispensed from the reservoir to the brush head. The tooth cleaning fluid may be water or it may contain a cleaning agent, and it is preferably such that it can be swallowed without harming the user. It may be pleasantly flavoured so as to encourage brushing of the teeth. In use, therefore, tooth cleaning fluid can be dispensed onto the brush head; the mouthbrush can then be used without needing a separate supply of toothpaste; and there is no need for a basin and separate supply of water.

In one embodiment, the dispensing means includes a passageway extending from the reservoir and through the handle to the brush head. The dispensing means may include a tube extending from said one end of the handle to a position part-way along the brush head to assist in depositing and retaining the tooth cleaning fluid on the brush head until the brush head is placed in the mouth.

The reservoir is preferably detachably attached to the other end of the handle to assist in replenishing it, or so that it can be replaced, or forms part of the other end of the handle. The reservoir is preferably flexible and can be squeezed so as to dispense fluid from the reservoir to the brush head.

Many people do not clean their teeth in the most effective manner, and tend to concentrate on polishing the faces of the teeth with a reciprocating motion of the brush head generally in the axial direction of the toothbrush handle, rather than removing plaque and food debris from between the teeth with a lateral or twisting/rolling motion of the brush head relative to the handle axis. Second and third aspects of the present invention are concerned with encouraging and assisting more effective use of a toothbrush.

In accordance with the second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mouthbrush having a handle and a brush head at one end of the handle, the brush head having brush filaments arranged all around the brush head, by contrast to a conventional toothbrush where all of the brush filaments extend generally in the same direction. It is believed that such an arrangement of brush filaments will encourage the user to employ a rolling motion of the brush head around the axis of the handle and so be more effective in removing plaque and food debris from between the teeth.

Preferably, the brush filaments are arranged in a helical configuration. An inexpensive construction similar to that commonly employed for bottle brushes may therefore be used.

In accordance with the third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a mouthbrush having an elongate handle and a brush head at one of the handle, wherein the outline of the handle, as viewed in the direction of the axis of the handle, is generally circular or spiral-shaped. Again, it is believed that such a handle shape will encourage the user to employ a rolling motion of the brush head.

The cross-sectional shape of a major part of the handle may be circular, but preferably it is non-circular and the major part of the handle has a helical twist. In this case, the pitch of the helical twist may decrease towards the brush head. Also, the cross- sectional area of a major part of the handle may decrease towards the brush head.

It will be appreciated that any two, or all, of these aspects of the invention may be employed together in the same mouthbrush.

In the case where the dispensing tube extends to a position part-way along the brush head, and where the brush filaments are arranged in a helical configuration, in one embodiment, the brush filaments are held between the tube and at least one helically-wound holding element.

In this case, the tube may also be helically wound, or there may be two such one 5 helically-wound holding elements.

The mouthbrush may be provided with a cap which can be slid on and off the brush head, the cap having a plurality of internal projections arranged to rake the brush head as the cap is slid on or off the brush head and to assist in holding the cap in place on the brush head. Preferably, the cap is tethered to the remainder of the mouthbrush.

In accordance with a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of cleaning teeth employing a mouthbrush according to any of the first to third aspects of the invention, the method comprising the steps of holding the handle in the hand, inserting the brush head into the mouth, and moving the handle by hand so that the brush head brushes the teeth/mouth.

A specific embodiment of the present invention will now be described, purely by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure I is a side view of a first embodiment of mouthbrush; Figures 2A&B are side views, on an enlarged scale, of the mouthbrush of Figure 1, divided into two portions; Figure 3 is a view looking into the inside of a cap for the mouthbrush of Figure 1; Figure 4 is a side view of a brush head of a second embodiment of mouthbrush, with bristles of the brush head shown in outline for clarity; Figure 5 is a sectioned view taken in the direction 5-5 shown in figure 4; and Figure 6 is a side view of a brush head of a third embodiment of mouthbrush, with the bristles omitted for clarity.

Referring to Figure 1, the mouthbrush 10 of the first embodiment of the invention comprises a handle 12 having a brush head 14 at one end of the handle 12 and a reservoir 16 for tooth cleaning fluid at the other end of the handle 12. A cap 18 is attached to the handle 12 by a length of cord 20, and the cap 18 can be fitted over the brush head 14 when the mouthbrush 10 is not being used so as to protect the brush head 14 and keep it clean. The cap 18 has a place for labelling the mouthbrush 10 with the owner's name.

Referring now to Figures 2A and 2B, the handle 12 is formed of transparent, moulded plastics material and has a generally square cross-section with a helical twist to the handle 12 through about half a turn along the length of the handle 12. A passageway 22 is formed through the handle 12 from one end to the other.

The brush head 14 comprises a pair of wires 24 which are helically twisted about each other. Along most of the length of the wires 24, a series of bristles 26 is trapped between the wires 24 so as to form a helical brush of similar construction to a conventional bottle brush. At the lower end of the brush head 14, the wires 24 are moulded into the upper end of the handle 12. At the upper end of brush head 14, the wires are bent back on themselves to form a crown 28 for the brush head 14.

The reservoir 16 comprises a tube 30 of flexible plastic material which has a screw threaded, nozzled neck 32 at one end and a flat or rounded base 34 at the other end. The base 34 may include a refilling bung. The reservoir 16 contains a tooth cleaning fluid 36 which may simply be water, or which may be a runny liquid or gel containing a cleaning agent. The tooth cleaning fluid 36 may also be flavoured and/or contain a vitamin supplement or other medication. The tooth cleaning fluid 36 is such that it can be swallowed by the user without harm. The screw-threaded neck 32 of the reservoir 16 is fitted into a screw-threaded recess 38 in the lower end of the handle 12 so that the nozzle in the neck 32 aligns with the lower end of the passageway 22 through the handle 12. Accordingly, if they tube 30 is squeezed, the tooth cleaning fluid 36 can be forced out of the reservoir 16 and along the passageway 22 through the handle 12.

At the other end of the handle 12, a short pipe 40 is moulded into the handle 12 and communicates with the passageway 22. The pipe 14 projects part way along the brush head 14.

Thus, when tooth cleaning fluid 36 is forced up the passageway 22, it is directed by the pipe 40 onto the bristles 26 of the brush head 14.

Referring to Figure 3, the cap 18 has a series of radially inwardly extending projections 42 inside it which serve to rake the bristles 26 of the brush head 14 when the cap 18 is slid off and on the brush head 14 so as to dislodge any food debris or other matter from the brush 14.

In use of the mouthbrush 10 of Figures 1 to 3, the reservoir tube 30 is squeezed so as to force some of the tooth cleaning fluid 36 along the passageway and through the pipe 40 onto the brush head 14. The cap 18 is then removed from the brush head 14. The tooth cleaning fluid 36 is preferably coloured so that it can be easily seen both on the brush head 14 and also in the passageway 22 through the transparent material of the handle 12. The mouthbrush 10 is then used to clean the teeth/mouth. The helical configuration of the brush head 14 and the twisting shape of the handle 12 serve as a reminder to the user that a rolling movement of the brush head, or a twisting movement of the mouthbrush 10 about its axis, is more effective in removing plaque and debris from between the teeth. The cross-sectional shape of the handle 12 assists in producing such a twisting movement of the mouthbrush 10. The tooth cleaning fluid can be swallowed during the cleaning operation andlor once it is complete. The cap 18 can then be replaced on the brush head 14, with the projections 42 raking the bristles 26 of the brush head 14. It will therefore be appreciated that the mouthbrush 10 can be used without requiring a separate supply of toothpaste, and without the need for tap and basin facilities.

Once the supply of tooth cleaning fluid 36 in the reservoir 16 has been used up, the reservoir 16 can be unscrewed from the lower end of the handle 12, and then either the reservoir 16 can be replenished, or it can be replaced with a new, fully- charged reservoir 16.

The mouthbrush of the second embodiment of the invention, as shown in Figures 4 and 5, is similar to that of the first embodiment, except that the fluid dispensing pipe 40 is omitted, and instead tubing is used to form the helically-wound, bristle-holding wires 24. At the lower end of the tubes 24, their insides communicate with the passageway 22 through the handle 12.

At the upper ends 42 of the tubes 24, where they are turned back so as to form the crown 28 of the brush head, the insides of the tubes 24 are open. Therefore, when the reservoir 16 is squeezed, tooth cleaning fluid is forced up the passageway 22 through the handle 12, through the tubes 24 and is then dispensed onto the brush head 14 from the open ends 42 of the tubes 24 in a downwardly direction as viewed in Figure 4.

The mouthbrush of the third embodiment of the invention, as shown in Figure 6, is similar to that of the first embodiment, except that the fluid dispensing pipe 40 is again omitted, and instead the helically-wound, bristle-holding wires 24 are wound around a central tube 44.

The lower end of the tube 44 communicates with the passageway 22 through the handle 12.

When the tooth cleaning fluid is forced up the tube 44, it can be dispensed onto the brush head 14 from its upper end in a downward direction as viewed in Figure 6. Additionally, or altematively, a series of holes 46 may be formed in the wall of the tube 44 so as to dispense the tooth cleaning fluid onto the bristles 26 along the brush head 14.

It will be appreciated that many modifications and developments may be made to the embodiments of the invention described above.

For example, although the helical configuration of brush head 14 is preferred, other forms of brush head 14 may be employed, but preferably they still present bristles 26 all around the brush head 14.

Other forms of reservoir 16 for the tooth cleaning fluid 26 may be employed other than the squeezable tube 30. For example, the reservoir 16 may be formed by a bulb, or by a piston and cylinder arrangement. The reservoir 16 may have a helical form so as to match the handle 12.

Other shapes and configurations of the handle 12 may be employed, but preferably they are such that the handle 12 can be comfortably held in any angular position around its axis. For example, the cross-sectional shape of the handle 12 may be elliptical, rather than square. The cross-sectional area of the handle 12 may decrease in the direction towards the brush head 14 so that the handle 12 tapers. The helical pitch of the handle 12 may also decrease in the direction towards the brush head 14.

The sizes of the brush head 14, handle 12 and reservoir 16 may be chosen as desired.

Some sort of valve arrangement may be provided to prevent tooth cleaning fluid 36 leaking from the reservoir 16. For example, referring to figure 2B, the nozzle hole in the neck 32 of the reservoir 16 may be misaligned with the passageway 22 so that, when the reservoir 16 is fully screwed into the lower end of the handle 12, the nozzle is blocked, but if the reservoir 16 is slightly unscrewed, then the tooth cleaning fluid 36 can pass from the tube 30 into the recess 38 in the lower end of the handle 12, and thence into the passageway 22.

It should be noted that the embodiments of the invention have been described above purely by way of example and that many other modifications and developments may be made thereto within the scope of the present invention.

Claims (25)

1. A mouthbrush having a handle, a brush head at one end of the handle, a reservoir for tooth cleaning fluid, and means to enable fluid to be dispensed from the reservoir to the brush head.
2. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim 1, wherein the dispensing means includes a passageway extending from the reservoir and through the handle to the brush head.
3. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim I or 2, wherein the reservoir is detachably attached to, or forms part of, the other end of the handle.
4. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the reservoir is flexible and can be squeezed so as to dispense fluid from the reservoir to the brush head.
5. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the dispensing means includes a 10 tube extending from said one end of the handle to a position part-way along the brush head.
6. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the brush head has brush filaments arranged all around the brush head.
7. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim 6, wherein the brush filaments are arranged in a helical configuration.
8. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim 7 when dependent directly or indirectly on claim 5, wherein the brush filaments are held between the tube and at least one helically-wound holding element.
9. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim 8, wherein the tube is helicallywound.
10. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim 8, wherein there are two such helically-wound holding 20 elements.
11. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the reservoir contains water as the tooth cleaning fluid.
12. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the reservoir contains tooth cleaning fluid having a cleaning agent.
13. A moutlibrush as claimed in claim 11 or 12, wherein the tooth cleaning fluid is such that it can be swallowed without harming the user.
14. A mouthbrush as claimed in any of claims 11 to 13, wherein the tooth cleaning fluid is pleasantly flavoured.
15. A mouthbrush having a handle and a brush head at one end of the handle, the brush head having brush filaments all around the brush head.
16. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim 15, wherein the brush filaments are arranged in a helical configuration.
17. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the outline of the handle, as viewed in the direction of the axis of the handle, is generally circular or spiral-shaped.
18. A mouthbrush having an elongate handle and a brush head at one of the handle, wherein the outline of the handle, as viewed in the direction of the axis of the handle, is generally circular or spiral-shaped.
19. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the crosssectional shape of a major part of the handle is non-circular and the major part of the handle has a helical twist.
20. A mouthbrush as claimed in claim 19, wherein the pitch of the helical twist decreases towards the brush head.
21. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the crosssectional area of a major part of the handle decreases towards the brush head.
22. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, and having a cap which can be slid on and off the brush head, the cap having a plurality of internal projections arranged to rake the brush head as the cap is slid on or off the brush head and to assist in holding the cap in place on the brush head.
23. A mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the cap is tethered to the remainder of the mouthbrush.
24. A mouthbrush substantially as described with reference to the drawings.
25. A method of cleaning teeth/mouth employing a mouthbrush as claimed in any preceding claim, the method comprising the steps of holding the handle in the hand, inserting the brush head into the mouth, and moving the handle by hand so that the brush head brushes the teeth/mouth.
GB0010003A 2000-04-26 2000-04-26 Mouthbrushes and methods of cleaning the mouth/teeth Expired - Fee Related GB2361632B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0010003A GB2361632B (en) 2000-04-26 2000-04-26 Mouthbrushes and methods of cleaning the mouth/teeth

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0010003A GB2361632B (en) 2000-04-26 2000-04-26 Mouthbrushes and methods of cleaning the mouth/teeth

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB0010003D0 GB0010003D0 (en) 2000-06-14
GB2361632A true GB2361632A (en) 2001-10-31
GB2361632B GB2361632B (en) 2004-05-19

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Family Applications (1)

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GB0010003A Expired - Fee Related GB2361632B (en) 2000-04-26 2000-04-26 Mouthbrushes and methods of cleaning the mouth/teeth

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1659975A1 (en) * 2003-08-08 2006-05-31 Johnny Steve Han Interproximal squirt brush
BE1025968B1 (en) * 2018-02-01 2019-09-03 Professionails Nv Nail applicator with functionally twisted handle and clamping cap for this

Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1020689A (en) * 1963-10-11 1966-02-23 Louis William Sanderson Improvements in or relating to tooth brushes
GB2085718A (en) * 1980-10-22 1982-05-06 Esro Ag Toothbrush
EP0294051A2 (en) * 1987-05-30 1988-12-07 Nippon Shiken Kogyo Co. Ltd. Interdental tooth cleaning appliance
WO1995011605A1 (en) * 1993-10-29 1995-05-04 Georg Karl Geka-Brush Gmbh Brush, especially mascara brush
GB2304553A (en) * 1995-09-06 1997-03-26 Verne Bilson Reservoir toothbrush
WO1999017915A1 (en) * 1997-10-06 1999-04-15 Colgate-Palmolive Company Multi-component injection molded toothbrush and manufacture thereof
GB2339384A (en) * 1998-07-10 2000-01-26 Philip Potter Reservoir toothbrush
GB2343619A (en) * 1998-10-07 2000-05-17 Christina Elsender Disposable reservoir toothbrush

Patent Citations (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1020689A (en) * 1963-10-11 1966-02-23 Louis William Sanderson Improvements in or relating to tooth brushes
GB2085718A (en) * 1980-10-22 1982-05-06 Esro Ag Toothbrush
EP0294051A2 (en) * 1987-05-30 1988-12-07 Nippon Shiken Kogyo Co. Ltd. Interdental tooth cleaning appliance
WO1995011605A1 (en) * 1993-10-29 1995-05-04 Georg Karl Geka-Brush Gmbh Brush, especially mascara brush
GB2304553A (en) * 1995-09-06 1997-03-26 Verne Bilson Reservoir toothbrush
WO1999017915A1 (en) * 1997-10-06 1999-04-15 Colgate-Palmolive Company Multi-component injection molded toothbrush and manufacture thereof
GB2339384A (en) * 1998-07-10 2000-01-26 Philip Potter Reservoir toothbrush
GB2343619A (en) * 1998-10-07 2000-05-17 Christina Elsender Disposable reservoir toothbrush

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1659975A1 (en) * 2003-08-08 2006-05-31 Johnny Steve Han Interproximal squirt brush
EP1659975A4 (en) * 2003-08-08 2008-01-23 Johnny Steve Han Interproximal squirt brush
BE1025968B1 (en) * 2018-02-01 2019-09-03 Professionails Nv Nail applicator with functionally twisted handle and clamping cap for this

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB2361632B (en) 2004-05-19
GB0010003D0 (en) 2000-06-14

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PCNP Patent ceased through non-payment of renewal fee

Effective date: 20080426