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US20060085932A1 - Comprehensive-hygiene toothbrush and tongue-cleaning apparatus - Google Patents

Comprehensive-hygiene toothbrush and tongue-cleaning apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060085932A1
US20060085932A1 US11254434 US25443405A US2006085932A1 US 20060085932 A1 US20060085932 A1 US 20060085932A1 US 11254434 US11254434 US 11254434 US 25443405 A US25443405 A US 25443405A US 2006085932 A1 US2006085932 A1 US 2006085932A1
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Prior art keywords
bristle
portion
head
toothbrush
handle
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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.)
Abandoned
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US11254434
Inventor
Arsenio Santos
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Arsenio Santos
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B15/00Other brushes; Brushes with additional arrangements
    • A46B15/0055Brushes combined with other articles normally separate from the brushing process, e.g. combs, razors, mirrors
    • A46B15/0081Brushes with a scraper, e.g. tongue scraper
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B15/00Other brushes; Brushes with additional arrangements
    • A46B15/0055Brushes combined with other articles normally separate from the brushing process, e.g. combs, razors, mirrors
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B2200/00Brushes characterized by their functions, uses or applications
    • A46B2200/10For human or animal care
    • A46B2200/1066Toothbrush for cleaning the teeth or dentures

Abstract

An improved oral-hygiene apparatus, for example a toothbrush, includes a handle configured to resist rolling and angled to maintain the head off a surface when idle. In addition, the apparatus includes recessed tongue-cleaner on the head, opposite the bristles. The tongue-cleaner features a rounded tongue-curette scrape edge and smooth curette base. This design allows omni-directional travel and effectively scrapes and cleans the tongue and inner cheek. The present invention is economical to produce and does not increase the overall thickness of the instrument head.

Description

    PRIORITY CLAIM
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to provisional patent application No. 60/621,394 titled “Improved Toothbrush and Tongue Cleaner” filed on 22 Oct. 2004 and provisional patent application No. 60/679,513 titled “Comprehensive-Hygiene Toothbrush System” filed on 10 May 2005.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to an apparatus and system for improved oral hygiene. Specifically, the present invention relates to an improved design for a toothbrush and tongue cleaner apparatus.
  • [0003]
    A recent poll taken in the United States ranked the toothbrush ahead of the automobile as an indispensable object necessary for daily living. This indispensable tool of civilized society has seen many improvements during its long life—from inauspicious incarceration of animal bones and hairs, to the modern electric, sonic-pulse toothbrush.
  • [0004]
    In basic form, the modern, manual toothbrush has three basic parts—the head, which contains the bristles, the neck, and the handle. It is not surprising, therefore, that these parts would be the target of improvements for inventors the world over. Yet, despite all the improvements, the conventional, manual toothbrush still needs improvement. One area of improvement not adequately addressed by the prior-art is the ever-more demanding area of personal hygiene. A second area of needed improvement is designs that keep the toothbrush free from contaminants when placed on a surface during periods of non-use.
  • [0005]
    The tongue is an often-overlooked aspect of proper oral hygiene. The conventional toothbrush provides little assistance to proper tongue cleaning for a number of reasons. First, the bristles are ill suited for effective cleaning of the tongue because they often invoke a “gag-reflex”. For example, oral hygiene requires manipulation of the tongue to reach further back into the mouth. Conventional toothbrush bristles are inadequate to this task as they function poorly to depress the tongue. Moving the tongue out of the way to reach the back of the mouth requires more than gentle pressure, but, as pressure is increased on the tongue, discomfort increases and induces the gag-reflex. Another drawback of a conventional toothbrush is a user's set of upper-front teeth restricts the mobility of the brush handle when the bristles make contact with the tongue.
  • [0006]
    Second, a conventional toothbrush cannot adequately clean the tongue because the bristles cannot form a squeegee-like action against the surface of the tongue. Papillae, resembling miniature carpet pile, cover the surface of the tongue. Partially digested foods in the form of semi-liquid residue find their way in between the papillae, a location inaccessible to bristles of a conventional toothbrush. A scraping tool better cleans this accumulated residue on the papillae. Because the bristles of a conventional toothbrush deflect and bend when pressure is applied, it does not efficiently and effectively clean the papillae.
  • [0007]
    Third, a conventional toothbrush creates a large effective cleaning area when properly used. However, the large effective cleaning area relies on every bristle tip contacting the cleaning surface. To improve contact, conventional bristles are made stiff or offer less flexibility in movement. Consequently, slight tilting of the toothbrush handle, for example, lifts a portion of the bristles and removes them from contacting the cleaning surface and, therefore, a conventional toothbrush looses a significant amount of cleaning effectiveness.
  • [0008]
    It is, however, desirable that oral-hygiene instruments include both the bristles of a conventional toothbrush and an improved tongue cleaner. This would improve oral hygiene, be less time consuming, more comfortable, and provide more efficient and thorough cleaning after each use. Users will be less likely to forego tongue cleaning because it is always available during a “tooth-brushing session”.
  • [0009]
    Attempts to improve the toothbrush as a tongue-cleaner received limited success. For example, some prior-art devices include a second set of short bristles mounted opposite conventional toothbrush bristles. This approach, however, increases the overall thickness of the toothbrush head making insertion into the mouth difficult and increasing the propensity of the gag-reflex.
  • [0010]
    Another attempt to improve the conventional toothbrush provides a scraping edge on the tip of toothbrush head opposite the bristles. Again the drawback with this design in addition to the issue of thickness already mentioned is that it allows only unidirectional scraping, which severely limits cleaning of the tongue papillae.
  • [0011]
    Other attempts to incorporate a scraping mechanism on a conventional toothbrush are undesirable. In one example, the straight scraping edge and hard corners encourage accumulation of undesirable debris left over from the cleaning process and makes cleaning the tongue-scraper difficult. This can result in dangerous build-up of bacteria-laden residues.
  • [0012]
    Certain improvements to the toothbrush have been attempted to address keeping the head from contacting the bathroom counter. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,956,796 issued to Lodato on 28 Sep. 1999 for a Personal Hygiene Device illustrates a self-righting tendency. The circular design, however, will tend to cause sideways rolling before finally coming to an upright position. Although this design tends to be unstable or wobbly, conceivably, this predisposes the toothbrush to fall from the counter as it rolls to its center of gravity.
  • [0013]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,758,380, issued to Vrignaud for an Oral Hygiene Device on 2 Jun. 1998, presents a two-headed gum-specific brush with a tongue scraper on the other end of the device. This design is messy and cumbersome to use because one may have to handle a part that just got inside the oral cavity since the brush head and tongue cleaner are located at opposite ends. The tongue scraper is quite small in dimension to provide significant tongue cleaning coverage without resorting to repetitive scraping motions. Such repetitive strokes could prove to be injurious to the tongue
  • [0014]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,226,127, issued to Nack on 13 Jul. 1993 shows a tongue cleaner consisting of several short bristles and a scraper that has the same height as bristles attached to an oversize head. But, Nack does not include a conventional toothbrush.
  • [0015]
    Thus, there remains a need for a modern, manual toothbrush that overcomes these aforesaid shortcomings of conventional toothbrushes. Specifically, there is a need for a toothbrush with an efficient tongue cleaner, a more effective bristle configuration, an ergonomically functional handle, and a toothbrush that maintains the head free from surface contaminants when it rests on a counter.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0016]
    The present invention overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art and presents a novel and useful system and apparatus for improving oral hygiene. The compact head of the present invention significantly reduces the gag-reflex induced by wider designs in the prior art. In addition, the propensity for the build up of dangerous bacteria on the instrument head is greatly diminished due to the rounded corners of the curette base. Additionally, the overall design of the handle portion, head size, and balance of the instrument ensures that inadvertent contamination of the head from a surface is greatly reduced. Many other advantageous and improvements to the prior art are appreciated upon scrutiny of this disclosure including the many figures.
  • [0017]
    In a preferred embodiment, the present invention adapts as a combined toothbrush and tongue cleaner. The bristle pattern enhances teeth cleaning and the efficient curette base is ideally suited for scraping the tongue and inside walls of the mouth. The handle portion is easy to hold, ergonomic, balanced and designed to self align both when being manipulated for cleaning the mouth and when placed on a counter-top.
  • [0018]
    In a first embodiment the present invention includes an oral-hygiene apparatus comprising: a handle portion comprising a self-actuating position stabilizing means; a head portion arranged adjacent to a first end of the handle; a bristle platform arranged at an inclined offset from a longitudinal axis of the handle portion and arranged on a first face of the head portion; and a second face arranged opposite the first face and the second face comprising a curette base having at least one rounded edge element adapted for omni-directional scraping of a surface.
  • [0019]
    This first embodiment may further include modifications to the handle portion, the modifications comprising: a first overall outer diameter and the head portion further comprises a second overall outer diameter being generally smaller than the first diameter.
  • [0020]
    The first embodiment includes the bristle platform having: a first bristle-grouping comprising an angled contact edge, the angled contact edge and a second bristle-grouping comprising a second angled contact edge; a third bristle-grouping comprising a row of left-biased bristle elements; and a fourth bristle-grouping comprising a row of right-biased bristle elements.
  • [0021]
    Additionally, the apparatus includes a bristle platform further comprising: a first bristle-grouping comprising an angled contact edge, the angled contact edge and a second bristle-grouping comprising a second angled contact edge; a third bristle-grouping comprising a row of left-biased bristle elements; and a fourth bristle-grouping comprising a row of right-biased bristle elements.
  • [0022]
    Further, the first embodiment includes an encapsulated suspension means arranged on the handle portion. And, a gripping portion arranged adjacent to the handle-portion and arranged adjacent to the head-portion in modifications of the first embodiment.
  • [0023]
    In a second embodiment the present invention includes a self-actuating position-stabilizing means for an oral hygiene apparatus. The self-actuating position-stabilizing means comprises: an elongated handle portion comprising a first, generally flat surface; a second, substantially curvilinear surface adjacent to the first surface; and an off-axis center of mass.
  • [0024]
    Further, the self-actuating position-stabilizing means comprises a head portion adapted to interface with the handle portion, the head portion comprising an oral hygiene instrument head.
  • [0025]
    And, the self-actuating position-stabilizing means further comprises a gripping portion adapted to interface with the handle-portion and arranged intermediate to a head portion, the head porting adapted for use as an oral hygiene instrument head.
  • [0026]
    A third embodiment of the present invention includes a toothbrush head for an oral-hygiene apparatus. The head comprises: a bristle-platform arranged along a plane offset from a major axis of the head, the bristle-platform adapted to receive a plurality of bristle-groupings; a first bristle-grouping comprising an angled contact edge, the angled contact edge and a second bristle-grouping comprising a second angled contact edge; a third bristle-grouping comprising a row of left-biased bristle elements; and a fourth bristle-grouping comprising a row of right-biased bristle elements.
  • [0027]
    This embodiment further comprises a curette base arranged on a side opposite the bristle platform, the curette base comprising a scrape edge element adapted for omni-directional scraping of a surface.
  • [0028]
    Also, the toothbrush head includes a scrape edge element comprising a generally oval ridge element. Optionally, the toothbrush head includes a scrape edge element comprising a generally Y-shaped ridge element.
  • [0029]
    The third embodiment includes a scrape edge element comprising a rounded profile.
  • [0030]
    This third embodiment also includes a toothbrush head having a handle-portion extending from an intermediate gripping portion, the gripping portion adapted to couple to the head. And, the handle-portion further comprises a self-actuating position-stabilizing means.
  • [0031]
    Additionally, the toothbrush head further comprises an encapsulated suspension means. One possible encapsulated suspension means comprises a magnet.
  • DRAWING
  • [0032]
    FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 2 is a front view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 3 is a right-side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 5 is a back view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 6 is a left-side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 7 is a right-side end view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view along the line 8-8 of FIG. 5.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 9 is a partial perspective view of the top of the embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 10 is a right side view of the embodiment of FIG. 9.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 11 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 9.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 12 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of the curette base according to the present invention.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 13 is an end view of the embodiment of FIG. 12.
  • [0045]
    FIG. 14 is a top view of another embodiment of the curette base according to the present invention.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 15 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 14.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 16 is an end view of the embodiment of FIG. 14.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 17 is a top view of a possible bristle arrangement according to one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 18 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 17.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 19 is an assembly view of one embodiment of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0051]
    The present invention is illustrated by preferred embodiments; however, it is understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments and—on the contrary—is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included in the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims.
  • [0052]
    The various figures of the accompanying drawing illustrate aspects of the present invention and are not necessarily to scale. For clarity, some figures omit certain elements, or include extra elements. Similar features share a common reference numeral.
  • [0053]
    In one embodiment the present invention relates to an oral-hygiene apparatus 10, such as a toothbrush 12. For clarity and ease, many of the upcoming embodiments describe a toothbrush combined with a tongue-curette scraper; however, it is readily understood that many oral-hygiene devices would benefit from this inventive disclosure. Therefore, in other embodiments of the present invention the oral-hygiene apparatus includes dental instruments such as a mouth mirrors and mirror handles, probes, scalers, retractors, langers, explorers, and related examination, treatment, and hygienic instruments as may be typically used in an oral-hygiene or oral-treatment clinic and the like.
  • [0054]
    FIG. 1 illustrates one exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The oral-hygiene apparatus 10, depicted as a unique toothbrush-curette instrument 12, includes a handle portion 14 at one end, a head portion 16 at the opposite end and a gripping portion 18 located intermediate to the two ends. An encapsulated suspension means 20 located substantially near the center of mass of the long axis of the instrument 12, such as a magnet, enables selective and releasable coupling of the apparatus 10 to a ferrous surface, such as the side of a typical medicine or bathroom cabinet and provides for easy and convenient storage of the apparatus when not in use.
  • [0055]
    In other embodiments, not depicted in the accompanying drawings, the encapsulated suspension means 20 includes hook-and-loop fastener systems whereby storage during non-use is easily accommodated by providing a mating hook-and-loop fastener on a desired surface. A snap, a through-hole and mating peg, or other mating means would work equally well, for example.
  • [0056]
    The head portion 16 includes many beneficial elements in one contemplated embodiment of the present invention. For instance, if a horizontal axis is extended generally parallel to the long axis of the attached handle portion 14, an inclined bristle platform 22 can be readily appreciated. The inclined bristle platform 22 benefits oral hygiene by orienting the plurality of bristle elements 24 in a useful direction for cleaning one's teeth as the handle portion is manipulated, for example. Emerging from the bristle platform 22, the plurality of bristle elements 24 is arranged in alternating groupings. For example, a first bristle-row 26 includes a generally right-direction bias and a second bristle-row 28 includes an opposite, generally left-direction bias. That is to say, the groupings of bristle elements are organized into rows and each alternating row has a slant, or bias to the individual elements. FIGS. 3, 6 and 10, for example, illustrate this arrangement.
  • [0057]
    Again, making general reference to FIGS. 1-6, for example, the handle portion 14 includes many beneficial elements of one contemplated embodiments of the apparatus 10. Of particular note, the handle 14 includes a rounded-profile, or generally elliptical, wall member 44 adjacent to a generally flattened wall member 46. Combined with an off-center mass, the pairing of the rounded or elliptical wall 44 with the flat wall causes gravity to rotate the handle 14 until it rests on the flat wall portion 46. By orienting the head portion 16 with this feature in mind, the device can advantageously present the head portion in a particular orientation, automatically, whenever the apparatus 10 is placed on a generally solid and generally level surface, such as a tabletop or countertop. The combination of rounded and flat walls on the handle portion benefits oral hygiene by reducing the opportunity for the head portion to contact other instruments or the surface on which it is placed and keep it from rolling off the surface.
  • [0058]
    One contemplated means for producing on off-center center of mass in the handle portion is illustrated in FIG. 8, which shows a cross-section of the handle. The geometric center 50 does not coincide with the center of mass 48. To achieve this, an interior wall 66 toward the outer, rounded wall 44 forms a hollow void. This causes the mass 48 of the handle to be concentrated adjacent and generally toward the flat wall 42. Thus, when the handle portion is placed on a flat surface, regardless of initial placement, the rounded wall acts as a pivot-device, rotating the handle 14 toward the flat wall. Chamfered sidewall members 43 ease the transition from the rounded wall 44 to the flat wall 42 during rotation of the handle.
  • [0059]
    FIG. 7 illustrates another possible embodiment of the present invention. Shown from the right-side end view, the apparatus 10 includes a handle portion 14 with an overall outer diameter, represented by the circle 56, that is larger than the overall outer diameter of the head portion 16, represented by the circle 58.
  • [0060]
    FIGS. 9, 10, and 11 detail an omni-directional tongue-scraper 36 according to one possible embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 9 shows the head portion 16 and part of the neck 15, which connects or links to the handle portion and gripping portion (not shown in FIG. 9). The head portion 16 has a plurality of bristle elements 24 on one side. On an opposite side, the curette base 30 is generally oval in shape and recessed from the overall plane of the head. The curette base is surrounded by a rounded edge element 34, which forms the scrape edge 32 at its perimeter. This particular embodiment adapts well as a comprehensive-hygiene apparatus because it offers an overall low head height and the scrape edge presents no sharp angles, acute angles or corners for unwanted bacteria to accumulate. This design will minimize the “gag” reflex and the bristles 24 are ideally positioned for optimum teeth cleaning. This compact design is easily manufactured. For example, the curette base 30, scrape edge 32 and rounded edge element 35 can be readily fabricated during an injection mold operation.
  • [0061]
    Other possible configurations of the curette base 30, scrape edge 32 and edge element 34 are contemplated. FIGS. 12-16 illustrate some possible renditions of possible tongue scrapers 36. For example, FIGS. 12 and 13 depict a recessed curette base 30 divided by a generally Y-shaped spiny edge element 34 that presents three distinct scrape edges. And, FIGS. 14-16, for example, show a central I-shaped spiny edge element 34 dissecting the recessed curette base 30 into two portions and having two corresponding scraping edges 32.
  • [0062]
    The curette base 30 may be integrally formed during the mold process. However, other curette base constructions will work equally well. For example, the curette base may be a separate construction and made of a different material (i.e. rubber) and glued at the back of the toothbrush, like an insert or an overmolded piece.
  • [0063]
    Making specific reference to FIGS. 17 and 18, advantageous features of a possible bristle pattern highlight a first, front-set bristle segment 68 having a series of bundled bristle elements, each bundle having a tapered head relative to the plane of the bristle platform 22. The front-set segment 68 is angled or canted toward the center of the bristle platform. Conversely, a second, rear-set bristle segment 70 has a similar taper to each bristle bundle, albeit oppositely facing so both the front set 68 and rear set 70 have tapered bristles leaning toward the center of the common bristle platform 22. Intermediate to the two tapered bristle segments (68 and 70) are alternating rows of bristle groupings. For example, a first bristle row 26 includes a bias slant to the right and a second bristle row 28 includes a bias slant to the left. The FIGS. 17 and 18 demonstrate the tallest bristle grouping 72 with a darkened oval. Each adjacent bristle group decreases in overall height until the end of the row, where the shortest bristle group 74 lies. In this manner, alternating rows on the bristle platform 22 have alternating left and right biases, respectively. One advantage to this arrangement of bristles includes optimized approach angles to the desired cleaning surface as a user manipulates the head.
  • [0064]
    FIG. 19 illustrates a possible assembly configuration of suitable components of one embodiment of the present invention. The device 10 comprises a toothbrush with tongue-scraper. A plurality of bristles 24 mounted conventionally to the bristle platform on a first side of the head portion. Opposite the bristle platform is a curette base 30 and associated scraping edge 32. A common pre-mold support element 15 includes stabilizing means 17 and an encapsulated suspension means, such as the insert structure for a magnet 20. And, it further comprises a low-density material. An overmold segment 13 with integrated grip portion 18 fits over and conventionally couples to the support element 15. The overmold segment 13 comprises a high-density material such as TPU, TPE, or TPR, for example, to provide a soft grip surface for the user.
  • [0065]
    Other embodiments and uses of the device are readily appreciated by those skilled in the art. For example, the present invention may be incorporated in a conventional toothbrush or a vegetable cleaning brush or the brush -curette tool can be made of suitable material to be used for getting rid of calluses on the body.
  • [0066]
    This disclosure is not intended as limiting. Instead, exemplary embodiments of the present invention were described so that those having ordinary skill in the art may better appreciate the intent and spirit of the invention. The invention is limited only by the proper construction of the following claims.

Claims (18)

  1. 1. An oral-hygiene apparatus comprising:
    a handle portion comprising a self-actuating position stabilizing means;
    a head portion arranged adjacent to a first end of the handle;
    a bristle platform arranged at an inclined offset from a longitudinal axis of the handle portion and arranged on a first face of the head portion; and
    a second face arranged opposite the first face and the second face comprising a curette base having at least one rounded edge element adapted for omni-directional scraping of a surface.
  2. 2. The apparatus of claim 1 further wherein the handle portion further comprises:
    a first overall outer diameter and the head portion further comprises a second overall outer diameter being generally smaller than the first diameter.
  3. 3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the bristle platform further comprises:
    a first bristle-grouping comprising an angled contact edge, the angled contact edge and a second bristle-grouping comprising a second angled contact edge;
    a third bristle-grouping comprising a row of left-biased bristle elements; and
    a fourth bristle-grouping comprising a row of right-biased bristle elements.
  4. 4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the bristle platform further comprises:
    a first bristle-grouping comprising an angled contact edge, the angled contact edge and a second bristle-grouping comprising a second angled contact edge;
    a third bristle-grouping comprising a row of left-biased bristle elements; and
    a fourth bristle-grouping comprising a row of right-biased bristle elements.
  5. 5. The oral hygiene apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an encapsulated suspension means arranged on the handle portion.
  6. 6. The oral hygiene apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a gripping portion arranged adjacent to the handle-portion and arranged adjacent to the head-portion.
  7. 7. A self-actuating position-stabilizing means for an oral hygiene apparatus, the self-actuating position-stabilizing means comprising:
    an elongated handle portion comprising a first, generally flat surface;
    a second, substantially curvilinear surface adjacent to the first surface; and
    an off-axis center of mass.
  8. 8. The self-actuating position-stabilizing means of claim 7 further comprising a head portion adapted to interface with the handle portion, the head portion comprising an oral hygiene instrument head.
  9. 9. The self-actuating position-stabilizing means of claim 7 further comprising a gripping portion adapted to interface with the handle-portion and arranged intermediate to a head portion, the head porting adapted for use as an oral hygiene instrument head.
  10. 10. A toothbrush head for an oral-hygiene apparatus, the head comprising:
    a bristle-platform arranged along a plane offset from a major axis of the head, the bristle-platform adapted to receive a plurality of bristle-groupings;
    a first bristle-grouping comprising an angled contact edge, the angled contact edge and a second bristle-grouping comprising a second angled contact edge;
    a third bristle-grouping comprising a row of left-biased bristle elements; and
    a fourth bristle-grouping comprising a row of right-biased bristle elements.
  11. 11. The toothbrush head of claim 10 further comprising a curette base arranged on a side opposite the bristle platform, the curette base comprising a scrape edge element adapted for omni-directional scraping of a surface.
  12. 12. The toothbrush head of claim 11 wherein the scrape edge element comprises a generally oval ridge element.
  13. 13. The toothbrush head of claim 11 wherein the scrape edge element comprises a generally Y-shaped ridge element.
  14. 14. The toothbrush head of claim 11 wherein the scrape edge element comprises a rounded profile.
  15. 15. The toothbrush head of claim 10 further comprising a handle-portion extending from an intermediate gripping portion, the gripping portion adapted to couple to the head.
  16. 16. The toothbrush head of claim 15 wherein the handle-portion further comprises a self-actuating position-stabilizing means.
  17. 17. The toothbrush head of claim 15 further comprising an encapsulated suspension means.
  18. 18. The toothbrush head of claim 17 wherein the encapsulated suspension means comprises a magnet.
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US20090044357A1 (en) * 2007-08-16 2009-02-19 The Procter & Gamble Company Electric toothbrushes
US20090091178A1 (en) * 2007-10-03 2009-04-09 Kenneth Waguespack Oral care implement having a head insert
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US7934284B2 (en) 2003-02-11 2011-05-03 Braun Gmbh Toothbrushes
US20110152909A1 (en) * 2009-12-18 2011-06-23 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral Care Implement Multiple Soft Tissue Cleaner Components
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USD654695S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-02-28 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
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USD675830S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2013-02-12 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
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USD670505S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-11-13 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush handle with tissue cleaner
USD669688S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-10-30 Colgate-Palmolive Company Head portion of a toothbrush
USD669689S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-10-30 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush handle with tissue cleaner
USD654695S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-02-28 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
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USD654270S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-02-21 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush handle
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USD632484S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2011-02-15 Eduardo Jimenez Toothbrush handle with tissue cleaner
US9586350B2 (en) 2009-12-18 2017-03-07 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement having multiple soft tissue cleaner components
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US9532706B2 (en) 2014-08-07 2017-01-03 Welch Allyn, Inc. Vaginal speculum with illuminator

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