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US20100186182A1 - Oral hygiene device & methods of use thereof - Google Patents

Oral hygiene device & methods of use thereof Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100186182A1
US20100186182A1 US12360037 US36003709A US20100186182A1 US 20100186182 A1 US20100186182 A1 US 20100186182A1 US 12360037 US12360037 US 12360037 US 36003709 A US36003709 A US 36003709A US 20100186182 A1 US20100186182 A1 US 20100186182A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
floss
oral
hygiene
device
handle
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12360037
Inventor
Angela A. Avila
Sergio Hernandez
Original Assignee
Avila Angela A
Sergio Hernandez
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Classifications

    • 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
    • A46B15/0069Brushes fitted with a interdental devices, e.g. toothpick
    • A46B15/0071Toothbrushes with flossing arrangements
    • 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
    • A46B15/0069Brushes fitted with a interdental devices, e.g. toothpick
    • A46B15/0073Brushes with an arrangement for using the floss
    • 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

Oral hygiene devices and methods of use thereof are herein disclosed. In one embodiment, an oral hygiene device is a toothbrush, floss and a flossing aid combination. A plurality of toothbrush bristles is located at a proximal end of the device while floss and the flossing aid are located at a distal end of the device. The device includes a handle wherein a distal portion of the handle accommodates a plurality of floss spools. A shearing blade proximate to at least one floss spool for shearing a piece of floss from the floss spool may also be included at the distal portion. The distal portion of the handle may also include a flossing aid which may hold a piece of floss and may be used independent of use with hands of an individual.

Description

    FIELD OF INVENTION
  • [0001]
    Oral hygiene devices.
  • BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Oral hygiene is a measurement of the cleanliness of a person's teeth, gums and oral cavity. Good oral hygiene mitigates dental plaque and tartar build-up which can cause, among other things, cavities, gingivitis, premature tooth decay and/or gum disease. Good oral hygiene includes regular tooth brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash in addition to regular visits to a dentist for professional cleaning and general oral care.
  • [0003]
    Between cleanings by a dentist or a dental hygienist, good oral hygiene is essential for preventing tartar build-up which causes the problems mentioned above. This is done by carefully and frequently brushing with a toothbrush and the use of dental floss to prevent accumulation of plaque on the teeth.
  • [0004]
    While regular tooth brushing is known to mitigate tartar build-up, tooth brushing alone is not very effective at removing tartar from between individual teeth. In this regard, flossing is essential to clean these hard to reach areas, i.e., between individual teeth. Despite this known cleaning method, many individuals do not use floss on a regular basis. A common excuse is that using floss is not convenient. For example, while toothpaste and toothbrushes are generally stored in the open around a sink area, i.e., in a toothbrush/toothpaste holder, floss is generally stored in a bathroom cupboard or otherwise out of sight. Some individuals may simply forget to floss and other individuals may be too lazy to initiate the step of obtaining the floss and using it. In some cases, individuals object to using floss due to the conventional way in which it is used, i.e., tautly wrapping a piece of floss around two index fingers and manipulating the floss within the teeth. Many individuals find this method inconvenient, unpleasant and/or unsanitary.
  • SUMMARY OF INVENTION
  • [0005]
    An oral hygiene device, including: (i) a body having a proximal portion, a distal portion, a proximal end and a distal end, the distal end adapted to accommodate a piece of floss between at least two prongs, the proximal end having a plurality of bristles thereon; (ii) at least one aperture within the distal portion of the body wherein the aperture includes a mandrel adapted to accommodate a spool of floss; (iii) a channel running from the aperture to an opening on the body, the channel adapted to accommodate floss from the spool of floss to the opening; and (iii) at least one shearing blade positioned on the distal end of the body is herein disclosed.
  • [0006]
    In one embodiment, the oral hygiene device includes two apertures. The oral hygiene device may further include a removable first cap to cover the two apertures and the channel, the removable first cap having two protrusions on an inner surface thereon wherein the two protrusions are sized to press- or friction-fit within the two apertures. The oral hygiene device may further include a removable second cap to cover the distal end of the body.
  • [0007]
    In one embodiment, the distal end is adapted to receive a removable flossing aid, the flossing aid having at least two prongs. In another embodiment, the distal end includes a flossing aid having at least two prongs integral thereto. In this embodiment, a removable first cap may cover the at least one aperture may be included, the removable first cap having a flange and sized to press- or friction-fit within the at least one aperture. Each of the two prongs may include a groove to accommodate a piece of floss tautly across thereof. The oral hygiene device may further include a gum scrubber opposite to the plurality of bristles. The gum scrubber may be a plurality of raised striations.
  • [0008]
    An oral hygiene device, including: (i) means for allowing a user to grip an oral hygiene device; (ii) means for accommodating a plurality of floss spools within the means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device; (iii) means for allowing floss from the plurality of floss spools to run from the means for accommodating the plurality of floss spools to an outside of the means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device; and (iv) means for allowing the user to floss teeth of the user by gripping the means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device only is herein disclosed.
  • [0009]
    The means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device may be a toothbrush handle. The means for accommodating the plurality of floss spools may be a plurality of apertures. The means for allowing floss from the plurality of floss spools to run from the plurality of apertures to the outside of toothbrush handle may be a channel. The means for allowing the user to floss teeth of the user by gripping the toothbrush handle only may a flossing aid.
  • [0010]
    In one embodiment, the flossing aid is integral with the toothbrush body and located at a distal end thereof. In another embodiment, the flossing aid is removable relative to the toothbrush body and adapted to friction- or press-fit into a groove at the distal end thereof. The oral hygiene device may further include: (i) means to clean teeth of the user; and (ii) means to clean gums of the user. The means to clean teeth of the user may be a plurality of bristles and the means to clean gums of the user may be a gum scrubber. The plurality of bristles may be located at a proximal end of the means for allowing a user to grip an oral hygiene device and the gum scrubber may be located opposite the plurality of bristles.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an oral hygiene device according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2 illustrates an exploded view of the oral hygiene device of FIG. 1.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the oral hygiene device of FIG. 1 taken along lines 3-3.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a first removable cap according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of a second removable cap according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of an oral hygiene device with a cap removed according to an alternative embodiment of the invention.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of the oral hygiene device of FIG. 6.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 8 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of an aperture of the oral hygiene device of FIG. 6 with two floss spools situated on two mandrels therein.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0019]
    The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention.
  • [0020]
    Embodiments of the invention are directed to oral hygiene devices and methods of use thereof. In one embodiment, an oral hygiene device is a toothbrush, floss and a flossing aid combination. A plurality of toothbrush bristles is located at a proximal end of the device while floss and the flossing aid are located at a distal end of the device. The device includes a handle wherein a distal portion of the handle accommodates a plurality of floss spools. A shearing blade proximate to at least one floss spool for shearing a piece of floss from the floss spool may also be included at the distal portion. The distal portion of the handle may also include a flossing aid which may hold a piece of floss and may be used independent of use with hands of an individual.
  • [0021]
    FIGS. 1-2 illustrate perspective and exploded views of an oral hygiene device according to one embodiment of the invention. Oral hygiene device 100 may include a body or handle 102 having a proximal portion 104, a distal portion 106, a proximal end 108 and a distal end 110. The proximal end 108 may include a plurality of toothbrush bristles 112 of the type known by one of ordinary skill in the art. On an opposite side of the plurality of toothbrush bristles 112, a gum scrubber 112 a comprising a plurality of raised striations may be included. The raised striations may be comprised of, for example, a rubber material that is non-toxic to a person. In one embodiment, handle 102 may be configured to accommodate a plurality of floss spools 114 along the distal portion 106. More particularly, handle 102 may include a plurality of apertures 116 which may accommodate the plurality of floss spools 114 accordingly. In a particular embodiment, handle 102 includes two apertures 116 to accommodate two floss spools 114. It should be understood, however, that one or more or no apertures may be included therein. Aperture 116 may be sized to accommodate a floss spool having between about fifteen (15) yards and about thirty (30) yards of floss wound about each floss spool 114. In some embodiments, floss spools 114 are replaceable when all of the floss has been used. To accommodate the rotating movement of floss spool 114 when a piece of floss is extracted therefrom, a mandrel 118 integral with a bottom surface of the aperture 116 is included therein.
  • [0022]
    In one embodiment, a flossing aid 120 having at least two prongs 122 is positioned at the distal end 110 of oral hygiene device 100. In another embodiment, the flossing aid 120 is integral with the distal end 110 of oral hygiene device 100 (see FIG. 6). In either embodiment, flossing aid 120 may have an approximate V-shaped or C-shaped configuration; however, other appropriate geometric configurations are within the scope of the invention. In any case, the two prongs 122 should be sufficiently spaced apart such that a piece of floss may be easily threaded across and also comfortably fit within an oral cavity of a user. In some embodiments, the two prongs 122 are spaced apart between about one centimeter (cm) and about three (3) cm, preferably about two (2) cm. In one embodiment, flossing aid 120 may be integral with the distal end 110 of handle 102 (see FIG. 6). In another embodiment, flossing aid 120 may be removable and replaceable within a receiving portion of the distal end 110 of handle 102. In the case in which flossing aid 120 is removable and replaceable, flossing aid 120 may be friction-fitted within a receiving portion, e.g., a groove 120 a, within the distal end 110 or secured to the distal end 110 by any means known by one of ordinary skill in the art. Also, in the case in which flossing aid 120 is removable and replaceable, flossing aid 120 may include a length of floss permanently attached and taut between prongs 122.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 2 also illustrates a first removable cap 124 (in a removed position) which may cover apertures 116 (and a channel, explained in more detail below) and a second removable cap 126 (in a removed position) which may cover the distal end 110 of handle 102. FIG. 2 also illustrates a shearing blade 128 which may be used to severe a piece of floss (explained in more detail below). In the view shown, shearing blade 128 is at the distal end 110 of handle 102; however, other appropriate locations are within the scope of the invention. For example, shearing blade 128 may be positioned on flossing aid 120.
  • [0024]
    As shown in FIG. 2, a channel 130 may run from at least one aperture 116 to the distal end 110 of handle 102 terminating in an opening. Channel 130 is sized to accommodate a piece of floss from one or more floss spools 114 to the opening. As known by those of ordinary skill in the art, floss has an approximate width of 0.1 cm. Thus, channel 130 should be wide enough to accommodate floss yet be narrow enough such that the floss running therethrough remains partially, substantially or completely taut. In one embodiment, channel 130 is exposed when first removable cap 124 is in a removed position (from handle 102). This feature may facilitate guiding of floss from a floss spool 114 to opening 132 when a floss spool 114 is replaced. FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the oral hygiene device of FIG. 1 taken along lines 3-3. Channel 130 is illustrated in this view.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 4 illustrates a front view of a first removable cap according to an embodiment of the invention. First removable cap 124 may include a plurality of protrusions 124 a on an inside surface thereon. Protrusions 124 a may be approximately sized to friction- or press-fit within apertures 116; however, other fitting mechanisms are within the scope of the invention. For example, in the case in which apertures 116 are approximately circular in configuration, corresponding protrusions 124 a may be approximately circular in configuration as well have a circumference slightly less than a circumference of apertures 116 for appropriate friction- or press-fitting thereto. In one embodiment, protrusions 124 a number two (2) corresponding to two (2) apertures. When fitted to handle 102, an outside surface of first removable cap 124 may lie within the same horizontal plane as an outside surface of handle 102. In this respect, when first removable cap 124 is fitted to handle 102, a user may experience a comfortable grip when holding handle 102. It should be noted that, in some embodiments, handle 102 may be comprised of a combination of materials such as a plastic-type material and a rubber-like material. As known by those of ordinary skill in the art, the rubber-like material should be positioned on portions of handle 102 where a user grips handle 102. This feature may provide additional comfort to the user when he/she grips handle 102 when using oral hygiene device 100.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of a second removable cap according to an embodiment of the invention. Second removable cap 126 may include a shaft 134 and a head 136. An inner surface of shaft 134 should have a circumference slightly larger than a circumference of distal end 110 of handle 102 for appropriate friction- or press-fitting thereto. In an alternative embodiment, second removable cap 126 is configured to friction- or press-fit into the distal end 110 of handle 102. According to this alternative embodiment, second removable cap 126 may include an O-ring just below the base of the head 136 to assist with the coupling of second removable cap 126 with the distal end 110 of handle 102. Second removable cap 126 is preferably hollow so that it serves to protect flossing aid 120 when coupled to the distal end 110 of handle 102. In this manner, flossing aid 120 is generally protected from debris and environmental contaminants when not in use.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of an oral hygiene device with a cap removed according to an alternative embodiment of the invention. Similar to oral hygiene device 100, oral hygiene device 600 may include a body or handle 602 having a proximal portion 604, a distal portion 606, a proximal end 608 and a distal end 610. The proximal end 608 may include a plurality of toothbrush bristles 612 of the type known by one of ordinary skill in the art. On an opposite side of the plurality of toothbrush bristles 612, a gum scrubber 612 a comprising a plurality of raised striations may be included. In one embodiment, handle 602 may be configured to accommodate a plurality of floss spools 614 along a portion of proximal portion 604 and distal portion 606. More particularly, handle 602 may include one or more aperture(s) 616 which may accommodate one or more floss spool(s) 614 accordingly. In a particular embodiment, handle 602 includes one aperture 616 to accommodate two floss spools 614. It should be understood, however, that more than one or no aperture(s) may be included therein. Aperture 616 may be sized to accommodate one or more floss spools having between about fifteen (15) yards and about thirty (30) yards of floss wound about each floss spool 614. In some embodiments, floss spools 614 are replaceable when all of the floss has been used. To accommodate the rotating movement of floss spool 614 when a piece of floss is extracted therefrom, a mandrel 618 (one for each floss spool 614) integral with a bottom surface of the aperture 616 is included therein.
  • [0028]
    In one embodiment, a flossing aid 620 having at least two prongs 622 is integral with the distal end 610 of oral hygiene device 600. Flossing aid 620 may have an approximate V-shaped or C-shaped configuration; however, other appropriate geometric configurations are within the scope of the invention. In any case, the two prongs 622 should be sufficiently spaced apart such that a piece of floss may be easily threaded across and also comfortably fit within an oral cavity of a user. In some embodiments, the two prongs 622 are spaced apart between about one (1) cm and about four (4) cm, preferably about three (3) cm. FIG. 6 also illustrates an opening 632 located on the distal portion 606 of handle 602. Opening 632 is the terminating outlet of a channel 630 (leading from aperture 616 to opening 632). A shearing blade 628 which may be used to sever a piece of floss may be located at an appropriate location on handle 602. In one embodiment, a retention button 628 a may be included. Retention button 628 a may function to tie off the floss so that it is under stress while in use.
  • [0029]
    As shown in FIG. 6, a channel 630 may diagonally (relative to handle 602) run from aperture 616 to opening 632. However, it should be understood that opening 630 may be positioned at any suitable location on handle 602 and, in that regard, channel 630 may be oriented differently relative to opening 630. Similar to oral hygiene device 100, channel 630 is sized to accommodate a piece of floss from one or more floss spools 614 to opening 632. As known by those of ordinary skill in the art, floss has an approximate width of 0.1 cm. Thus, channel 630 should be wide enough to accommodate floss yet be narrow enough such that the floss running therethrough remains partially, substantially or completely taut. In one embodiment, channel 630 is exposed. This feature facilitates guiding of floss from a floss spool 614 to opening 632 when a floss spool 614 is replaced.
  • [0030]
    As shown in FIG. 6, first removable cap 624 may include a flange 638 to friction- or press-fit within aperture 616; however, other fitting mechanisms are within the scope of the invention. For example, in the case in which aperture 616 is approximately oval in configuration, the approximate shape of first removable cap 624 may be approximately oval in configuration as well have a circumference slightly less than a circumference of aperture 616 for appropriate friction- or press-fitting thereto. When fitted to handle 602, an outside surface of first removable cap 624 may lie within the same horizontal plane as an outside surface of handle 602. In this respect, when first removable cap 624 is fitted to handle 602, a user may experience a comfortable grip when holding handle 602. It should be noted that, in some embodiments, handle 602 may be comprised of a combination of materials such as a plastic-type material and a rubber-like material. As known by those of ordinary skill in the art, the rubber-like material should be positioned on portions of handle 602 where a user grips handle 602. This feature may provide additional comfort to the user when he/she grips handle 602 when using oral hygiene device 600. FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of the oral hygiene device of FIG. 6. FIG. 8 illustrates a cross-sectional side view of aperture 616 of the oral hygiene device of FIG. 6 with two floss spools 614 situated on two mandrels 618 therein.
  • [0031]
    The oral hygiene devices according to embodiments of the invention provide a convenient and practical method of homecare oral hygiene. In one respect, both the features of a conventional toothbrush and features of dental floss are available within one oral hygiene device. Also, the device offers the user a choice of using floss typically used in conjunction with a shearing blade (as described previously) or using a flossing aid (as described previously). Additionally, for travel purposes, the oral hygiene device according to embodiments of the invention offers the user the convenience of only having to pack one oral hygiene item rather than two different items.
  • [0032]
    While certain exemplary embodiments have been described and shown in the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that such embodiments are merely illustrative of and not restrictive on the broad invention, and that this invention is not be limited to the specific constructions and arrangements shown and described, since various other modifications may occur to those ordinarily skilled in the art.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. An oral hygiene device, comprising:
    a body having a proximal portion, a distal portion, a proximal end and a distal end, the distal end adapted to accommodate a piece of floss between at least two prongs, the proximal end having a plurality of bristles thereon;
    at least one aperture within the distal portion of the body wherein the aperture includes a mandrel adapted to accommodate a spool of floss;
    a channel running from the aperture to an opening on the body, the channel adapted to accommodate floss from the spool of floss to the opening; and
    at least one shearing blade positioned on the distal end of the body.
  2. 2. The oral hygiene device of claim 1 wherein there are two apertures.
  3. 3. The oral hygiene device of claim 2, further comprising, a removable first cap to cover the two apertures and the channel, the removable first cap having two protrusions on an inner surface thereon wherein the two protrusions are sized to press- or friction-fit within the two apertures.
  4. 4. The oral hygiene device of claim 3, further comprising, a removable second cap to cover the distal end of the body.
  5. 5. The oral hygiene device of claim 1 wherein the distal end is adapted to receive a removable flossing aid, the flossing aid having at least two prongs.
  6. 6. The oral hygiene device of claim 1 wherein the distal end comprises a flossing aid having at least two prongs integral thereto.
  7. 7. The oral hygiene device of claim 1, further comprising, a removable first cap to cover the at least one aperture, the removable first cap having a flange and sized to press- or friction-fit within the at least one aperture.
  8. 8. The oral hygiene device of claim 1 wherein each of the two prongs includes a groove to accommodate a piece of floss tautly across thereof.
  9. 9. The oral hygiene device of claim 1, further comprising, a gum scrubber opposite to the plurality of bristles.
  10. 10. The oral hygiene device of claim 9 wherein the gum scrubber comprises a plurality of raised striations.
  11. 11. An oral hygiene device, comprising:
    means for allowing a user to grip an oral hygiene device;
    means for accommodating a plurality of floss spools within the means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device;
    means for allowing floss from the plurality of floss spools to run from the means for accommodating the plurality of floss spools to an outside of the means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device; and
    means for allowing the user to floss teeth of the user by gripping the means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device only.
  12. 12. The oral hygiene device of claim 11 wherein the means for allowing the user to grip the oral hygiene device is a toothbrush handle.
  13. 13. The oral hygiene device of claim 12 wherein the means for accommodating the plurality of floss spools is a plurality of apertures.
  14. 14. The oral hygiene device of claim 13 wherein the means for allowing floss from the plurality of floss spools to run from the plurality of apertures to the outside of toothbrush handle is a channel.
  15. 15. The oral hygiene device of claim 14 wherein the means for allowing the user to floss teeth of the user by gripping the toothbrush handle only is a flossing aid.
  16. 16. The oral hygiene device of claim 15 wherein the flossing aid is integral with the toothbrush body and located at a distal end thereof.
  17. 17. The oral hygiene device of claim 15 wherein the flossing aid is removable relative to the toothbrush body and adapted to friction- or press-fit into a groove at the distal end thereof.
  18. 18. The oral hygiene device of claim 11, further comprising:
    means to clean teeth of the user; and
    means to clean gums of the user.
  19. 19. The oral hygiene device of claim 18 wherein the means to clean teeth of the user is a plurality of bristles and the means to clean gums of the user is a gum scrubber.
  20. 20. The oral hygiene device of claim 19 wherein the plurality of bristles is located at a proximal end of the means for allowing a user to grip an oral hygiene device and the gum scrubber is located opposite the plurality of bristles.
US12360037 2009-01-26 2009-01-26 Oral hygiene device & methods of use thereof Abandoned US20100186182A1 (en)

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US20080251097A1 (en) * 2007-04-13 2008-10-16 Ana Arreguin Dental pen
US20120227760A1 (en) * 2011-03-11 2012-09-13 Cigarsolo, S.A. De C.V. Dental Hygiene Kit
US20120272984A1 (en) * 2010-09-03 2012-11-01 Marni Markell Hurwitz Oral hygiene implement and method of use
US9049921B1 (en) * 2013-07-24 2015-06-09 Dadrian L. Rackston Floss-dispensing toothbrush device
USD778060S1 (en) * 2014-08-26 2017-02-07 Finkelfloss Ltd. Toothbrush with dental floss dispenser

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US20080251097A1 (en) * 2007-04-13 2008-10-16 Ana Arreguin Dental pen
US20120272984A1 (en) * 2010-09-03 2012-11-01 Marni Markell Hurwitz Oral hygiene implement and method of use
US20120227760A1 (en) * 2011-03-11 2012-09-13 Cigarsolo, S.A. De C.V. Dental Hygiene Kit
US9049921B1 (en) * 2013-07-24 2015-06-09 Dadrian L. Rackston Floss-dispensing toothbrush device
USD778060S1 (en) * 2014-08-26 2017-02-07 Finkelfloss Ltd. Toothbrush with dental floss dispenser

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