US20130000659A1 - Toothbrush/toothpaste fluoride dosing toothbrush, system and method - Google Patents

Toothbrush/toothpaste fluoride dosing toothbrush, system and method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130000659A1
US20130000659A1 US13/339,439 US201113339439A US2013000659A1 US 20130000659 A1 US20130000659 A1 US 20130000659A1 US 201113339439 A US201113339439 A US 201113339439A US 2013000659 A1 US2013000659 A1 US 2013000659A1
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bristles
plurality
dentifrice
base
length
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US13/339,439
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John J. Davis
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Davis John J
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B9/00Arrangements of the bristles in the brush body
    • A46B9/02Position or arrangement of bristles in relation to surface of the brush body, e.g. inclined, in rows, in groups
    • A46B9/04Arranged like in or for toothbrushes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B11/00Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water
    • A46B11/0003Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water containing only one dose of substance, e.g. single-use toothbrushes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B11/00Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water
    • A46B11/0006Brushes with reservoir or other means for applying substances, e.g. paints, pastes, water specially adapted to feed the bristle upper surface

Abstract

A toothbrush, system and method for use of same are provided to enable a user to deliver a consistent volume of toothpaste to deliver a correct dosage of fluoride to children to avoid fluorosis. It is particularly advantageous to employ the toothbrush which indicates a predetermined length of toothpaste to be applied matched to a dispenser having an orifice of a predetermined diameter so the diameter of the toothpaste applied to the predetermined length results in the correct fluoride dosage.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application No. 61/565,804 filed 1 Dec. 2011, incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This application relates generally to toothpaste dosing systems, and more specifically to toothbrush dosing systems able to meter the volume of dentifrice (toothpaste in gel or paste form) and fluoride dispensed onto a toothbrush.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends caregivers use fluoridated toothpaste for children over the age of 24 months, but the ADA also recommends children from two years to six years of age have only a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste placed onto their toothbrush once or twice per day for brushing. Neither the amount of toothpaste nor the frequency of brushing is to be exceeded. Limiting the volume of toothpaste to a “pea-sized” amount is so important, that toothpaste tubes must be labeled with a statement regarding the “pea-sized” amount in order to display the ADA Seal of Approval.
  • Additional peer reviewed literature further recommends the “pea-sized” amount of dentifrice (toothpaste) be extended to include children up to the age of eight years. The effects of a particular dose of fluoride on a 1 year old, weighing approximately 10 kg, will be greater than on a 5-6 year old weighing 20 kg. To take account of this, the risk of fluorosis, for a particular dose of fluoride, can also be qualified as a dose per kg body weight (mg F/kg). The “pea-sized” recommendation comes from a consensus that a 0.25 mg amount of toothpaste is the best compromise between the risk of dental fluorosis, through ingestion of the paste, and achieving a therapeutic level of salivary born fluoride. This 0.25 mg volume of toothpaste is best described by the ADA, dentists, researchers and toothpaste companies as “pea-sized.”
  • A risk of exceeding 0.25 mg of toothpaste is that developmental problems with tooth structure can emerge. Dental fluorosis occurs because of the excessive intake of fluoride. Especially among children, ingestion of toothpaste is a cause of dental fluorosis. Ingestion of fluoride can severely damage tooth development in children between the ages of 3 months to 8 years. Teeth are generally composed of hydroxyapatite and carbonated hydroxyapatite; when fluoride is present, some fluorapatite is generated. Excessive fluoride can cause white spots, and in severe cases, brown stains or pitting or mottling of enamel. Fluorosis cannot occur once the tooth has erupted into the oral cavity. At this point, fluorapatite is beneficial because it is more resistant to dissolution by acids (demineralization). Although it is usually the permanent teeth which are affected, occasionally the primary teeth may be involved.
  • The recommendation to apply a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste is not sufficient to protect children from the dangers of dental fluorosis. The problem with the “pea-sized” instruction is that different individuals will interpret “pea-sized” differently. Therefore, the instruction provides no guarantee that the correct amount of toothpaste will be dispensed. If much less than the 0.25 mg of toothpaste is dispensed, then the dosage of fluoride can be insufficient to be clinically anti-cariogenic. If more than 0.25 mg of toothpaste is dispensed, then the risk increases exponentially for dental fluorosis. Moreover, as children mature and begin to dispense toothpaste without parental supervision the problem of dispensing a “pea-sized” amount of dentifrice is compounded, because a young child will be even less likely than an adult to determine the proper amount of dentifrice to be dispensed to equal 0.25 mg of toothpaste. Varying toothbrush head sizes can further influence how much paste is applied. This can be especially problematic when a child shifts to a larger toothbrush head size after becoming habituated to dispensing toothpaste onto a small toothbrush head. Instead of dispensing the same small amount of toothpaste, the child often dispenses an amount of toothpaste that is proportional to the toothbrush head size. For example, if the child is used to covering the toothbrush head of a small toothbrush, the child is likely to cover the toothbrush head of a larger toothbrush, thereby applying too much toothpaste.
  • Therefore, a serious need exists for a fluoride dosing system precise enough yet simple enough to enable a child to dispense a “pea-sized” amount of dentifrice.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to a toothbrush, system and method for use of same are provided to enable a user to deliver a consistent volume of toothpaste to deliver a correct dosage of fluoride to children to avoid fluorosis. It is particularly advantageous to employ the toothbrush which indicates a predetermined length of toothpaste to be applied matched to a dispenser having an orifice of a predetermined diameter so the diameter of the toothpaste applied to the predetermined length results in the correct fluoride dosage.
  • In an embodiment the invention also relates to a toothbrush having a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles extending from the base, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for application of a dentifrice, the toothbrush head having one or more marking indicia on the base delineating a predetermined length along the base.
  • In an embodiment the invention also relates to a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles extending from the base, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for application of a dentifrice, the bristles having an upper end and a lower end, the upper end distal to the base, the toothbrush head having one or more marking indicia on the bristles spaced from the upper end of the plurality of bristles delineating a predetermined length along the head.
  • In an embodiment the invention also relates to a toothbrush head comprising a base and a first plurality of bristles extending from the base and a second plurality of bristles extending from the base, and a dentifrice receiving portion, wherein a bottom surface of the dentifrice receiving portion is defined by distal tips of the first plurality of bristles and at least one side wall of the dentifrice receiving portion is defined by axial lengths of the second plurality of bristles, and wherein the dentifrice receiving portion has a volume of from 90 to 275 cubic mm.
  • In an embodiment the invention also relates to a system for applying a correct and safe amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste. The system comprising:
      • a dispenser or dispenser cap having an orifice sized to deliver a volume of dentifrice having a predetermined geometrical configuration; and
      • a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for receiving the volume of dentifrice from the dispenser or dispenser cap,
      • the surface comprising one or more marking indicia collectively occupying a predetermined area of the surface,
      • wherein the predetermined area is sized such that if the volume of dentifrice delivered from the dispenser cap rests on the plurality of bristles to contact the entire predetermined area, then the volume of dentifrice will be from 90 to 275 cubic mm.
  • In an embodiment the predetermined area is sized such that if the volume of dentifrice delivered from the dispenser cap rests on the plurality of bristles to contact the entire predetermined area and only the predetermined area, then the volume of dentifrice will be from 90 to 275 cubic mm.
  • In another embodiment the invention also relates to a system for applying a correct and safe amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste. The system comprising:
      • a dispenser or dispenser cap having an orifice sized to deliver a volume of dentifrice having a predetermined geometrical configuration; and
      • a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for receiving the volume of dentifrice from the dispenser or dispenser cap,
      • at least one member selected from the group consisting of the base, the upper end surface of the bristles and sidewalls of the bristles comprising one or more marking indicia collectively defining a first length of 2 to 27 mm,
      • wherein a volume of dentifrice, delivered from the dispenser cap, having a second length equal to the first length will be from about 90 to 275 cubic mm.
  • Typically in this system at least one member is selected from the group consisting of the base, the upper end surface of the bristles and sidewalls of the bristles comprising one or more marking indicia collectively defining a first length of 15 to 18 mm. Preferably to encourage a lengthy line of toothpaste to encourage accurate dosage in a child size portion the dispenser cap orifice is sized to deliver the volume of dentifrice having the predetermined geometrical configuration to have a diameter of 3 to 5 mm.
  • In another embodiment the invention also relates to a system for applying a correct and safe amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste. The system comprising:
      • a dispenser or dispenser cap having an orifice sized to deliver a volume of dentifrice having a predetermined geometrical configuration; and
      • a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for receiving the volume of dentifrice from the dispenser or dispenser cap,
      • the surface having a first length in a longitudinal direction of 10 to 23 mm,
      • wherein a volume of dentifrice, delivered from the dispenser cap, having a second length equal to the first length will be from about 90 to 275 cubic mm.
  • Preferably in this system the second length is in a range of 10 to 18 mm.
  • The invention also relates to a method for applying a correct and safe amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste using any of the toothbrushes or systems of the present invention to deliver 90 to 275 cubic mm of the dentifrice from the dispenser cap onto the plurality of bristles.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:
  • FIG. 1-A shows a schematic top-view illustration of a toothbrush head having marking indicia of various lengths;
  • FIG. 1-B is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1-A;
  • FIGS. 1-C and 1-D shows a schematic top-view and side view, respectively, of a toothbrush head having marking indicia on a side portion of a plurality of bristles;
  • FIG. 1-E shows a schematic illustration of a toothpaste dispenser;
  • FIG. 1-F shows a schematic illustration of a toothbrush head;
  • FIGS. 1-G, 1-H, and 1-I show embodiments where one or more marking indicia having are positioned on the head portion of a toothbrush;
  • FIG. 1-J shows the indicia of FIG. 1-G also covering the upper portion of the head portion of the base;
  • FIGS. 2-A through 2-D show schematic top-view illustrations of a toothbrush, with a toothbrush head having marking indicia of differing lengths and orientations;
  • FIGS. 3-A through 3-B show schematic illustrations from differing perspectives of a toothbrush head having an indentation in its bristles;
  • FIGS. 4-A through 4-B show schematic illustrations from differing perspectives of a toothbrush head having an indentation in its bristles;
  • FIGS. 5-A, 5-B, 5-C, and 5-D show schematic top-view illustrations of an electric toothbrush head with marking indicia of differing lengths and orientations;
  • FIGS. 6-A through 6-O show schematic top-view illustrations of toothbrush bristles having marking indicia of various shapes, sizes, and configurations;
  • FIGS. 7-A, 7-B and 7-C illustrate differing perspectives of a toothpaste dispenser element;
  • FIG. 7-D shows a schematic view of a second embodiment of a nozzle of a dispenser; and
  • FIG. 7-E shows another embodiment of an adaptor for a toothpaste dispenser.
  • It should be understood the various embodiments are not limited to the arrangements and instrumentality shown in the drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention may be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention as well as to the examples included therein. All numeric values are herein assumed to be modified by the term “about,” whether or not explicitly indicated. The term “about” generally refers to a range of numbers that one of skill in the art would consider equivalent to the recited value (i.e., having the same function or result). In many instances, the term “about” may include numbers that are rounded to the nearest significant figure.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-A and 1-B, various embodiments relate to a toothbrush head portion 100, having a head 100 a. The toothbrush head portion 100 can include a body element 101 and a plurality of bristles 102, protruding from the head 100 a. The bristles 102 can have marking indicia 103 of various lengths 104. The particular embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1-A and 1-B can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein.
  • FIG. 1-B shows, the marking indicia 103, according to various embodiments can be formed using bristles of a different color, in whole or in part, than the other bristles. The different color can be at an upper portion of the colored bristles or an entire length of the colored bristle.
  • Referring to FIG. 1-C and to FIG. 1-D, which is a side view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1-C, various embodiments relate to a toothbrush head portion 100, having a head 100 a and a longitudinal axis “A”. The toothbrush head portion 100 can include a body element 101 and a plurality of bristles 102, protruding from the head 100 a. The bristles 102 can have marking indicia 103 of various lengths 104. The particular embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1-C and 1-D can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein.
  • FIG. 1-E shows a schematic illustration of a toothpaste dispenser 109 having a nozzle 105 having an opening 107. The opening 107 can be the actual opening of the toothpaste dispenser or an adaptor applied over the actual opening of the toothpaste dispenser to achieve the desired diameter. If the actual toothpaste dispenser does not have an opening sized to apply the correct dosage for the size toothbrush an adaptor can be placed over the opening. An adaptor is advantageous where, for example, an actual opening is too big and thus would apply too much toothpaste if used with a particular embodiment of a toothbrush of the present invention (See FIGS. 7-A to 7-E).
  • FIG. 1-F illustrates an embodiment which relates to a toothbrush head having a bristle head length L for the portion covered by bristles for use with a toothpaste dispenser having a diameter “D” of the toothpaste dispenser adaptor opening 105 and/or the opening diameter “D” of the toothpaste tube. To achieve a 0.25 gram of toothpaste dispensed onto the bristles 102 of the head of the toothbrush in the form of a cylinder, the following toothpaste tube openings or toothpaste tube adaptor openings would equate to these corresponding toothbrush bristle head lengths “L”. The following are the more desirable dimensions of toothbrush heads for the 2 year old to 8 year old age group. A 3.25 mm diameter of toothpaste, in the form of a cylinder, would deliver 0.25 grams of toothpaste on a 23 mm long toothbrush head. Similarly, a 3.5 mm diameter of toothpaste in the form of a cylinder would result in 0.25 grams of toothpaste on a toothbrush head length of 20 mm. Another example would be that of a 3.75 mm diameter of a toothpaste dispenser opening resulting in a toothbrush head length of 17.5 mm to deliver 0.25 grams of toothpaste. A typical range for length “L” is 7 to 27 mm.
  • TABLE 1 summarizes various toothpaste dispenser adapter opening 105 diameters “D” and corresponding toothbrush head lengths “L” parallel to a longitudinal axis “A”. In general, unless stated otherwise or apparent from the drawings, lengths described in the present application are dimensions parallel to the longitudinal axis of the toothbrush and widths are dimensions transverse to the longitudinal direction and depths are perpendicular to bot length and width.
  • TABLE 1 Toothpaste Dispenser Toothbrush Bristle Opening Diameters “D” Lengths “L” 3.0 mm 27 mm 3.25 mm 23 mm 3.5 mm 20 mm 3.75 mm 17.5 mm 4.0 mm 15 mm 4.25 mm 13.5 mm 4.5 mm 12 mm 4.75 mm 11 mm 5.0 mm 9.75 mm
  • Applying a cylinder of toothpaste from a 3.25 mm-4.0 mm diameter opening pairs to a toothbrush head length beneficial for children.
  • FIGS. 1-G, 1-H, and 1-I show embodiments where one or more marking indicia 106, having lengths L2, L3 and L4, are positioned on the head portion 100 of the toothbrush that supports the bristles 102 of the brush. These indicia can be viewed from the superior portion of the brush, i.e. between the bristles down to the superior surface of the toothbrush head, and/or they can alternatively be viewed from the lateral surface as the indicia are completely connected from both lateral surface to lateral surface of the toothbrush head communicating on the superior surface of the toothbrush head.
  • One embodiment would be comprised of the marking indicia that would correlate to a 4 mm diameter opening of a toothpaste tube adaptor or toothpaste tube.
  • As shown in FIG. 1-G, the indicia 106, on the toothbrush head, that would deliver 0.25 mg of toothpaste can be a colored marking that beginning from the distal end of the area of the toothbrush head where the most distal end of the bristles are located and extend proximally for a length L2 of about 13 mm. The bristles can have a length L1 of about 18 mm. The indicia 106 can be limited to the side walls of the head portion of the base and/or also cover the upper portion of the head portion of the base. For example, FIG. 1-J shows the indicia 106 of FIG. 1-G also covering the upper portion of the head portion of the base.
  • As shown in FIG. 1-H, an alternate embodiment can have the colored indicia 106, beginning at the most proximal end of the brush, where the most proximal end of the bristles are located, and extend distally for a length L2 of about 13 mm. The bristles can have a length L1 of about 18 mm.
  • As shown in FIG. 1-I, a further embodiment can include a plurality, for example, two colored indicia 106 being present on the brush head. An example would be each of the two colored indicia staring at the proximal and distal ends of the brush head, where the bristles of the brush begin and end, and extending respectively both proximally and distally for lengths L3 and L4, each of about 6.5 mm. Lengths L3 and L4 can be the same or different. Other variations of the two indicia could be combinations of length such as the proximal indicia being 7 mm in length and the distal indicia being 6 mm in length.
  • FIG. 1-J shows the indicia of FIG. 1-G also covering the upper portion of the head portion of the base.
  • Referring to FIGS. 2-A to 2-D, various embodiments relate to a toothbrush 200. The toothbrush 200 can include a body element 201 and a plurality of bristles 202. The bristles 202 can have marking indicia 203 of differing lengths 204 and orientations. The particular embodiments depicted in FIGS. 2-A to 2-D can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein.
  • The length 204 shown in FIGS. 2-A and 2-B and 2-C is 15.3 mm. Therefore, the toothbrush disclosed would be suitable for use by a two to six year old child in conjunction with a toothbrush dispenser having a 4 mm opening. The user can be instructed to apply dentifrice along the entire length 204.
  • The length 204 shown in FIG. 2-D is 3.8 mm. Therefore, the toothbrush disclosed would be suitable for use by a two to six year old child in conjunction with a dentifrice dispenser having an 8 mm opening. The user can be instructed to apply dentifrice from the marking indicia 203 to the distal or proximal tip of the plurality of bristles 202.
  • The collective length of the marking indicia can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from any of 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 13.5, 14, 14.5, 15, 15.5, 16, 16.5, 17, 17.5, 18, 18.5, 19, 19.5, 20, 20.5, 21, 21.5, 22, 22.5, 23, 23.5, 24, 24.5, and 27 mm. Preferably, the collective the length of the marking indicia is from 9 to 27 mm, more preferably 15 to 23 mm because a longer length is easier to apply with accuracy, but this is balanced with sizes appropriate for children.
  • Referring to FIGS. 3-A, 3-B, 4-A, and 4-B, various embodiments relate to a toothbrush head portion 400. The toothbrush head can include a head 400 a, a body element 401 and a plurality of bristles 402. Typically, the head 400 a extends from the body element 401 and the bristles protrude (extend) from the head perpendicularly to the upper surface of the head 400 a. The plurality of bristles 402 can include one or more indentations 403. Each of the one or more indentations can have a length 404, a width 405, and a depth 406. The particular embodiments depicted in to FIGS. 3-A, 3-B, 4-A, and 4-B can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein.
  • As shown in FIGS. 4-A and 4-B, the length 404, the width 405, and the depth 406 are 12.8 mm, 5.0 mm, and 3 mm respectively. Therefore, the toothbrush disclosed would be suitable for use by a two to six year old child in conjunction with any dentifrice dispenser, provided the child uses the indentation 403 as a guide, filling the indentation 403, but not overflowing the indentation 403. The indentation can also be referred to as a dentifrice receiving portion.
  • The length of the indentation can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit is typically 10, 10.5, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 13.5, 14, 14.5, 15, 15.5, 16, 16.5, 17, 17.5, 18, or 18.5 mm. For example, the length of the indentation can be 10 to 15 mm; or preferably from 10 to 13 mm.
  • The width of the indentation 403 can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 3, 3.5, 4, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, and 8 mm. Preferably, the width of the indentation is from 4 to 6 mm.
  • The depth of the indentation 403 can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5 and 5 mm. Preferably the depth of the indentation 403 is 2 to 4 mm.
  • The indentation or dentifrice receiving portion 403 can have a volume within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The volume of dentifrice is determined by the dimensions of the walls and floor of the geometric indentation, when such dentifrice is filled within the boundaries of the respective indentation up to the indentation's cavosurface of the superior plane of the toothbrush bristle head. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180, 190, 200, 210, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, 290, and 300 cubic mm. For example, the volume can be from 90 to 275 cubic mm or preferably 90 to 230 cubic mm. Various embodiments can ensure this volume of dentifrice is delivered to the bristles.
  • Referring to FIGS. 5-A, 5-B, 5-C, and 5-D, various embodiments relate to an electric toothbrush head 500. The electric toothbrush head 500 can include a base element 501 and a rotating element 502. One or both of base element 501 and rotating element 502 may be provided with marking indicia. The rotating element 502 can include a first marking indicia 504 having a length 504 and a width 505. The base element 501 can include a second marking indicia 506 having a length 507 and a width 508. The particular embodiments depicted in FIGS. 5-A through 5-D can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein. In FIG. 5-A length 504 is greater than length 507. In FIG. 5-B length 504 is shorter than length 504 of FIG. 5-A. Also, In FIG. 5-B length 507 is longer than length 507 of FIG. 5-A.
  • The width 505 of the distal head and the width 508 of the base element can be independently selected within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5 and 10 mm. For example, the width can be from 1 to 3 mm.
  • Collectively length 504 and length 507 define an overall length L of 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 13.5, 14, 14.5, 15, 15.5, 16, 16.5, 17, 17.5, 18, 18.5, 19, 19.5, 20, 20.5, 21, 21.5, 22, 22.5, 23, 23.5, 24, 24.5, or 27 mm. Preferably, the collective the length “L” of the marking indicia is from 9 to 21 mm. The ratio of length 504 to length 507 is 1-0:0-1, preferably 0.8-0.2:0.2:0.8, more preferably 0.4-00.6:0.6-0.4. For example, the length 504 can be from 6 to 14 mm and the length 507 can be from 3 to 5.5 mm.
  • As shown in FIG. 5-C the lengths 504 and 507 are 12 mm and 3.3 mm respectively. Thus, FIG. 5-C shows an electric toothbrush head having a distal brush head 520, proximal brush head 522, a 1 distal section dosing stripe 524 having a length 504 of 12 mm and a proximal section dosing stripe 526 having a length 507 of 3.3 mm.
  • As shown in FIG. 5-D the lengths 504 and 507 are 10 mm and 5.3 mm respectively. Therefore, the toothbrush disclosed would be suitable for use by a two to five year old child in conjunction with dentifrice dispenser having an 4 mm opening. Thus, FIG. 5-D shows to achieve a more equal distribution of 0.25 g of toothpaste relative to brush head area by providing an electric toothbrush head having a distal brush head 530, proximal brush head 532, a distal section dosing stripe 534 having a 10.0 mm length 504 and a proximal section dosing stripe 536 having a 5.3 mm length 507.
  • Referring to FIGS. 6-A through 6-O, various embodiments include toothbrush bristles 600 having one or more marking indicia 601-605. The one or more marking indicia can be provided in various shapes, sizes, and configurations. Each marking indicia 601-605 can have a length 606 and a width 607. In all embodiments, the length 606 of each marking indicia 601-605 can be the same as or different from the length 606 of other marking indicia 601-605; and the width 607 of each marking indicia 601-605 can be the same as or different from the width 607 of other marking indicia 601-605. The particular embodiments depicted in FIG. 6-A through 6-O can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein. The combined length of the markings can determine a starting point and ending point for applying toothpaste, and thus determine dosage for a given dispenser.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-A, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia 601, 602, 603, 604, and 605, regularly spaced along a centerline of the bristles 600. The total length of the plurality of markings can indicate dosage for a selected relatively small diameter of dispensed toothpaste. A direction could be provided to a user to cover fewer markings when applying a selected relatively larger size diameter dose of dispensed toothpaste.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-B, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia 601, 602, and 603 positioned to extend from one or more lengthwise edges of the bristles 600 toward the center of the bristles, such that the width 607 of the marking indicia 601-603 is less than the width of the bristles 600.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-C, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia 601 and 602 extending from one or more lengthwise edges of the bristles 600 toward the opposite lengthwise edge of the bristles 600, such that the width 607 of the marking indicia 601, 602 is equal to the width of the bristles 600.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-D, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia 601 and 602, extending from one or more widthwise edges of the bristles 600 toward a centerpoint of the bristles 600 for a length 606.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-E, toothbrush bristles 600 can include one or more marking indicia 601 having a curvilinear pattern. FIG. 6-P exemplifies the embodiment of FIG. 6-O, wherein the marking indicia 601 has a curvilinear pattern. As already stated, the particular embodiments depicted in FIG. 6-P, like all other embodiments, can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-F, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia 601 and 602, extending from one or more lengthwise edges of the bristles 600 toward the opposite lengthwise edge of the bristles 600. The marking indicia 601 and 602 can be positioned at any point along the length of the bristles 600. As shown in FIG. 6-F, marking indicia 601 can be positioned at a widthwise edge of the bristles 600, while marking indicia 602 can be positioned at the opposite widthwise edge of the bristles 600.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-G, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia 601 and 602, extending at an angle from a lengthwise end of the bristles 600. The marking indicia 601 and 602 can have a length 606 along the lengthwise edge of the bristles 600 and a width 607 relative to the widthwise edge of the bristles 600. The angle “AA” be measured relative to the lengthwise edge of the bristles and can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 0 to 90 degrees, for example 0, 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, and 90 degrees. For example, the angle can be 45 degrees; or from 25 degrees to 60 degrees.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-H, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia, such as marking indicia 601 and 602, positioned along a length 606. The marking indicia 601 and 602 can be in the form of spots or geometrical shapes.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-I, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a marking indicia 601. The marking indicia 601 can extend from any point on the surface of the bristles 600 toward one or more widthwise edges of the bristles 600 to cover a total length 606 of the bristles 600. The marking indicia 601 can extend from any point on the surface of the bristles 600 toward one or more lengthwise edges of the bristles 600 to cover a total width 607 of the bristles 600.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-J, toothbrush bristles 600 can include one or more marking indicia 601 positioned on the surface of the bristles 601 along a length 606 extending between the widthwise edges of the bristles 600.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-K, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a one or more marking indicia 601 in the shape of an arrow extending along the bristles 600 for a length 606.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-L, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a plurality of marking indicia 601 and 602 disposed along a width 606. Each marking indicia 601, 602 can thin, for example, the diameter of one or more individual bristles that constitute toothbrush bristles 600.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-M, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a marking indicia 601, extending from one or more lengthwise edges of the bristles 600 for a length 606. The marking indicia can have a width 607.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-N, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a marking indicia 601 extending from a center point of the surface the bristles 600 toward one or more lengthwise edges. The marking indicia 601 can have a length 606 and a width 607.
  • As shown in FIG. 6-O, toothbrush bristles 600 can include a marking indicia 601, extending at an angle from a widthwise end of the bristles 600. The marking indicia 601 can have a length 606 along the lengthwise edge of the bristles 600 and a width 607 relative to the widthwise edge of the bristles 600. The angle “BB” be measured relative to the widthwise edge of the bristles and can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 0 to 90 degrees, for example 0, 10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, and 90 degrees. For example, the angle can be 45 degrees; or from 25 degrees to 60 degrees; or from 25 degrees to 155 degrees.
  • Referring to FIGS. 7-A, 7-B and 7-C, various embodiments include a toothpaste dispenser element 700 (dispenser cap), including a closeable cap element 701 connected via a hinge to a base element 702. The base element 702 can include a nozzle 707 having one or more apertures 703. The one or more apertures 702 can be any shape. As shown in FIGS. 7-A, 7-B, and 7-C the aperture 702 is circular in shape and has a diameter 704. The particular embodiments depicted in FIGS. 7-A, 7-B, and 7-C can be combined in whole or in part with any other embodiment disclosed herein. Aperture 703 may be designed with threads to screw onto an opening of a container (dispenser) of dentrifice (toothpaste in paste or gel form), or may be designed to snap onto an opening of such a container to provide the consumer with the option of using multiple toothpaste brands having various size openings and still achieve the opening required for use with the inventive toothbrush to apply the correct dosage of fluoride. It could also snap on with a bayonet fitting (not shown) if desired.
  • FIG. 7-D shows a schematic view of a second embodiment of a nozzle 710 of a dispenser having an inner diameter 712 and an outer diameter 714. Outer diameter 714 defines the diameter of the applied dentifrice gel or paste.
  • FIG. 7-E shows another embodiment of a toothpaste dispenser element (dispenser cap) for use as an adaptor 720 for a toothpaste dispenser having a neck 722 having an inner diameter 724 and a nozzle 726 having an opening of inner diameter 728. Inner diameter 728 is smaller than inner diameter 724. Neck 722 may be designed with threads to screw onto an opening of a container (dispenser) of dentrifice (toothpaste in paste or gel form), or may be designed to snap onto an opening of such a container to provide the consumer with the option of using multiple toothpaste brands having various size openings and still achieve the opening required for use with the inventive toothbrush to apply the correct dosage of fluoride. Adaptor 720 could also snap on with a bayonet fitting (not shown) if desired. Adaptor 720 may have a hinged snap on cap 722.
  • According to various embodiments, toothbrush bristle head length marking indicia and dispenser elements can be designed to cooperate and to assist a user to apply a predetermined amount of dentifrice to a toothbrush. One goal in delivering a predetermined amount of dentifrice to a toothbrush is to control the amount of fluoride delivered to a user. At least according to the ADA, 0.25 grams of toothpaste is the ideal target, because this amount of toothpaste includes an appropriate dose of fluoride. For toothpaste containing different amounts of fluoride, different amounts of toothpaste would be recommended. As discussed above, to achieve 0.25 grams of toothpaste, the ADA currently recommends dispensing a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste. This is because most toothpastes in the US comprise between 1,000 ppm and 1,100 ppm fluoride. In other countries this concentration can vary. For example, in the UK some toothpastes have fluoride concentrations of about 1,450 ppm.
  • By way of example, a toothpaste containing 1% fluoride typically is typically 10,000 ppm fluoride and a toothpaste containing 1% fluoride typically comprises 1 gram of agent (sodium fluoride) per 100 grams of solid (methyl cellulose gelatin).
  • For example, 1% of NaF would convert to 4,500 ppm of fluoride. (The 1% above converting to 10,000 ppm is for APF, which is a prescription gel that can be used at checkup in trays). In the United States, the standard concentration of fluoride in toothpaste is 1,000 to 1,500 ppm. Also in the United States, fluoridated toothpaste is formulated such that 1 gram of toothpaste contains 1.0 mg of toothpaste. Therefore, 0.25 grams of toothpaste would equal 0.25 mg of fluoride. 0.1% would equal 1,000 ppm of F ion in dentifrice.
  • To design suitable toothbrush bristle head length and/or marking indicia and dispenser elements various embodiments take into consideration the density of the particular toothpaste to be dispensed or the average density of a variety of particular toothpastes to be dispensed.
  • The volume of 0.25 mg of each of five different types of dentifrice was experimentally determined. The toothpastes evaluated were Colgate® Kids Gel; Colgate® Adult toothpaste; Colgate® Kids Gel 2 in 1 (mouthwash added); Crest® Kids Gel; and Sensodyne® Kids paste.
  • The materials employed in these experiments included a Mack® precision scale, which was sensitive to 0.001 grams; a syringe.
  • The following procedure was employed. First before each run, the scale was tarred. Second, the syringe was cleaned and placed onto the scale, which was then tarred again. Third, the syringe was loaded with 2 cc (2,000 cubic mm) of the dentifrice to be tested with the base of syringe's plunger at the distal margin of the 2 cc marking. Fourth, the outside of the syringe was wiped clean. Fifth, the syringe was weighed again to determine a weight of 2 cc of the dentifrice.
  • On average 2 cc (2,000 cubic mm) of all the dentifrices evaluated weighed 2.60 grams. Therefore, the average volume of 0.25 grams of these dentifrices can be calculated as follows in Equation I:
  • 2 , 000 cubic mm 2.60 grams × 0.25 grams = 192.31 cubic mm Eqn . 1
  • TABLE 2 provides the volumes calculated for 0.25 grams of each of the tested dentifrices.
  • TABLE 2 Dentifrice Volume of 0.25 grams (cubic mm) Colgate ® Kids Gel 193 Colgate ® Adult toothpaste 192.5 Colgate ® Kids Gel 2 in 1 195.6 Crest ® Kids Gel 190.2 Sensodyne ® Kids paste 211.25
  • According to various embodiments, toothbrush bristle head length and/or marking indicia and dispenser elements can be designed to cooperate so as to assist a user in applying a predetermined amount of dentifrice to a toothbrush.
  • The amount of dentifrice can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 0.15, 0.155, 0.16, 0.165, 0.17, 0.175, 0.18, 0.185, 0.19, 0.195, 0.2, 0.205, 0.21, 0.215, 0.22, 0.225, 0.23, 0.235, 0.24, 0.245, 0.25, 0.255, 0.26, 0.265, 0.27, 0.275, 0.28, 0.285, 0.29, 0.295, and 0.3 grams. For example, the amount of toothpaste can be 0.15 to 0.35 grams, more typically 0.2 to 0.3 grams; or from 0.25 to 0.3 grams. The desired amount of toothpaste can vary depending on the concentration of fluoride or other components in the toothpaste.
  • Equivalently, the amount of dentifrice can be within a range having a lower limit and/or an upper limit. The range can include or exclude the lower limit and/or the upper limit. The lower limit and/or upper limit can be selected from 90, 100, 150, 170, 180, 190, 200, 220, 250, and 275 cubic mm. For example, the amount of toothpaste can be from 90 to 275, more typically 170 to 275 cubic mm, for example, from 150 cubic mm to 270 cubic mm. Furthermore, typically from 185 cubic mm to 220 cubic mm is especially preferred because it applies a correct dosage with toothpaste having a concentration of 1 mg of fluoride per 1 gram of toothpaste.
  • Once a desired amount of toothpaste is determined based on the concentration of fluoride or other components in the toothpaste, the configuration of marking indicia and dispenser elements according to various embodiments can be determined so as to assist a user in dispensing the desired amount of toothpaste.
  • In embodiments where the toothpaste dispenser dispenses toothpaste in the form of a rectangular prism, the volume of toothpaste dispensed can be calculated by Equation II, where V is the volume of toothpaste, L is the length of the rectangular prism, W is the width of the rectangular prism and H is the height of the rectangular prism.

  • V=L·W·H  Eqn. II
  • For example, if 192 cubic mm of toothpaste is desired, a suitable rectangular prism could have L=12.8 mm; W=5 mm, and H=3 mm. The length of the desired prism can be used to determine a length of a marking indicia on toothbrush bristles and/or a toothbrush bristle head from the most distal end to the most proximal end. The width of the desired prism can be used to determine a width of the dispenser and/or a width of the marking indicia. The height of the desired prism can be used to determine a length or a width of a rectangular opening in a dispenser. As discussed above and as shown in the figures, the marking indicia on the toothbrush and/or the toothbrush bristle head need not be rectangular in shape. Therefore, the L and the W of the desired rectangular prism could also be used to determine the surface area of the marking indicia and or the surface area of the toothbrush bristle head (L·W).
  • Similarly, according to embodiments as illustrated in FIGS. 4-A and 4-B, the length, width, and height of the desired rectangular prism can be used to determine the length 404, width 405, and depth 406 of one or more indentations 403 in the surface of a plurality of bristles 402. Such an embodiment can be used with any type of dispenser, because the prism essentially forms in or on one or more indentations 403. The one or more indentations need to be in the shape of a rectangular prism. The one or more indentations can be in the form of any three dimensional shape as long as the total volume of free space created by the one or more indentations corresponds to the desired volume of toothpaste.
  • In embodiments where the toothpaste dispenser dispenses toothpaste in the form of a cylinder, the volume of toothpaste dispensed can be calculated by Equation III, where L is the length of the cylinder and r is the radius of the cylinder.

  • V=L·π·r 2  Eqn. III
  • For example, if 192 cubic mm of toothpaste is desired, a suitable cylinder could have a length of 15.25 mm and a diameter of 4 mm; or a length of 15.25 mm and a radius of 2 mm.
  • In embodiments where the toothpaste dispenser dispenses toothpaste in the form of a cone, the volume of toothpaste dispensed can be calculated by Equation IV, where r is the radius of the base of the cone, and H is the height of the cone from the base to the tip.

  • V=(1/3)·π·r 2 ·H  Eqn. IV
  • In embodiments where the toothpaste dispenser dispenses toothpaste in the form of a square-based pyramid, the volume of toothpaste dispensed can be calculated by Equation V, where B is the area of the base and H is the height of the pyramid from the base to the tip.

  • V=(1/3)·B·H  Eqn. V
  • In embodiments where the toothpaste dispenser dispenses toothpaste in the form of a isosceles triangular prism, the volume of toothpaste dispensed can be calculated by Equation VI, where B is the breadth, H is the height, and L is the length of the isosceles triangular prism.

  • V=(1/2)·B·H·L  Eqn. VI
  • In embodiments where the toothpaste dispenser dispenses toothpaste in the form of a half sphere, the volume of toothpaste dispensed can be calculated by Equation VII, where r is the radius.

  • V=((4/3)·π·r 3)/2  Eqn. VII
  • In embodiments where the toothpaste dispenser dispenses toothpaste in the form of an ellipsoid, the volume of toothpaste dispensed can be calculated by Equation VIII, where a, b, and c are equatorial radii along the x, y, and z axes respectively.

  • V=(4/3)·π·a·b·c  Eqn. VIII
  • Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.
  • The reader's attention is directed to all papers and documents which are filed concurrently with this specification and which are open to public inspection with this specification, and the contents of all such papers and documents are incorporated herein by reference.
  • All the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings) may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.
  • Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C §112, sixth paragraph. In particular, the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C §112, sixth paragraph.

Claims (18)

1. A toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles extending from the base, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for application of a dentifrice, the bristles having an upper end and a lower end, the upper end distal to the base, the toothbrush head having one or more marking indicia selected from the group consisting of:
indicia on the base delineating a predetermined length along the base, and
indicia on the bristles spaced from the upper end of the plurality of bristles delineating a predetermined length along the head.
2. The toothbrush head of claim 1, wherein the indicia has the same length as the portion of the base from which the plurality of bristles extends.
3. The toothbrush head of claim 1, wherein the indicia has a shorter length than the portion of the base from which the plurality of bristles extends.
4. The toothbrush head of claim 1, wherein the toothbrush head has the one or more marking indicia on the base delineating a predetermined length along the base.
5. The toothbrush head of claim 1, wherein the toothbrush head has the indicia on the bristles spaced from the upper end of the plurality of bristles delineating a predetermined length along the head.
6. A toothbrush head comprising a base and a first plurality of bristles extending from the base and a second plurality of bristles extending from the base, and a dentifrice receiving portion, wherein a bottom surface of the dentifrice receiving portion is defined by distal tips of the first plurality of bristles and at least one side wall of the dentifrice receiving portion is defined by axial lengths of the second plurality of bristles, and wherein the dentifrice receiving portion has a volume of from 90 to 275 cubic mm.
7. A system comprising:
a dispenser or dispenser cap having an orifice sized to deliver a volume of dentifrice having a predetermined geometrical configuration; and
a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for receiving the volume of dentifrice from the dispenser or dispenser cap,
the surface comprising one or more marking indicia collectively occupying a predetermined area of the surface,
wherein the predetermined area is sized such that if the volume of dentifrice delivered from the dispenser cap rests on the plurality of bristles to contact the entire predetermined area, then the volume of dentifrice will be from 90 to 275 cubic mm.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein the predetermined area is sized such that if the volume of dentifrice delivered from the dispenser cap rests on the plurality of bristles to contact the entire predetermined area and only the predetermined area, then the volume of dentifrice will be from 90 to 275 cubic mm.
9. The system of claim 7, wherein the plurality of bristles comprises a first plurality of the bristles extending from the base and a second plurality of the bristles extending from the base, the second plurality having lengths longer than the lengths of the bristles of the first plurality, and
wherein the marking indicia comprises a dentifrice receiving portion of the surface as an indentation in the surface, wherein a bottom surface of the dentifrice receiving portion defines the predetermined area and is defined by distal tips of the first plurality of bristles, and at least one side wall of the dentifrice receiving portion is defined by axial lengths of the second plurality of bristles.
10. A system comprising:
a dispenser, or dispenser cap, having an orifice sized to deliver a volume of dentifrice having a predetermined geometrical configuration; and
a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for receiving the volume of dentifrice from the dispenser or dispenser cap,
at least one member selected from the group consisting of the base, the upper end surface of the bristles, and sidewalls of the bristles comprising one or more marking indicia collectively defining a first length of 2 to 27 mm,
wherein a volume of dentifrice, delivered from the dispenser cap, having a second length equal to the first length will be from about 90 to 275 cubic mm.
11. The system of claim 10, wherein at least one member selected from the group consisting of the base, the upper end surface of the bristles and sidewalls of the bristles comprising one or more marking indicia collectively defining the first length of 15 to 18 mm.
12. The system of claim 10, the orifice sized to deliver the volume of dentifrice having the predetermined geometrical configuration to have a diameter of 3 to 5 mm.
13. The system of claim 10, wherein the toothbrush head comprises the base and a first plurality of the bristles extending from the base and a second plurality of the bristles extending from the base, and a dentifrice receiving portion as the indicia, wherein a bottom surface of the dentifrice receiving portion is defined by distal tips of the first plurality of bristles and at least one side wall of the dentifrice receiving portion is defined by axial lengths of the second plurality of bristles, and wherein the dentifrice receiving portion has a volume of from 90 to 275 cubic MM.
14. A system comprising:
a dispenser, or dispenser cap, having an orifice sized to deliver a volume of dentifrice having a predetermined geometrical configuration; and
a toothbrush head comprising a base and a plurality of bristles, the plurality of bristles forming a surface for receiving the volume of dentifrice from the dispenser or dispenser cap,
the surface having a first length in a longitudinal direction of 10 to 23 mm,
wherein a volume of dentifrice, delivered from the dispenser cap, having a second length equal to the first length will be from about 90 to 275 cubic mm.
15. The system of claim 14, wherein the first length is in a range of 10 to 18 mm, wherein a volume of dentifrice, delivered from the dispenser cap, having the second length equal to the first length will be from about 190 to 275 cubic mm.
16. A method for using the system of claim 7, comprising:
delivering 90 to 275 cubic mm of the dentifrice from the dispenser cap onto the plurality of bristles.
17. A method for using the system of claim 10, comprising:
delivering 90 to 275 cubic mm of the dentifrice from the dispenser cap onto the plurality of bristles.
18. A method for using the system of claim 14, comprising:
delivering 90 to 275 cubic mm of the dentifrice from the dispenser cap onto the plurality of bristles.
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