US2915767A - Disposable toothbrushes - Google Patents

Disposable toothbrushes Download PDF

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US2915767A
US2915767A US73072158A US2915767A US 2915767 A US2915767 A US 2915767A US 73072158 A US73072158 A US 73072158A US 2915767 A US2915767 A US 2915767A
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strip
pad
bristles
disposable
toothbrushes
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Frank C Vaughan
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Frank C Vaughan
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B5/00Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware
    • A46B5/04Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware shaped as gloves or finger-stalls or other special holding ways, e.g. by the tongue

Description

Dec. 8, 1959 F. c. VAUGHAN msposmuz TOOTHBRUSHES Filed April 24, 1958 INVENTOR- FRANK C. VAUGHAN ATTORNEYS.

United States Patent DISPOSABLE TOOTHBRUSHES Frank C. Vaughan, Richmond, Va.

Application April 24, 1958, Serial No. 730,721

6 Claims. (Cl. 15167) This invention relates to disposable toothbrushes. More particularly, it concerns single-use disposable toothbrushes which include adhesive means to hold them upon a persons finger during use.

Field of invention Disposable toothbrushes of various designs and construction have been known for a very long time, as is demonstrated by such long expired patents as US. 628,285 and 1,168,998. Many of the prior known .disposable toothbrushes have been constructed along standard lines to include a long, rigid-handle with brush bristles mounted at one end, the bristle and handle being made of materials which are so inexpensive that the brushes can be manufactured and sold at such a low cost that the product can be disposed of after one or two uses. Toothbrushes of this type, for example, are disclosed in US. Patents 2,121,701 and 2,419,896. Because such brushes are made from very cheap materials, however, they generally do not stand up well in use and, consequently, do not give good cleaning action.

In addition to such known disposable toothbrushes of the conventional, rigid-handle type, numerous less con.- ventional forms of toothbrushes have been suggested and patented. These include brush structures which are designed to be fixed or held upon the finger of the user, such as those described and claimed. in U. S. Patents 2,175,487, 2,686,326 and 2,719,315. A'recent modificationof the finger-mounted toothbrush, are those which employ a layer or coating of pressure-sensitive adhesive in order to fix the brush to the users' finger, e.g., see US. 2,763,885.

In addition to various structural improvements which have been previously disclosed for disposable toothbrushes, other modifications of such teeth-cleaning devices have beensuggested heretofore. For example, in order to make a disposable toothbrush completely selfcontained, i.e., to make it unnecessary for the user to employ additional items such as a tube of tooth paste in order to employ the disposable toothbrush in a toothcleaning operation, it has been disclosed heretofore that the bristles of such disposable toothbrushes'can be coated or impregnated with a suitable dentifrice, e.g., see U.S. Patents 1,894,413 and 2,763,885.

Notwithstanding the great amount of development work which has been done in the field of disposable toothbrushes, single-use, disposable toothbrushes have never acquired any great commercial importance or ex perienced any widespread use. This is apparently due to the failure of prior known disposable'toothbrushes to satisfactorily fulfill the various requirements needed to create widespread public acceptance of this type product. Thus, as a first requirement, the cost of this type item must be relatively very low in order for it to be attractive to prospective users. Also, such products must be uncomplicated and easy to use, but, above all, they must be compact, so that they may be easily carried by the user, "because this 'is'the'm'ain factor which will attractu'ser's ice,

Objects A principal object of this invention is the provision of new forms of disposable toothbrushes. Further objects include:

(1) The provision of single-use, disposable toothbrushes which can be manufactured, packaged and sold for very low cost so as to make them commercially competitive with the standard forms of permanent toothbrushes.

2) The provision of new forms of disposable toothbrusheswhich are extremely compact, so that one or more days supply thereof can be easily carried in a users pocket, handbag or the like.

(3) The provision of disposable toothbrushes which can be used in. a practical and effective way by those persons who desirevto brush their teeth after every meal.

(4) The provision of disposable toothbrushe which are completely self-contained, i.e., includes a dentifrice material in addition to brush bristles and supporting structure.

(5) The' provision of single-use disposable toothbruhes of such compact size and shape that they can be enclosed in a very small package to protect the sterility of the brush until ready for use.

(6) The provision of a form of toothbrush which may bebrought into brushing contact with all portions of the teeth more readily and more effectively than can conventional, rigid-handled brushes.

(7) The provision of improved constructions for disposable toothbrushes which enable such products to be manufactured at relatively low cost, but at the same time, enable the brushes to be structurally strong so that they can be subjected to strenuous use without losing their brushing effectiveness or otherwise disintegrating.

(8) The provision of disposable toothbrushes which can be effectively dispensed in coin-operated vending machines located in ofiices, shops, restaurants, transport terminals, theatres or the like.

Other objects and further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter; it should be under stood, however, that the detailed description, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, is given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

General Description These objects are accomplished according to the present invention by forming disposable toothbrushes to include a longitudinally elongated, flexible strip, 'e.g., a strip of Woven fabric or non-fibrous plastic, a resilient pad fixed to one surface of the strip, a layer of pressuresensitive adhesive covering at least a part of the surface of the strip not covered by the pad, and a plurality of short, spaced apart bristles embedded in the resilient pad, which extend through the flexible strip above the surface thereof opposite to the pad, forming a small brush.

The section of pressure-sensitive adhesive on the flexible strip-serves to fix the disposable toothbrush onto the finger of the user when the strip is wrapped around the finger, and to hold the brush in place thereon during use.

The resilient pad may be, for example, a small rectangular slab of foam plastic, sponge rubber or the like, and in combination with the flexible strip serves to fix the bristles in a brushing position and to maintain the bristles in such a position during use of the toothbrush.

In the preferred form of the new disposable toothbrushes, the flexible strip is rectangular in shape and is about 2 to 4 inches in length, about /2 to 1 inch in width, and about to 50 mils in thickness, and the resilient pad is also rectangular in shape, about /2 to 1 inch in length, about A; to inch in thickness, and about the same or just slightly less in width than the strip. Also, the pressure-sensitive adhesive covers the entire surface of the strip not covered by the resilient pad, and the bristles are fixed in the pad substantially parallel to one another, and extend about /s to /2 inch above the surface of the strip opposite to the pad.

Detailed description A more detailed understanding of the nature of the new disposable toothbrushes of this invention can be had by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. l is a perspective view of one of the new disposable toothbrushes as it appears just after being removed from a package, with the covers which protect the pressure-sensitive adhesive portions thereof still in position upon the toothbrush, except for one corner which has been illustrated as turned up in order to show the pressure-sensitive adhesive thereon.

Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the toothbrush of Fig. 1 enclosed in a wrapper forming a sterile package.

Fig. 3 is a perspective fragmentary view of one of the new toothbrushes wrapped around the finger of a user in toothbrushing position.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 44 of Fig. 1.

Referring in detail to the drawings, the new disposable toothbrushes comprise a longitudinally elongated, flexile strip 2, a resilient pad 4, a plurality of short, spacedapart bristles 6 which are embedded in the pad 4 and which extend from the pad up through the strip 2, projecting a short distance above the surface of the strip 2 to form the brush 8.

The under surface of the strip 2 is coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer it and in order to maintain this adhesive in suitable tacky condition for use, the exposed surface of such adhesive coatings are covered by removable protective covers 12.

The disposable toothbrush 14, which is composed of the various elements above described, can be manufactured under sterile conditions, or can be properly sterilized after formation, and may be then enclosed in a suitable container, such as the paper or plastic wrapper 16, in order to create a complete saleable package which can be handled without destroying the sterility of the enclosed toothbrush.

In order to make the new toothbrush package completely self-contained, a dentifrice material 18 may be coated or otherwise applied to the bristles 6. This dentifrice can be of any standard or recognized form and may comprise simply a wetting agent or soapy material, or may also include some form of abrasive powder such as chalk or the like.

The longitudinal strip 2 should be made of flexible material usually of thin gauge, e.g., about 5 to 50 mils in thickness, so that it can be easily wrapped around the finger 20 of a user, such as is illustrated in Fig. 3. This strip can be, for example, made of woven fabric, non-Woven fabric, knitted fabric, unified paper, nonfibrous plastic, e.g., polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene film, or the like.

A wide variety of different pressure-sensitive adhesive compositions may be employed to create the adhesive layer 10 on the same side of the strip 2 which carries the resilient pad 4. Compositions of this type are well known and are described, for example, in U. S. Patents 2,156,380, 2,164,360, 2,203,677, and 2,285,458.

The bristles 6 may be made from any suitable material, such as natural or synthetic material, e.g., nylon monofilament 5 to 20 mils in diameter. Such filaments extend through the flexible strip 2 and embed in the resilient pad 4, either singly or in groups, with the single or grouped filaments being spaced apart from one another and generally in parallel rows forming a standard conventional type of brush. Preferably, the bristles 6 are embedded in the pad 4 in the manner shown in Fig. 4, i.e., double length bristles which pass all the way through the pad and loop around under the bottom to form a loop 22 across the under surface of the resilient pad 4. This type of construction lends added rigidity or support to the bristles, since the wrapping of the strip 2 about the finger of the user causes the pad 4- to be slightly compressed and presses the looped sections 22 of the bristles against the finger of the user. The bristles then assume a radial direction corresponding to the curvature of the fingers (see Fig. 3).

The protective cover 12 can be formed of any suitable material, such as holland cloth, parchment or coated paper, cellophane, polyethylene, or the like. Such a cover may be formed as a single unit contiguous with the adhesive bearing strip 2, but, preferably, the protective cover 12 is formed in two sections which overlap (see Fig. l) at the center, since this enables the protective cover to be more easily and quickly removed from the adhesive layer when the toothbrush is to be used.

The resilient pad 4 can be made in various shapes and in various sizes. Preferably, it will conform in shape to substantially the same configuration which it is desired to have in the arrangement of the bristles. As shown in Fig. 1, this is a rectangular arrangement, and this is to be recommended, since it provides the greatest brushing area for a compact disposable toothbrush. However, other bristle arrangements and shapes of resilient pads can be employed, if desired, such as oval shape, circular shape, or the like. A wide variety of materials are available for use in forming the resilient pads 4, and specific examples of such materials include sponge rubber, both natural and synthetic, foam vinyl resins, foam polyurethane plastics, and the like.

The use of relatively stifi synthetic bristles, such as those made from nylon, polyethylene terephthalate and the like, in combination with the fact that these bristles are mounted in the resilient matrix pad 4, causes the bristles, when the disposable toothbrush is used, to snap into the crevices between the teeth more readily than bristles in the conventional, rigid type handled toothbrushes. Also, the curving of the resilient mounting pad around the ball of the finger when the disposable toothbrushes are mounted for use, results in a disposition of the bristles in a sort of universal direction which makes for more effective brushing, and the bristles so positioned can be more effectively worked between the teeth.

Obviously, various modifications and minor changes can be made to the disposable toothbrushes described above without departing from the basic design as described. For example, the longitudinal strips 2, or any other part of the new brushes, can be colored in solid colors, stripes, or any other similar type of ornamentation. Likewise, if a dentifrice is applied to the bristles, this can be flavored or unflavored. Also, the brushes can be manufactured and sold with bristles of different degree of hardness, as is common practice now in the sale of conventional rigid handle type toothbrushes. As a further modification, the resilient pad could be fixed upon the brush side of the adhesive strip so that it would be outside the strip, instead of inside as above described, when the brush is placed on the finger.

Conclusions There have been described above new forms of disposable toothbrushes which comprise no rigid handle or similar holding device, and which incorporate means for attaching the brush to the end of the finger of the user by means of the pressure-sensitive adhesive areas which are provided on flexible extensions of the brush. These new toothbrushes are designed primarily for single-use and to be most effective for this purpose, they are preferably supplied with a coating of dentifrice on the bristles, so that the brushes may be packaged and merchandised as a complete, self-contained unit which will permit the user to simply remove a protective wrapping in which the brushes can be maintained in sterile condition, strip off two, short covers which protect the pressure-sensitive adhesive areas of the brushes, then wrapped around the finger of the user, wetted and immediately used.

The new disposable toothbrushes are very compact and can be wrapped in small, flat packages. Accordingly, they can be eifectively sold separately from coinoperated vending machines, in oflice buildings, restaurants, transportation terminals or the like, where the prospective user may desire to make a quick purchase of such product for immediate use. For the more usual type of domestic sale through drug stores, super markets, sundry counters and the like, the toothbrushes may be packaged in continuous lengths which can be folded or rolled up, such assemblies being provided with perforations to permit separate brushes to be quickly separated from the remainder of the roll. On the other hand, individual units such as illustrated in Fig. 2 may be placed in paper-board or metal containers of any suitable design, e.g., so-called flip-top boxes, to be carried in the pocket or handbag of the user, or stored on the shelf of a medicine cabinet or the like.

I claim:

1. A disposable toothbrush comprising a longitudinally elongated, flexible strip, a resilient pad fixed to one surface of said strip, pressure sensitive adhesive covering at least part of said strip surface not covered by said pad and a plurality of short spaced-apart bristles which are embedded in said pad and which extend through said strip above the surface thereof opposite to said pad. forming a small brush which may be fixed upon the finger of a user by wrapping said strip around the finger, and held in place thereon by means of said pressure sensitive adhesive, said resilient pad cooperating with said strip to maintain said bristles in a brushing position during use'of the toothbrush.

2. A disposable toothbrush comprising a rectangular, longitudinally elongated, thin, flexible strip, a rectangular pad of resilient material substantially smaller in area than said strip fixed to one surface of said strip, pressure sensitive adhesive covering at least part of said strip surface not covered by said pad and a plurality of short, spaced-apart, substantially parallel bristles which are embedded in said pad and which extend substantially perpendicularly through said strip above the surface thereof opposite to said pad forming a small brush which may be fixed upon the finger of a user by wrapping said strip around the finger and held in place thereon by means of said pressure sensitive adhesive, said resilient pad cooperating with said strip to keep said bristles from being bent out of a position substantially normal to the said strip, whereby the brush is preserved in effective brushing condition during use.

3. A disposable toothbrush as claimed in claim 2 wherein said pad is made of spongy elastomeric material.

4. A disposable toothbrush comprising a rectangular flexible strip about 2 to 4 inches in length, about /2 to 1 inch in width and about 5 to 50 mils in thickness, a rectangular pad of resilient material about /2 to 1 inch in length, about the same width as said strip and about A; to inch in thickness fixed to one surface of said strip approximately midway between the ends of said strip and longitudinally aligned therewith, a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive covering at least the remainder of said surface of said strip not covered by said rectangular pad, a plurality of short, spaced-apart, substantially parallel organic material bristles about 5 to 20 mils in diameter embedded in said pad and which extend substantially perpendicularly through said strip and extend about A; to /2 inch above the surface thereof opposite to said pad forming a small brush which may be fixed upon the finger of a user by wrapping said strip around the finger and held in place thereon by means of said pressure sensitive adhesive, said resilient pad cooperating with said strip' to keep said bristles from being bent out of a position substantially normal to said strip whereby the brush is preserved in effective brushing condition during use.

5. A disposable toothbrush comprising a rectangular, longitudinally extended, thin, flexible strip, a resilient, rectangular pad of spongy elastomeric material substantially smaller in area than said strip, fixed to one surface of said strip, a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive covering at least the remainder of said strip surface not covered by said resilient pad, and a plurality of short, spaced-apart, substantially parallel bristles that have their mid-portion looped over the bottom surface of said resilient pad, and which extend thence substantially perpendicularly through the resilient pad and through said strip above the surface of said strip opposite to said pad to form a small brush which may be fixed upon the finger of the user by wrapping said strip around the finger and held in place thereon by means of said pressure sensitive adhesive, said resilient pad cooperating with said strip and the positioning of the bristles therein to keep said bristles from being bent out of position substantially normal to the strip, whereby the brush is preserved in effective brushing condition during use.

6. A disposable toothbrush comprising a longitudinally elongated, flexible strip, a resilient pad fixed to one surface of said strip, pressure sensitive adhesive covering at least part of said strip surface not covered by said pad and a plurality of short spaced-apart bristles which are embedded in said pad and which extend through said strip forming a small brush which may be fixed upon the finger of a user by wrapping said strip around the finger and held in place thereon by means of said pressure sensitive adhesive, said resilient pad cooperating with said strip to maintain said bristles in a brushing position during use of the toothbrush.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 753,970 Foster Mar. 8, 1904 2,167,129 Sleeper July 25, 1939 2,686,326 Leathers Aug. 17, 1954 2,703,083 Gross Mar. 1, 1955 2,763,885 Lyons Sept. 25, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 201,363 Great Britain Aug. 2, 1923

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Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3070102A (en) * 1960-05-12 1962-12-25 Harold B Macdonald Throw-away toothbrush and package
US3124824A (en) * 1964-03-17 Tooth cleaning device
US3231918A (en) * 1963-09-11 1966-02-01 Jerry H Marks Lint removing surface cleaner for garments
US3289236A (en) * 1964-07-06 1966-12-06 Abraham Reback Painter's edging tool
US3302230A (en) * 1964-10-30 1967-02-07 Poppelmann Ake Toothbrush
US3353898A (en) * 1965-08-06 1967-11-21 Martin J Lamberti Pocket size combination toothbrush and paste dispenser
US3354491A (en) * 1966-03-21 1967-11-28 Kay El Sales Corp Toothbrush
US3378870A (en) * 1967-03-22 1968-04-23 Matsunaga Kenji Toothbrush
US3392421A (en) * 1967-10-25 1968-07-16 Robert V. Mathison Impregnated, disposable brush and wiper
US3452382A (en) * 1966-05-25 1969-07-01 Samuel Kazdan Tooth cleansing device
US4890350A (en) * 1988-12-02 1990-01-02 Keefe Sr William F O Emergency paint brush
US5273425A (en) * 1992-09-28 1993-12-28 Hoagland Richard W Portable pet teeth cleaning abrasive instrument
US5287584A (en) * 1992-06-23 1994-02-22 Practical Products Ltd. Toothbrush
US5309596A (en) * 1993-03-23 1994-05-10 The Gillette Company Interproximal brush
US5377377A (en) * 1993-03-23 1995-01-03 Gillette Canada Inc. Interproximal brush
US5440774A (en) * 1992-08-28 1995-08-15 Cole; William L. Disposable individual gelled instant toothbrush and sealed brush pod therefor
US5564153A (en) * 1993-01-13 1996-10-15 Braun Aktiengesellschaft Brush element for hair care
US5678273A (en) * 1996-03-20 1997-10-21 Porcelli; V. Lorenzo Disposable oral hygiene applicator
US6116252A (en) * 1998-07-02 2000-09-12 Stelmach; John J. Disposable toothbrush with lanyard
WO2001037701A1 (en) * 1999-11-22 2001-05-31 Unilever N.V. Improved brushing device
WO2004084673A1 (en) 2003-03-19 2004-10-07 Colgate-Palmolive Company Finger-mounted toothbrush
US7789845B1 (en) * 2006-06-20 2010-09-07 Susan Meliti Swab/applicator for ear cleaning

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US753970A (en) * 1903-06-04 1904-03-08 Foster Brush Mfg Company Nap-restoring device.
GB201363A (en) * 1922-06-24 1923-08-02 Morland Micholl Dessau An improved construction of mop for household and other cleaning purposes
US2167129A (en) * 1938-05-14 1939-07-25 Wesley A Sleeper Brush
US2686326A (en) * 1947-12-06 1954-08-17 Tooth Polisher Corp Tooth polisher
US2703083A (en) * 1955-01-04 1955-03-01 William J Gross Adhesive bandage
US2763885A (en) * 1952-09-22 1956-09-25 William E Lyons Disposable toothbrush containing a dentifrice

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US753970A (en) * 1903-06-04 1904-03-08 Foster Brush Mfg Company Nap-restoring device.
GB201363A (en) * 1922-06-24 1923-08-02 Morland Micholl Dessau An improved construction of mop for household and other cleaning purposes
US2167129A (en) * 1938-05-14 1939-07-25 Wesley A Sleeper Brush
US2686326A (en) * 1947-12-06 1954-08-17 Tooth Polisher Corp Tooth polisher
US2763885A (en) * 1952-09-22 1956-09-25 William E Lyons Disposable toothbrush containing a dentifrice
US2703083A (en) * 1955-01-04 1955-03-01 William J Gross Adhesive bandage

Cited By (22)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3124824A (en) * 1964-03-17 Tooth cleaning device
US3070102A (en) * 1960-05-12 1962-12-25 Harold B Macdonald Throw-away toothbrush and package
US3231918A (en) * 1963-09-11 1966-02-01 Jerry H Marks Lint removing surface cleaner for garments
US3289236A (en) * 1964-07-06 1966-12-06 Abraham Reback Painter's edging tool
US3302230A (en) * 1964-10-30 1967-02-07 Poppelmann Ake Toothbrush
US3353898A (en) * 1965-08-06 1967-11-21 Martin J Lamberti Pocket size combination toothbrush and paste dispenser
US3354491A (en) * 1966-03-21 1967-11-28 Kay El Sales Corp Toothbrush
US3452382A (en) * 1966-05-25 1969-07-01 Samuel Kazdan Tooth cleansing device
US3378870A (en) * 1967-03-22 1968-04-23 Matsunaga Kenji Toothbrush
US3392421A (en) * 1967-10-25 1968-07-16 Robert V. Mathison Impregnated, disposable brush and wiper
US4890350A (en) * 1988-12-02 1990-01-02 Keefe Sr William F O Emergency paint brush
US5287584A (en) * 1992-06-23 1994-02-22 Practical Products Ltd. Toothbrush
US5440774A (en) * 1992-08-28 1995-08-15 Cole; William L. Disposable individual gelled instant toothbrush and sealed brush pod therefor
US5273425A (en) * 1992-09-28 1993-12-28 Hoagland Richard W Portable pet teeth cleaning abrasive instrument
US5564153A (en) * 1993-01-13 1996-10-15 Braun Aktiengesellschaft Brush element for hair care
US5377377A (en) * 1993-03-23 1995-01-03 Gillette Canada Inc. Interproximal brush
US5309596A (en) * 1993-03-23 1994-05-10 The Gillette Company Interproximal brush
US5678273A (en) * 1996-03-20 1997-10-21 Porcelli; V. Lorenzo Disposable oral hygiene applicator
US6116252A (en) * 1998-07-02 2000-09-12 Stelmach; John J. Disposable toothbrush with lanyard
WO2001037701A1 (en) * 1999-11-22 2001-05-31 Unilever N.V. Improved brushing device
WO2004084673A1 (en) 2003-03-19 2004-10-07 Colgate-Palmolive Company Finger-mounted toothbrush
US7789845B1 (en) * 2006-06-20 2010-09-07 Susan Meliti Swab/applicator for ear cleaning

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