WO2002078489A1 - Toothbrush - Google Patents

Toothbrush Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2002078489A1
WO2002078489A1 PCT/EP2002/002512 EP0202512W WO02078489A1 WO 2002078489 A1 WO2002078489 A1 WO 2002078489A1 EP 0202512 W EP0202512 W EP 0202512W WO 02078489 A1 WO02078489 A1 WO 02078489A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
handle
surface
grip portion
projection
characterised
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2002/002512
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Richard Huw Davies
Original Assignee
Unilever N.V.
Unilever Plc
Hindustan Lever Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to EP01303092 priority Critical
Priority to EP01303092.9 priority
Application filed by Unilever N.V., Unilever Plc, Hindustan Lever Ltd filed Critical Unilever N.V.
Publication of WO2002078489A1 publication Critical patent/WO2002078489A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B5/00Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware
    • A46B5/02Brush bodies; Handles integral with brushware specially shaped for holding by the hand

Abstract

Toothbrush comprising a handle (1) and a head (2), the handle (1) made out of a plastics material and having a general handle surface (3) and a grip portion (4), characterised in that the grip portion (4) comprises a projection (5) made out of said plastics material and which projects from the handle surface (3), said projection (5) having a gripping surface (6) which is raised from the handle surface (3) and has an elastomeric edge (7).

Description

TOOTHBRUSH

The present invention relates to a toothbrush with an improved handle portion.

Nearly every toothbrush in the prior art has a handle portion and a bristle-bearing head. The handle portion is often ergonomically designed to facilitate the grip made by the hand during use. Usually this is in the form of a projection thus providing extra purchase to the grip.

Over the past several years a number of new toothbrushes have been introduced into the market. For instance, the Colgate-Palmolive Company now sells a product known as the Precision brush. Besides a special brush head, the

Precision product in one version includes a rippled handle whose upper and lower surfaces are covered with a material different from that of the lateral and front portions of the handle. Only small differences in hardness distinguish the upper/lower surface material (86 Shore Hardness) from the lateral/front material (95-100 Shore Hardness). U.S. Patent Des. 342,160 (Curtis et al . ) and U.S. Patent Des. 342,162 (Curtis et al . ) cover the design aspects of the Colgate- Palmolive product.

A similar design concept has been incorporated into the Crest Complete brush, a product of the Procter & Gamble Company. Figure 1 of WO 91/19437 (Volpenhein et al . ) illustrates the Crest Complete brush. A substantial portion of both the upper and lower surfaces of the handle are covered by strips of a material (89 Shore Hardness) leaving the lateral sides (95-100 Shore Hardness) uncovered.

Dual material handles have also been introduced by the SmithKline Beecham Corporation under the Aqua Fresh trademark. Similar to its competitors, a very substantial part of the upper and lower surfaces of the handle are covered by a material (88 Shore Hardness) different from the remaining material (95-100 Shore Hardness) of the handle. A related brush is illustrated in U.S. Patent Des. 328,977 (Halm) .

U.S. Patent Des. 334,288 (Witzig-Jaggi) describes a dual material toothbrush wherein material on an upper surface of the handle exhibits a sloping change of thickness.

Utilization of dual materials has been mainly for aesthetic purposes, and only secondarily meant to improve grippability of the handle.

Another recent development in toothbrush technology has been the use of corrugated handles. WO 93/15627 (Halm) describes a handle with an integral corrugated core surrounded by an elastomeric region. The corrugated core provides resiliency to the handle. This corrugation has also been utilized in DE 4,222,931 (Henkel) . Therein is reported a ribbed handle with each of the ribs being of square cross section.

There have been many innovations in this area as can be seen through the above briefly described patents. Nevertheless, there remains room for improved models . Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a toothbrush that can be manipulated with less fatigue than typical commercial toothbrushes.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a toothbrush with a feature that reduces slip and that allows for improved grippability particularly when the brush is wet.

Accordingly, the present invention provides a toothbrush comprising a handle (1) and a head (2), the handle (1) made out of a plastics material and having a general handle surface (3) and a grip portion (4), characterised in that the grip portion (4) comprises a projection (5) made out of said plastics material and which projects from the handle surface (3), said projection (5) having a gripping surface (6) which is raised from the handle surface (3) and has an elastomeric edge (7) .

The general handle surface is the surface of the handle which does not form part of the projection. The projection is meant to provide a gripping surface which is raised in relation to the general handle surface.

Optimally, the plastic utilized for the handle should have a Shore Hardness value ranging from about 95 to 100. Shore Hardness values for the elastomeric material preferably range from 5 to 75, optimally from 20 to 65. Typical plastics that can be utilized for the present invention are nylon, polyethylene, polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate, polyacrylate, polymethylmethacrylate and styrene/acrylonitrile (SAN) . Most preferred is SAN.

Typical materials for the elastomeric edge are rubber and polyurethane, the former being selected from the group consisting of polyisobutylene, polypropylene and polybutadiene. Most preferred is Santoprene, a grade of polypropylene rubber available from the Monsanto Company, and Buna N rubber.

By providing an elastomeric edge to a projection from the handle a user will experience an improved grip and hence less strain in manipulating the toothbrush. Preferably the elastomeric material extends from a handle surface so as to be at least level with a top surface of the projection to provide the best grip but an improved grip can nevertheless be obtained by having an elastomeric section which stands proud of the projection. Preferably, however, this is not the case and the elastomer provides a flush surface with the raised grip surface of the projection.

The projection may be partially or wholly surrounded by the elastomeric material. By partially is meant that the projection has at least along one of its sides an elastomeric material which can improve the grip of the grip portion. Preferably, the projection is sized such that a whole projection may be covered by the hand during use. For example, the user usually grips the top surface of the handle with the thumb during use. As such, it would be preferable for a projection on the top surface of the handle to be sized such that it may be completely covered under a thumb. Preferably, the projection is surrounded on all sides by an elastomeric material such that the elastomeric edge is the perimeter of the gripping surface of the projection.

The grip portion of the brush is preferably located on a top surface of the handle of the brush. However, it is also possible for the brush to have a grip portion on a bottom surface of the handle. Of course, a brush may have a grip portion according to the invention on both a bottom and a top surface of the handle.

It is also feasible for there to be provided an array of projections which may be spaced in any fashion, e.g. longitudinally, circumferentially or randomly over the grip portion of the handle. Where this is the case, the array shall be sized so as to present a grip portion ideally suited on a toothbrush.

To provide an improved bonding between the elastoπteris edge and the plastics material of the handle and the projection the elastomer may actually sit in a groove formed in the surface of the handle around the projection. This increases the surface area between the elastomer and the plastics material thus improving bonding during moulding.

Another feature that may be included with the toothbrush is that of a circumferential anti-slip structure on the handle. This structure will circumscribe the surfaces of the handle. Mechanically this semi-ring shape has the advantage, in combination with the projections on the grip portion, that a user's grip along the grip portion will have elastomer surfaces not only on an opposing side but also laterally along edges of the handle. It has been estimated that a significant percentage of the population at some point in their brushing technique grip sides of the toothbrush. Elastomer in the form of a ring provides the user a target area for holding but does not force gripping at any predisposed angular orientation. This allows for holding the toothbrush in a user's most natural or habitual manner.

Manufacture of the toothbrush handle involves formation first of the plastics material of the handle, perhaps with appropriate hollow areas for receipt of the elastomer material. Thereafter, the arm is placed into a mold and liquefied elastomer is injected thereinto filling out spaces within the arm and cavity of the mold. The grip portion and the semi-ring shape anti-roll structures may thereby be formed unitarily perhaps along with any other area of the brush which utilises an elastomeric material. For example, the brush head may comprise segments which are flexiblly linked to one another by an elastomeric link. Such a link may be integral with the elastomer in the grip portion and they will be manufactured in a single injection moulding step.

Embodiments according to the invention will now be described in detail with reference to the following figures.

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of part of a toothbrush embodiment according to the invention. Fig. 2 is a cross section of a grip portion of a toothbrush embodiment according to the invention.

Fig. 3 is another cross section of a grip portion of a toothbrush embodiment according to the invention.

Fig. 4 is yet another cross section of a grip portion of a toothbrush embodiment according to the invention.

Figures 5, 6 and 7 are of a particularly preferred embodiment according to the invention.

In detail, Fig.l shows an embodiment according to the invention. There is disclosed a toothbrush comprising a handle (1) and a head (2), the handle comprising a grip portion (4) with a projection (5) which has a gripping surface (6) and an elastomeric edge (7).

In this particular embodiment there are three raised sections each surrounded by elastomeric material. There may be any number of raised sections to provide an improved grip for the user. Also, in this embodiment the elastomeric material is not shown to connect each of the raised sections. Since the elastomeric material is usually injection moulded it is preferred that any elastomeric section is connected via a channel to any others present on the brush so that a single injection moulding point may be employed to provide for all the elastomeric regions of the brush in one go. This is particularly relevant where there is another elastomeric region in the brush which is remote from the grip portion. For example, the brush may have an articulated head section which is flexible due to the presence of an elastomeric material suitably directed for providing flexibility.

Fig. 2 shows a cross-section of a grip portion of a toothbrush according to the emodiment of figure 1. Dislcosed is a general handle surface (3), a projection and a gripping surface (6) on said projection, and an elastomeric edge (7) . In this embodiment the elastomeric edge is flush with the gripping surface of the projection.

In Fig. 3 is disclosed another cross-section of a brush according to an embodiment of the invention. In this brush the grip portion comprises an elastomeric edge (7) which stands proud of the gripping surface (6) .

This figure also discloses a groove around the edge of the projection which provides an increased surface area between the elastomer and the plastics material of the handle to facilitate binding of the one to the other during moulding. In Fig. 4 is disclosed a projection in the form of a ramp and only has an elastomeric edge at one side.

Fig. 5 discloses a toothbrush according to an embodiment of the invention. The brush comprises a grip portion (4) in the form of an array of longitudinally spaced projections (6) each with an elastomeric edge (7) .

Fig. 6 discloses a plan view of the brush according to figure 5. Fig. 7 discloses a view of a bottom side of the brush according to figures 5 and 6. Shown are circumferential anti-slip rings (8) which extend from the elastomeric edges of the projections. This embodiment also shows a brush head which is flexible by way of elastomeric material links (9) between fixed bristle bearing sections of the head (10) . The elastomer in this brush could be made in one injection moulding step thanks to a continuous link of elastomer between the grip portion and the head.

Claims

1. Toothbrush comprising a handle (1) and a head (2), the handle (1) made out of a plastics material and having a general handle surface (3) and a grip portion (4), characterised in that the grip portion (4) comprises a projection (5) made out of said plastics material and which projects from the handle surface (3) , said projection (5) having a gripping surface (6) which is raised from the handle surface (3) and has an elastomeric edge (7) .
2. Toothbrush according to claim 1, characterised in that the elastomeric edge (7) extends from the handle surface (3) such that it provides a flush surface with the gripping surface (6) of the projection (5) .
3. Toothbrush according to claim 1, characterised in that the elastomeric edge (7) stands proud of the gripping surface (6) of the projection (5) .
4. Toothbrush according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the grip portion (4) comprises an array of projections (5) on the handle surface (3) .
5. Toothbrush according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the grip portion (4) comprises an array of longitudinally spaced projections (5) .
6. Toothbrush according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the head (2) comprises flexibly linked segments linked by an elastomeric material which is unitary with the elastomeric edge (7) in the grip portion (4) .
7. Toothbrush according to any preceding claim, characterised in that the grip portion (4) is located on a top side of the handle (1) .
8. Toothbrush according to any of claims 1-6, characterised in that the grip portion (4) is located on a bottom surface of the handle (1) .
PCT/EP2002/002512 2001-03-30 2002-03-06 Toothbrush WO2002078489A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP01303092 2001-03-30
EP01303092.9 2001-03-30

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP20020726149 EP1372429A1 (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-06 Toothbrush
BR0208361A BR0208361A (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-06 Toothbrush

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2002078489A1 true WO2002078489A1 (en) 2002-10-10

Family

ID=8181863

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/EP2002/002512 WO2002078489A1 (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-06 Toothbrush

Country Status (4)

Country Link
US (1) US20020138931A1 (en)
EP (1) EP1372429A1 (en)
BR (1) BR0208361A (en)
WO (1) WO2002078489A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1532891A1 (en) 2003-11-18 2005-05-25 Trisa Holding AG Toothbrush body
EP1951084B1 (en) 2005-10-31 2012-06-27 Jordan AS Toothbrush device
USD739658S1 (en) 2013-03-28 2015-09-29 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
US9565926B2 (en) 2013-03-28 2017-02-14 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
CN107920654A (en) * 2015-07-23 2018-04-17 高露洁-棕榄公司 Oral care implement

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US7908699B2 (en) 2001-07-03 2011-03-22 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
US20060026784A1 (en) 2002-08-09 2006-02-09 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
US8151397B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2012-04-10 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement having flexibly supported cleaning elements extending in opposite directions
US7836539B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2010-11-23 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
US8876221B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2014-11-04 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
US8281448B2 (en) 2005-10-24 2012-10-09 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement having one or more moving sections
US7614111B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2009-11-10 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
USD637003S1 (en) 2006-05-08 2011-05-03 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
US7845042B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2010-12-07 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
US8990996B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2015-03-31 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
US8806695B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2014-08-19 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement having flexibly supported cleaning elements extending in opposite directions
WO2004014183A1 (en) * 2002-08-09 2004-02-19 Colgate-Palmolive Company Flexible toothbrush
US7841041B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2010-11-30 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
USD637400S1 (en) 2006-05-08 2011-05-10 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
CN104643549B (en) 2002-09-20 2017-01-04 高露洁-棕榄公司 Toothbrush with grip zone
US7721376B2 (en) 2002-09-20 2010-05-25 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
US7047591B2 (en) * 2002-09-20 2006-05-23 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
AU2003275836A1 (en) 2002-10-24 2004-05-13 Guang Rong Liu Toothbrush bristle configuration and method of using same
DE10252163A1 (en) * 2002-11-09 2004-05-27 Braun Gmbh Injection-molded component comprises a plastic base element provided with an areal decoration which is covered by a further element produced by a subsequent injection
US7934284B2 (en) 2003-02-11 2011-05-03 Braun Gmbh Toothbrushes
US8322040B2 (en) 2003-05-23 2012-12-04 Exceptional Ip Holdings Llc Handle including two handgrips and/or a hand alignment mechanism
SG143960A1 (en) * 2004-05-28 2008-07-29 Jayram Atmaram Khialani Dental brush
US20060064833A1 (en) * 2004-09-29 2006-03-30 Scott Jacobs Mouth brush
GB0513537D0 (en) * 2005-07-01 2005-08-10 Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healt Toothbrush
CN101636096B (en) 2007-02-02 2012-10-17 吉列公司 Oral hygiene implements having flexible elements, and methods of making the same
US8510893B2 (en) 2008-06-20 2013-08-20 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush with visual and/or other sensory effects
USD645252S1 (en) 2008-08-15 2011-09-20 Mcneil-Ppc, Inc. Toothbrush
USD658885S1 (en) 2008-09-30 2012-05-08 Mcneil-Ppc, Inc. Toothbrush handle
US20100101034A1 (en) * 2008-10-27 2010-04-29 Acumen Co., Ltd. Handle for a brush
USD654696S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-02-28 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush handle with tissue cleaner
USD675830S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2013-02-12 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
USD654270S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-02-21 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush handle
USD654695S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2012-02-28 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
USD632484S1 (en) 2009-12-18 2011-02-15 Eduardo Jimenez Toothbrush handle with tissue cleaner
US8997297B2 (en) * 2010-11-22 2015-04-07 Braun Gmbh Toothbrush
US8732890B2 (en) 2010-11-22 2014-05-27 Braun Gmbh Toothbrush
RU2014130319A (en) * 2011-12-23 2016-02-10 Эрскин Продактс Пти Лтд Dental hygiene product
USD724324S1 (en) * 2012-06-20 2015-03-17 Braun Gmbh Toothbrush head with tongue cleaner
MX2017000589A (en) * 2014-07-30 2017-04-27 Colgate Palmolive Co Oral care implement and method of manufacturing an oral care implement.
WO2016105367A1 (en) * 2014-12-23 2016-06-30 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement having multi-component handle
USD780458S1 (en) * 2015-01-16 2017-03-07 Radius Corporation Toothbrush

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WO2000034022A1 (en) * 1998-12-10 2000-06-15 Trisa Holding Ag Plastic object for use in personal hygiene
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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1532891A1 (en) 2003-11-18 2005-05-25 Trisa Holding AG Toothbrush body
WO2005048772A1 (en) 2003-11-18 2005-06-02 Trisa Holding Ag Handle base for body care tools
US7383619B2 (en) 2003-11-18 2008-06-10 Trisa Holding Ag Handle body for body care implements
EP1951084B1 (en) 2005-10-31 2012-06-27 Jordan AS Toothbrush device
EP1951084B2 (en) 2005-10-31 2017-08-02 Lilleborg AS Toothbrush device
USD739658S1 (en) 2013-03-28 2015-09-29 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
US9565926B2 (en) 2013-03-28 2017-02-14 Colgate-Palmolive Company Oral care implement
CN107920654A (en) * 2015-07-23 2018-04-17 高露洁-棕榄公司 Oral care implement

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
BR0208361A (en) 2004-03-23
US20020138931A1 (en) 2002-10-03
EP1372429A1 (en) 2004-01-02

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