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Publication numberUS20040129580 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/703,620
Publication dateJul 8, 2004
Filing dateNov 10, 2003
Priority dateJan 3, 2003
Also published asWO2004062448A2, WO2004062448A3
Publication number10703620, 703620, US 2004/0129580 A1, US 2004/129580 A1, US 20040129580 A1, US 20040129580A1, US 2004129580 A1, US 2004129580A1, US-A1-20040129580, US-A1-2004129580, US2004/0129580A1, US2004/129580A1, US20040129580 A1, US20040129580A1, US2004129580 A1, US2004129580A1
InventorsCandy Cochran, Maurice Cochran
Original AssigneeCandy Cochran, Cochran Maurice D.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sanitizing toothbrush holder
US 20040129580 A1
Abstract
A toothbrush holder comprises a container with a neck, and a lid wherein the lid seals the neck of the container and has an aperture for accepting a toothbrush handle. The lid is made from a material that is soft and pliable so that the material of the lid will conform to the handle of a toothbrush inserted through the aperture to retain the toothbrush in the aperture and substantially seal the container. Alternatively, the lid may be manufactured as an integral part of the toothbrush handle to eliminate any possibility of a leak.
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Claims(14)
We claim:
1. A toothbrush holder, comprising:
a container having a hollow interior, the container having a neck extending from and defining an opening for the container, the neck being generally cylindrical and having inside and outside surfaces defining inside and outside diameters; and
a lid removably engaged to the neck of said container, the lid having an aperture defined therein, the lid being made of a soft and pliable material whereby the material of the lid will conform to the handle of a toothbrush inserted through the aperture.
2. The toothbrush holder of claim 1, wherein said container comprises a transparent, nonporous material.
3. The toothbrush holder of claim 1, wherein said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical stopper portion having an outside diameter slightly smaller than the inside diameter of said neck to fit snugly within said neck, the lid being formed of a material having a coefficient of friction high enough to retain the stopper portion within said neck.
4. The toothbrush holder of claim 1, wherein:
said neck further comprises threads formed on said interior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical threaded portion having an exterior surface, the exterior surface being threaded;
whereby the threads of said stopper portion engage with the threads of said neck to retain the threaded portion within said neck.
5. The toothbrush holder of claim 1, wherein:
said neck further comprises threads formed on said exterior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical threaded portion having an interior surface, the interior surface being threaded;
whereby the threads of said threaded portion engage with the threads of said neck to retain the threaded portion on said neck.
6. The toothbrush holder of claim 1, wherein:
said neck further comprises at least one keyway defined in said interior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical keyed portion having an exterior surface, there being at least one key disposed on the exterior surface;
whereby the keys of said keyed portion engage with the keyways of said neck to retain the stopper portion within said neck.
7. The toothbrush holder of claim 1, wherein:
said neck further comprises at least one key disposed on said exterior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical keyed portion having an interior surface, there being at least one keyway defined in the interior surface;
whereby the keys of said neck engage with the keyways of said keyed portion to retain the keyed portion within said neck.
8. A toothbrush holder, comprising:
a container having a hollow interior, the container having a neck extending from the container and defining an opening for the container, the neck being generally cylindrical and having inside and outside surfaces defining inside and outside diameters;
a toothbrush having a handle; and
a lid disposed on the handle of said toothbrush, the lid being removably engaged to the neck of said container.
9. The toothbrush holder of claim 8, wherein said container comprises a transparent, nonporous material.
10. The toothbrush holder of claim 8, wherein said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical stopper portion having an outside diameter slightly smaller than the inside diameter of said neck to fit snugly within said neck, the lid being formed of a material having a coefficient of friction high enough to retain the stopper portion within said neck.
11. The toothbrush holder of claim 8, wherein:
said neck further comprises threads formed on said interior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical threaded portion;
whereby the threads of said threaded portion engage with the threads of said neck to retain the threaded portion within said neck.
12. The toothbrush holder of claim 8, wherein:
said neck further comprises threads formed on said exterior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical threaded portion having an interior surface, the interior surface being threaded;
whereby the threads of said threaded portion engage with the threads of said neck to retain the threaded portion on said neck.
13. The toothbrush holder of claim 8, wherein:
said neck further comprises at least one keyway defined in said interior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical keyed portion having an exterior surface, there being at least one key disposed on the exterior surface;
whereby the keys of said keyed portion engage with the keyways of said neck to retain the keyed portion within said neck.
14. The toothbrush holder of claim 8, wherein:
said neck further comprises at least one key disposed on said exterior surface; and
said lid further comprises a generally cylindrical keyed portion having an interior surface, there being at least one keyway defined in the interior surface;
whereby the keys of said neck engage with the keyways of said keyed portion to retain the keyed portion within said neck.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/437,751, filed Jan. 3, 2003.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates generally to toothbrush holders, and more specifically to sanitizing toothbrush holders.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0005]
    Toothbrush holders have been in existence almost as long as toothbrushes. Their function is simply to provide a place for a toothbrush between uses. There are several prevalent ways in which people store their toothbrushes between uses. One of the most common toothbrush holders is a simple loop. Typically, the loop is a circle of ceramic or other hard material that the toothbrush is placed through. The internal diameter of the loop is such that it is large enough to permit a toothbrush handle to enter, but small enough to prevent the toothbrush head from falling through. Thus, the toothbrush is suspended from such a loop. The loop may be attached to a wall, or it may be incorporated into a freestanding device, such as a cup. Such devices permit a toothbrush to start to dry between uses, but the evaporation process may take a few hours or more. The exposed nature of the toothbrush in a loop, in conjunction with the lengthy drying time, allows a wide variety of common viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens to come into contact with the toothbrush and survive. This creates a germ problem. The germ problem has been addressed in several ways.
  • [0006]
    The most common manner to deal with the toothbrush germs is to make a toothbrush holder from an ordinary tumbler or glass. The glass or tumbler is filled with a sanitizing solution, and a toothbrush is placed in the glass to tumbler to soak. Typical sanitizing solutions work well, but their liquid nature requires that the toothbrush holder be emptied while traveling. There are several other problems with this arrangement.
  • [0007]
    The tops of the tumblers or glasses are open. The toothbrush is easy to insert and remove, but dirt and germs can enter the sanitizing solution without impediment. Although many of the germs will be killed, the sanitizing solution may be overwhelmed eventually and the germs could have a fertile breeding ground. In addition, any sediment or other insoluble solids will accumulate at the bottom of the tumbler or glass. A toothbrush in such a tumbler or glass rests in direct contact with the insoluble debris at the bottom. Thus, what is needed is a toothbrush holder that holds a toothbrush in a liquid sanitizing solution and away from the insoluble debris, and performs these tasks without leaking.
  • [0008]
    U.S. patent application Publication No. 2002/0121449, published on Sep. 5, 2002, discloses a toothbrush holder. However, the device does not require a lid that is attached to a toothbrush. Further, the device does require receptacles for a plurality of toothbrushes and a lid that completely encloses the plurality of toothbrushes.
  • [0009]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,880,020, issued to Jeffrey S. Schurgin on Nov. 14, 1989, discloses a traveling toothbrush holder. However, the device does not require a lid that is attached to a toothbrush. Further, the device is not liquid-tight and is intended for travel.
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,915,219, issued to Anthony Ottimo on Apr. 10, 1990, discloses a disinfecting toothbrush container. However, the device does not require a lid that is attached to a toothbrush. In addition, the device requires a plurality of chambers to hold a plurality of toothbrushes.
  • [0011]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,107,987, issued to Frank J. Palazzolo on Apr. 28, 1992, discloses a toothbrush holder. However, the device does not require a lid that is attached to a toothbrush. Further, the device requires a lid that seals the toothbrush within the device.
  • [0012]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,922,292, issued to Frithjof Hecker on Jul. 13, 1999, discloses a care station for toothbrushes. However, the device does not require a lid that is attached to a toothbrush. In addition, the device requires that an aerosol disinfectant is stored for use within the device.
  • [0013]
    None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0014]
    The device is a toothbrush holder, more specifically a sanitizing toothbrush holder that includes a container for holding a sanitizing solution, and a lid for holding a toothbrush.
  • [0015]
    The container is a one suitable for holding a sanitizing solution and has an opening large enough to permit the head of a toothbrush through. The opening is sealed with a lid to make the container liquid-tight. The lid has a hole in its middle to permit a toothbrush handle to pass through. The lid fits snugly around the toothbrush handle to prevent the sanitizing solution from leaking. In use, the lid remains in place on the toothbrush handle. The lid does not interfere with the use and operation of the toothbrush.
  • [0016]
    The sealed and leak-proof container permits the user to keep a clean toothbrush at home or to take and maintain a clean toothbrush while traveling. This device reduces the risk of contamination and infection from exposure to germs, and eliminates the mess created by leaking sanitizing solution.
  • [0017]
    Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a liquid-tight container for a toothbrush.
  • [0018]
    It is another object of the invention to teach a sanitizing container for a toothbrush that is aesthetically pleasing.
  • [0019]
    It is a further object of the invention to disclose a sanitizing toothbrush holder wherein the toothbrush handle passes through the sealing mechanism without compromising the liquid-tight characteristics.
  • [0020]
    Still another object of the invention is to teach a sanitizing toothbrush holder that requires a lid to seal the sanitizing toothbrush holder.
  • [0021]
    Yet another object of the invention is to disclose a sanitizing toothbrush holder that may be adapted to use with every type of toothbrush known.
  • [0022]
    It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
  • [0023]
    These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sanitizing toothbrush holder according to the present invention.
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a sanitizing toothbrush holder, with toothbrush removed, according to the present invention.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a sanitizing toothbrush holder according to the present invention.
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of a sanitizing toothbrush holder according to the present invention with the lid broken away.
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of a sanitizing toothbrush holder according to the present invention.
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of a sanitizing toothbrush holder according to the present invention.
  • [0030]
    Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0031]
    The present invention is a sanitizing toothbrush holder comprising a container and a lid, forming a sealed vessel to hold a toothbrush in a sanitizing solution.
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 1 shows a toothbrush stored in a sanitizing toothbrush holder. A container 10 is made from a nonporous material suitable for holding a sanitizing solution B. A sanitizing solution B is placed inside the container 10. In the preferred embodiment, the sanitizing solution is an antiseptic solution that is safe for oral use. A lid 12 fits into the opening inside the top of the container 10. The lid 12 has an aperture 14 in it so that a toothbrush handle A can fit through the lid 12. A toothbrush handle A is pressed through the aperture 14 in the center of the lid 12.
  • [0033]
    The lid 12 is preferably made from a flexible and resilient material, such as rubber or polyurethane, so that when the toothbrush handle A is inserted through the aperture 14 the material surrounding the aperture 14 conforms to the toothbrush handle A to hold the toothbrush handle in place and form a seal. The lid 12 is placed into the top of the container 10 so that the toothbrush head C is immersed in the sanitizing solution B. The toothbrush head C is immersed in the sanitizing solution B, but the toothbrush head C does not rest on the bottom of the container 10. Thus, germs on the toothbrush head C are killed by the sanitizing solution B, and the toothbrush head C does not contact any debris or sediment in the bottom of the container 10.
  • [0034]
    In the preferred embodiment, the lid 12 is made of a flexible and resilient material, such as rubber or polyurethane, so that when the lid 12 is placed into the top of the container 10, the sanitizing solution B does not leak from the container 10 or from the aperture 14. In the preferred embodiment, the container 10 is made of a transparent material that is impervious to the effects of the sanitizing solution B, such as glass or plastic. The external surface of the container 10 may be formed into an aesthetically pleasing pattern. The lid 12 may b-e manufactured as an integral part of the toothbrush handle A to eliminate any possibility of a leak. Alternatively, the lid 12 may be made to fit a wide variety of toothbrush handles, or molded to fit select models of toothbrushes, including manual or powered toothbrushes.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIG. 2 shows a tapered, friction-fit lid 12 used in a container 10 with a tapered neck 16. The lid 12 resembles a conventional stopper, with smooth and tapered sides. The lid 12 is made from a material that is soft enough to deform slightly and conform to the tapered neck 16 for proper sealing. The lid 12 is made from a rubber or plastic material with a coefficient of friction high enough to adhere inside the tapered neck 16.
  • [0036]
    [0036]FIG. 3 shows an externally threaded lid 20 for use in a container 10 having an internally threaded neck 18. The externally threaded lid 20 is similar to the lid 12 described in FIGS. 1 and 2, but further comprises a generally cylindrical threaded portion 21 having threads formed on an exterior surface. The externally threaded lid 20 has a liquid-tight aperture 120 for engaging a toothbrush handle A. The threaded portion 21 of the externally threaded lid 20 is screwed into the internally threaded neck 18 of the container 10. The toothbrush is stored by fully screwing the externally threaded lid 20 into the internally threaded neck 18 of the container 10. In the stored position, the sanitizing toothbrush holder will not leak, and the toothbrush head C is suspended within the container 10 and fully immersed within the sanitizing solution B. The externally threaded lid 20 may have a small flange and it may match the contours and shape of the container 10.
  • [0037]
    [0037]FIG. 4 shows an internally threaded lid 24 for use in a container 10 having an externally threaded neck 22. The internally threaded lid 24 is similar to the lid 12 described in FIGS. 1 and 2, but further comprises a generally cylindrical threaded portion 25 having threads formed on an interior surface. The internally threaded lid 24 has a liquid-tight aperture 124 for engaging a toothbrush handle A. The threaded portion 25 of the internally threaded lid 24 is screwed onto the externally threaded neck 22 of the container 10. The toothbrush is stored by fully screwing the internally threaded lid 24 onto the externally threaded neck 22 of the container 10. In the stored position, the sanitizing toothbrush holder will not leak, and the toothbrush head C is suspended within the container 10 and fully immersed within the sanitizing solution B.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 5 shows an externally keyed lid 28 for use in a container 10 with an internally keyed neck 26. The internally keyed neck has at least one, and preferably two, keyways 126 defined in an inner surface of the internally keyed neck 26. The externally keyed lid 28 is similar to the lid 12 described in FIGS. 1 and 2, but further comprises a generally cylindrical keyed portion 29 having an exterior surface, with at least one and preferably two keys 129 disposed on the exterior surface. The externally keyed lid 28 has a liquid-tight aperture 128 for engaging a toothbrush handle A. The externally keyed lid 28 is secured into the internally keyed neck 26 of the container 10 by aligning the external keys 129 of the lid 28 with the internal keyways 126 inside the neck 26 of the container 10, and pushing the keys 129 into the keyways 126. Once the externally keyed lid 28 is fully seated in the internally keyed neck 26, the lid 28 is twisted to engage the external keys 129 of the lid 28 within the keyways 126 of the neck 26. In the stored position, the sanitizing toothbrush holder will not leak, and the toothbrush head C is suspended within the container 10 and fully immersed within the sanitizing solution B. The externally keyed lid 28 may have a flange to aid in sealing the container 10. The flange may be shaped to match the shape and contours of the container 10.
  • [0039]
    [0039]FIG. 6 shows an internally keyed lid 32 for use in a container 10 with an externally keyed neck 30. The externally keyed neck 30 has at least one, and preferably two, keys 1130 defined on an outer surface of the externally keyed neck 30. The internally keyed lid 32 is similar to the lid 12 described in FIGS. 1 and 2, but further comprises a generally cylindrical keyed portion 33 having an interior surface, with at least one and preferably two keyways 133 defined in the interior surface. The internally keyed lid 32 has a liquid-tight aperture 132 for engaging a toothbrush handle A. The internally keyed lid 32 is secured onto the externally keyed neck 30 of the container 10 by aligning the internal keyways 133 of the lid 32 with the external keys 130 on the neck 30 of the container 10, and pushing the keys 130 into the keyways 133. Once the internally keyed lid 32 is fully seated in the externally keyed neck 30, the lid 32 is twisted to engage the internal keyways 133 of the lid 32 within the external keys 130 of the neck 30. In the stored position, the sanitizing toothbrush holder will not leak, and the toothbrush head C is suspended within the container 10 and fully immersed within the sanitizing solution B.
  • [0040]
    It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.
Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6966441 *Apr 22, 2003Nov 22, 2005Barham William LSanitary toothbrush cleaning flask
US7044299 *Dec 22, 2003May 16, 2006Marna Inc.Cleaning apparatus
US7329327 *Mar 30, 2005Feb 12, 2008Morris Jeffery MaysMethod for glue-bonding toothbrush to closure with corresponding germicidal receptacle
US8245840 *Feb 24, 2011Aug 21, 2012Daniel BoorsteinToothbrush cover and related dispenser
US8307979Aug 28, 2008Nov 13, 2012Robert Clifford YuilleSanitary toothbrush storage apparatus
US8404053Mar 26, 2013Michael D PrinceDevice and method for removing particulates from a keyboard
US8955818 *Jan 27, 2014Feb 17, 2015Derek K. GaugerBroom stabilizer damper
US20040211683 *Apr 22, 2003Oct 28, 2004Barham William L.Sanitary toothbrush cleaning flask
US20050000837 *Dec 22, 2003Jan 6, 2005Yoshiki NagoyaCleaning apparatus
US20060138002 *Dec 29, 2004Jun 29, 2006Umbra Inc.Toilet brush and holder
US20060225839 *Mar 30, 2005Oct 12, 2006Mays Morris JMethod for glue-bonding toothbrush to closure with corresponding germicidal receptacle
US20060226033 *Feb 10, 2006Oct 12, 2006Fretwell Jason AToothbrush holder
US20090107857 *Oct 21, 2008Apr 30, 2009Jason Alexander FretwellToothbrush holder
US20090137024 *Nov 28, 2007May 28, 2009Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc.Method of Separating Target DNA from Mixed DNA
US20090321284 *Dec 31, 2009Dennis Beach MillerSanitary toothbrush holder
US20100314273 *Aug 28, 2008Dec 16, 2010Robert Clifford YuilleSanitary toothbrush storage apparatus
US20110203069 *Aug 25, 2011Daniel BoorsteinToothbrush cover and related dispenser
US20140332642 *May 9, 2013Nov 13, 2014HCT Group Holdings LimitedBrush support device and cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification206/15.2, 206/361
International ClassificationA47K1/09
Cooperative ClassificationA47K1/09
European ClassificationA47K1/09