BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to toothbrush holders, and more specifically to sanitizing toothbrush holders.
2. Description of Related Art
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a liquid-tight container for a toothbrush.
It is another object of the invention to teach a sanitizing container for a toothbrush that is aesthetically pleasing.
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.
Still another object of the invention is to teach a sanitizing toothbrush holder that requires a lid to seal the sanitizing toothbrush holder.
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.
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.
These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.