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Publication numberUS20050109364 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/023,351
Publication dateMay 26, 2005
Filing dateDec 29, 2004
Priority dateJul 15, 1999
Also published asDE29912420U1, EP1194053A1, EP1194053B1, US20020124864, WO2001005270A1
Publication number023351, 11023351, US 2005/0109364 A1, US 2005/109364 A1, US 20050109364 A1, US 20050109364A1, US 2005109364 A1, US 2005109364A1, US-A1-20050109364, US-A1-2005109364, US2005/0109364A1, US2005/109364A1, US20050109364 A1, US20050109364A1, US2005109364 A1, US2005109364A1
InventorsPeter Gross, Phillipp Pfenniger
Original AssigneeTrisa Holding Ag
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toothbrush
US 20050109364 A1
Abstract
A unique ornamental and utilitarian toothbrush includes a bristle-carrying head part and a handle. The handle includes transparent or translucent portions and is further provided with a closed cavity extending in the longitudinal direction of the toothbrush. An article is received within the cavity and is visible through the transparent or translucent handle portion. The handle cavity has a closure and the toothbrush is formed from plastic materials. The enclosed article may be decorative, of plural or single parts, and may include a liquid in the cavity.
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Claims(12)
1. A toothbrush having a bristle-carrying front head part and an elongated handle, the handle being provided with a closed inner cavity extending over at least part of the length of the handle in the longitudinal direction of the toothbrush, at least that part of the handle which encloses the cavity consisting of an at least partially transparent material, the toothbrush further comprising a loose, elongated article providing for an aesthetic effect accommodated in the closed cavity.
2. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 1, wherein the cavity is kept closed from the rear by a closure part.
3. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 2, wherein the closure part is releasably connected to the handle at a rear end of the handle.
4. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 2, wherein the closure part is provided with a positioning part for positioning the toothbrush on an underlying surface.
5. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 4, wherein the positioning part defines a planar standing surface at right angles to the longitudinal axis (L) of the toothbrush.
6. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 3, wherein the closure part is connected to the handle by a releasable snap-in connection.
7. A toothbrush having a bristle-carrying front head part and an elongated handle, the handle being provided with a closed inner cavity extending over at least part of the length of the handle in the longitudinal direction of the toothbrush, at least that part of the handle which encloses the cavity consisting of an at least partially transparent material, a rear end of the handle being provided with positioning means for positioning the toothbrush on an underlying surface, the toothbrush further comprising a loose, elongated article providing for an aesthetic effect accommodated in the closed cavity.
8. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 7, wherein the positioning means define a planar standing surface at right angles to the longitudinal axis (L) of the toothbrush.
9. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 7, wherein the positioning means are provided on a closure part which is releasably connected to the handle and which keeps the cavity closed form the rear.
10. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 7, wherein the positioning means comprise a number of fingers, each finger protruding from the handle in a radial direction.
11. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 10, wherein the fingers are spaced apart from one another in the direction of the circumference of the handle.
12. The toothbrush as claimed in claim 9, wherein the closure part is connected to the handle by a releasable snap-in connection.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Divisional of Application No. 10/052,559 filed Jan. 23, 2002, which is a Continuation of PCT/CH00/00290 filed May 23, 2000, which claims priority from German Patent Application No. DE 29912420.7 filed Jul. 15, 1999.

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to an ornamental and utilitarian toothbrush having a handle that may be transparent and accommodates a loose, aesthetic elongated article.

Toothbrushes are available on the market in a wide range of different configurations. The aesthetic effect of a toothbrush often plays a significant role in the task of selecting the same. In particular, in the case of children's toothbrushes, design and color are of considerable importance and a humorous appearance increases the enjoyment of teeth cleaning. The intention here is for it to be possible for toothbrushes to be mass-produced as cost-effectively as possible.

SUMMARY

An object of the invention is to provide a toothbrush that has attractive design possibilities and can nevertheless be produced cost-effectively.

This object can be achieved according to the invention by a toothbrush having a bristle-carrying front head part and an elongated handle. The handle is provided with a closed inner cavity, at least the part enclosing the cavity including a partially transparent material. A loose, elongated article having an aesthetic effect is accommodated in the closed cavity.

This renders the toothbrush attractive to a child to encourage the child to practice dental hygiene, and also to provide a toothbrush that may have utilitarian aspects as well as an ornamental appearance. These include providing a unique handle for the toothbrush in contrast to the ordinary handle provided for grasping the toothbrush.

In preferred embodiments, a transparent handle for the toothbrush with a cavity therein receives aesthetic, ornamental, or utilitarian materials. The materials may comprise discrete elements of diverse shapes and colors. Further, such materials, or other materials, may be placed within an ampoule placed into and removable from the toothbrush handle cavity.

Further, the materials may include a plurality of loose articles, or the handle may have liquid or powder therein with loose articles admixed therewith or floating therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is explained in more detail hereinbelow with reference to the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows a side view of a toothbrush;

FIG. 2 shows a plan view of the toothbrush according to FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a bottom view of the toothbrush according to FIG. 1, a closure part for closing a handle cavity being illustrated separately from the rest of the toothbrush part;

FIGS. 4 to 10 show different exemplary embodiments of means which can be inserted into the handle cavity in order to achieve an aesthetic effect;

FIG. 11 a shows a plan view of a second embodiment of a closure part for closing the handle cavity, with an integrated positioning element;

FIG. 11 b shows a front view of the closure part according to FIG. 11 a;

FIG. 11 c shows a side view of the closure part according to FIG. 11 a;

FIG. 12 a shows a plan view of another positioning element that can be connected to a closure part;

FIG. 12 b shows a front view of the positioning element according to FIG. 12 a;

FIG. 12 c shows a side view of the positioning element according to FIG. 12 a;

FIG. 13 a shows a plan view of a further positioning element that can be connected to a closure part;

FIG. 13 b shows a front view of the positioning element according to FIG. 13 a;

FIG. 13 c shows a side view of the positioning element according to FIG. 13 a;

FIG. 14 a shows a plan view of a third embodiment of a closure part for closing the handle cavity, with an integrated positioning element;

FIG. 14 b shows a front view of the closure part according to FIG. 14 a;

FIG. 14 c shows a side view of the closure part according to FIG. 14 a;

FIG. 15 shows, on an enlarged scale and in partial section, the toothbrush according to FIGS. 1 to 3, a fourth embodiment of a closure part for closing a handle cavity being illustrated separately from the rest of the toothbrush part;

FIG. 15 a shows a longitudinal section of the closure part according to FIG. 15;

FIG. 15 b shows a securing part, as seen in arrow direction A, for an ampoule accommodated in the handle cavity of the toothbrush according to FIG. 15;

FIG. 16 a shows, on an enlarged scale and in a side view, a further exemplary embodiment of a closure part; and

FIG. 16 b shows a longitudinal section of the closure part according to FIG. 16.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 to 3 illustrate a manual toothbrush 1 that has a front bristle-carrying head part 2 and a rear handle 3. The bristles or clusters of bristles (not illustrated in the drawing) are anchored in a manner known per se in the depressions 4 provided for this purpose in the head part 2. The longitudinal axis of the toothbrush 1 is designated L in FIGS. 1 to 3. The handle 3, over at least part of its length, is provided with an essentially cylindrical cutout 5 that extends in the longitudinal direction of the toothbrush 1 and forms a cavity 7 in the handle 3. The cutout 5 is open to the rear. Provided for closing the cavity 7 is a closure part 8 that can be seen from FIG. 3 in particular and can be inserted into the cutout 5, by way of its offset part 8 a, from the rear, and is connected to the handle 3. This may be a releasable connection of the two parts (for example snap-in connection, screw connection, bayonet connection, etc.) or a non-releasable connection (weld connection including connection by means of high-frequency welding, adhesive bonding, non-releasable snap-in connection, etc.). The purpose of the closeable cavity 7 is described hereinbelow.

The handle 3 and the head part 2 are advantageously produced by multi-component injection molding, and at least partially transparent material component being used for the handle 3. This may be, for example, styrene acrylonitrile (SAN). It would also be possible in principle, for the head part 2 to consist of this material, i.e., for the two toothbrush parts 2, 3 to be produced from the transparent material by conventional injection molding. Such a toothbrush would be particularly cost-effective since SAN in inexpensive. It is preferable, however, to select for the front bristle-carrying head part 2 a material other than SAN, for example polypropylene (PP), which is more resistant to aggressive teeth-cleaning substances (e.g., peppermint oil). Since these two materials do not join during the injection molding, the two toothbrush parts 2, 3 are preferably provided with interengaging parts (protrusion/recess) on their contact surfaces, with the result that the two plastic parts are brought into form-fitting connection during the injection molding. Such a connection is indicated in FIGS. 1 to 3 and is designated 10. It would also be conceivable, however, to have a force-fitting connection between the two plastic parts, e.g., in the manner of a shrinkage connection.

Both the handle 3 and the head part 2 may have parts that consist of further material components and help to improve the aesthetic effect and/or the grip. It is also the case, for example, that the handle 3 is provided with a depression, which can be seen from FIGS. 1 and 2, for a thumb rest 11 which consists of an elastically compliant material, for example a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE).

The cutout 5 or the cavity 7 of the handle 7 is produced by encapsulating a core by injection molding and hollowing out the same.

Different means for achieving an aesthetic effect may be accommodated in the cavity 7, which can be closed by means of the closure part 8, as will now be described hereinbelow.

The cavity 7 may be filled directly with decorative articles or playthings, e.g., different figures, snowflakes, shiny particles, etc. It is also possible for a liquid to be introduced directly into the cavity 7. This liquid may also contain floating articles. A powder or sand filling is also possible. Hologram foils or luminescent parts may also be accommodated in the cavity 7.

It is also possible, however, for a roll 14, e.g., made of cardboard or plastic, which is illustrated in FIG. 4 and preferably has multicolored printing on it, to be inserted into the cavity 7. FIG. 5 illustrates a roll 15 that can be inserted into the cavity and has a film adhesively bonded to it. It is also possible, however, for a section of film which has printing on it to be rolled together and pushed directly into the cavity 7. This section of film may also be at least partially transparent or translucent, giving the person looking at it an illusion of depth or the impression of a three-dimensional image.

A further possibility is for the rolls 14, 15 or the section of film to be configured so as to achieve the effect of moving image. The lenticular production of such moving images is described in EP Patent Application No. 99 118 775.8.

Furthermore, it is also possible to provide the rolls 14, 15 with holes or openings through which it is possible to see printing (image, text) in the opposite region of the inner wall of the rolls 14, 15, the illusion of depth being achieved as a result. It is also possible for the section of film to have such holes, with the effect of depth being achieved. It is also possible in this way to produce the impression of a three-dimensional image.

It is also possible, on occasion, to insert filled ampoules into the cavity 7, as the examples illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 10 show. Thus, ampoule 16 illustrated in FIG. 6 contains a liquid with floating articles, the ampoule 17 according to FIG. 7 contains loose articles and the ampoule 18 according to FIG. 8 merely contains a liquid. The ampoule 19 according to FIG. 9 is filled with a fine-grain material (powder, sand). A gas filling would also be possible. FIG. 10 shows an ampoule 20 which has printing on it. The ampoule could also have a film adhesively bonded to it. It would also be possible for the abovementioned hologram foils or luminescent parts to be accommodated in the interior of an ampoule and inserted, with the latter, into the cavity 7.

In the case of a releasable connection between the closure part 8 and the handle 3, it is possible to exchange the cavity contents. In particular, the abovementioned rolls 14, 15 or the different ampoules 16 to 20 can easily be exchanged, which allows a rapid change in design. It is possible for at least partially transparent handles of different outer shapes to be provided with the essentially cylindrical cutout 5 and filled, for example, with the rolls 14, 15 or the ampoules 16 to 20. In addition to, or instead of, means with an aesthetic effect, it would also be possible for useful articles, such as toothpicks, exchangeable ampoules with mouthwash or toothpaste, to be accommodated in the cavity 7.

Instead of the cap-like closure part 8 that is illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, it is possible to use, for the purpose of closing the cavity 7, a closure part 22, which can be seen from FIGS. 11 a to 11 c, provided with a helical positioning element 23 and by means of which the toothbrush can be positioned on an underlying surface. Instead of the helical positioning element 23, it would also be possible for the closure part to be provided with a sun-like positioning element 24 according to FIGS. 12 a to 12 c, or a star-shaped positioning element 25 according to FIGS. 13 a to 13 c. The positioning elements 24, 25 are each provided with a depression 26 for a fixed connection to a closure cap (not illustrated).

A further embodiment of a possible closure part 27 is illustrated in FIGS. 14 a to 14 c. This closure part 27, which can be inserted into the cutout 5 by way of its offset part 27 a and can be connected either releasably or non-releasably to the handle, has a star-shaped positioning part 28.

Of course, it would also be possible for the positioning parts 24, 25 or 28 to have some other basic outline.

The handle 3 of the toothbrush 1′ according to FIG. 15 is provided with a securing means 31, which is located in the front region of the cutout 5 and is intended for the insert located in the cavity 7, for example the ampoule 30. The securing means 31 has an annular part 31 a, which can be seen from FIG. 15 b, made of an elastically compliant material and provided with a number of rearwardly directed tongues 31 b, which extend in the longitudinal direction of the toothbrush 1′ and are arranged in the form of a circle. For example, it is possible for the securing means 31, like the head part 2, to consist of polypropylene (PP) and to be injection molded in the same step as the head part (the connecting channel provided for this purpose is designated 32 in FIG. 15). The closure part 8′ is also provided with a number of tongues 35, which extend in the longitudinal toothbrush 1′, are arranged in the form of a circle, and are directed forward. When the cavity 7 is closed, the ampoule 30 is forced between the elastically compliant tongues 31 b, on the one hand, and the likewise elastically compliant tongues 35 on the other hand, and is kept in its position both radially and axially by the tongues.

It is also the case that the closure part 37, illustrate in FIGS. 16 a and 16 b, is provided with the abovementioned tongues 35 for securing the cavity insert. This closure part 37 is formed integrally with a positioning part 38, which is provided with a planar standing surface 39, at right angles to the longitudinal axis 1, for setting the toothbrush in the upright position. The standing surface 39, is, if appropriate, of annular configuration. The closure part 37 is inserted, by way of its offset part 37 a, into the handle cutout 5 of the toothbrush and, in the process, snaps onto the handle 3 by way of its plug-on border 37 b.

In order to set the toothbrush in the upright position, it would also be possible to use a closure part with a rearwardly rounded positioning part and an integrated weight for producing a “stand-up” effect.

Examples of possible material for the transparent handle 3, in addition to the abovementioned SAN, are polystyrene or polyester.

In particular, in the case of a releasable connection to the handle 3, the closure parts 8, 8′, 22, 27, 37 are preferably produced from a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), a good sealing action being achieved as a result.

Instead of filling the handle cavity from the rear, for example, with an ampoule, it would also be possible for the ampoule to be embedded in the handle by being encapsulated in the transparent material by injection molding. In this case, however, it would no longer be possible to exchange the cavity contents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7415788Apr 13, 2006Aug 26, 2008Pearl-Tek, Inc.Souvenir toothbrush, holder and soap dish
US7917986Jul 26, 2006Apr 5, 2011Colgate-Palmolive CompanyToothbrush
US8510893Jun 20, 2008Aug 20, 2013Colgate-Palmolive CompanyToothbrush with visual and/or other sensory effects
EP2258306A2 *Jul 25, 2006Dec 8, 2010Colgate-Palmolive CompanyToothbrush
EP2258307A2 *Jul 25, 2006Dec 8, 2010Colgate-Palmolive CompanyToothbrush
WO2007014220A1 *Jul 25, 2006Feb 1, 2007Colgate Palmolive CoToothbrush
WO2008130986A2 *Apr 16, 2008Oct 30, 2008Vladimir GekhterSouvenir toiletry article, including a toothbrush, flosser, hair comb or hair brush
Classifications
U.S. Classification132/311, 15/167.1, 15/143.1
International ClassificationA46B5/02
Cooperative ClassificationA46B5/02
European ClassificationA46B5/02