US 20050109364 A1
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
The invention is explained in more detail hereinbelow with reference to the drawings, in which:
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;
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
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
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
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
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
A further embodiment of a possible closure part 27 is illustrated in
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
It is also the case that the closure part 37, illustrate in
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.