US 2893036 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July v7, 1959 E. z. FILLER ET AL 2,893,036
SINGLE-USE TOOTHBRUSH Filed Nov. 26, 1957 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS, 0W/4A0 z muse BY JOSEPH-J. r5475? Mww United States Patent 2,893,036 SINGLE-USE TOOTHBRUSH Edward Z. Filler, Roslyn Heights, andloseph J. Kelter,
Brooklyn, N.Y. a
1 Application November-26, 1 957,Se rlal No. 699,107 4 Claims. 01. -176) The present invention relates to a single-use toothbrush, and more particularly to a self-contained singleuse toothbrush which may be used to brush the teeth Without the addition of an external dentifrice and which achieves a brushing action in which the brushing sur-. face is supported by an exceptionally resilient and cushioned-base.
A wide variety of single-use toothbrush heads have heretofore been suggested. Such toothbrush heads are in the main unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. For example, in many simple single-use toothbrush head constructions it is not feasible to retain the toothbrush head inits-holder in use, and the same is prone to become disengaged from its holder. Moreover, many prior singleuse toothbrush heads are bulky and are not readily portable'nor can they be readily dispensed from a small size container. I
i'While it has heretofore been suggested to incorporate a-dentifrice into a single-use toothbrush head, prior constructions have not proved satisfactory because the dentifrice when wetted at the time of use tended in the main to. become dissipated through the toothbrush head so thatthe relatively small amount of dentifrice which may be carried upon a single-use toothbrush head failed to adequately serve its dentifrice purposes. Other prior disposable toothbrush heads have been difficult to manufacture and did not lend themselves to rapid manufacturing techniques.
This-invention has as an object the provision of a greatly improved single-use toothbrush having a toothbrush head which may be disposed of after asingle usage and which is easy to manufacture by high speed production techniques. 1
This invention has as another object the provision of a single-use toothbrush having a disposable toothbrush head upon which is deposited the right amount of dentifrice, and which dentifrice is available to the user in the right amount and is not dissipated through the toothbrush head.
. The present invention has as yet another object the provision of a single-use toothbrush having a disposable toothbrush head which in its non-use or storage condition is of relatively small size so as to permit large numbers of such heads to be stored within a small volume, and yet which in its use condition is 'of a size that is satisfactory for the brushing of human teeth, a size atv least twice the height of the sizeof the head in its storage condition.
This invention has as yet another object the provision of a single-use toothbrush of sanitary construction whose head may be in a sterile form when the same is inserted into the mouth of the user. r 1
.Other objects will appear hereinafter. ff'For the purpose of illustrating the invention there is shown in the drawings-a form which is presently preferredpit being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
2,893,036 Patented July 7, 1959 Referring to the drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like parts:
Figure 1 is an exploded view revealing the sandwich mode of manufacture of the single-use toothbrush head utilized in the single-use toothbrush of the present invention, the various components of the toothbrush head being shown positioned in respect to each other prior to their assemblage.
Figure 2 reveals the stage in the process of manufacture of the toothbrush head of the present invention in which the dentifrice is applied to the uppermost or bristle layer of the toothbrush head.
Figure 3 is an exploded view revealing the scoring and cutting away of the individual disposable toothbrush heads of the present invention.
Figure 4 is a plan view from above of an individual disposable toothbrush head of the present invention prior to wetting.
Figure 5 is an exploded perspective view of the singleuse toothbrush of the present invention showing the assembly of the same.
Figure 6 is a sectional view taken on line 66 of Figure 5.
Figure 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of the head portion of the toothbrush of the present invention showing the toothbrush head in its non-expanded position prior to the wetting of the dentifrice and the expansion of the expandable cellulose portion of the toothbrush head.
Figure 8 is an end elevational view of the single-use toothbrush of the present invention when the toothbrush head has been wetted and is in its expanded condition with the dentifrice available for use.
Figure 9 is a cross-sectional view taken through the expanded toothbrush head when the same is in its wetted condition.
Referring to the drawings and initially to Figures 4 through 9 inclusive the toothbrush of the present invention is designated generally as 10. Toothbrush 10 includes the handle 12 which has the customary shank 14, and which includes a narrowed neck 16 intermediate the head end 18 and such shank 14. The handle 12 is preferably unitary and may be composed of molded and set plastic material as will be readily understood by anyon having skill in the art.
The handle head end 18 is provided with a pair of inwardly directed flanges 20 which define the way 22 having a stop shoulder 24 at the narrowed neck portion 16. As seen particularly in Figure 5 the way 22 is open at its extreme end to provide for the sliding reception and removal of the disposable head 26.
The disposable head 26 comprises a laminated structure formed from a plurality of layers as will be hereinafter described. The bottommost layer 28 is formed from a stilfiy resilient flexible plastic sheet material, such as Lucite, a polymerized methyl methacrylate thermoplastic resin or Ethocel, an ethyl cellulose plastic. The bottommost layer 28 is relatively rigid compared to the remaining layers of the head 26 and comprises the base which is received against the floor of way 22 of toothbrush 10.
As will be seen from Figures 5 and 7 the flanges 20 extend somewhat above the height of bottommost layer 28 and engage the expandable layer 30 which is superposed above the bottommost layer 28 and secured thereto by plastic cement or the like. Preferably the expandable layer 30 is formed of a material which expands on being wetted with Water to at least double its height. Thus, such material-need not expand in all directions to double its unwetted condition, but should expand intermediate the bottommost layer 28 and the bristle layer 32 to double its height dimension which it occupies prior to being wetted. We have found expandable cellulose,
such as that sold as Sponcal. cellulose, to be eminently suited for use as expandablelayer 30. It is possible to obtain such expandable cellulose in a form such that the same will expand; to;;appr'eciably more. than double its original height when being wetted with1water and. will expand outwardly (namely at the'free sides thereof not engaged with. expandable layer 30 andbristle layer 32 for a significant degree but much less than the expansion in the direction away from the floor of'the way 22).
The bristle layer 32 Which is superposed to the expandable layer 30 and secured thereto is formed from an impervious flexible material, preferably soft rubber.
The bristle layer 32 comprises a plurality of staggered.
bristle elements 34 integrally formed therefrom andrising upwardly. from the bristle layer '32. Dentifrice 36 is carried on the bristlelayer 32 intermediate the bristle elements 34 with the uppermost surface of'the. dentifrice 36 beingflush with the uppermost surface of the bristle elements 34. The dentifrice 36 is ofsuch nature that when wetted with water it is activated. If desired, the dentifrice 36-may include components which'froth somewhat on being wetted with water.
As seen particularly in Figure 6 the sides of toothbrush head 26 are vertical from .top to bottom when the toothbrush head 26 is in its dry condition prior to being mounted onto thehandle 12. The toothbrush head 26 may be inserted onto'way 22 and retained therein since even in its dry condition the expandable layer 30 is somewhat resilient permitting thefree ends of the flanges 20 to bear into it so that the head 26 is securely gripped in the head end18 of handle 12.
In the dry condition of toothbrush head 26 it is of minimum size so that a large number of such toothbrush heads may be stored within a relatively small volume. Such toothbrush heads 26 may be. sterilized prior to packaging, as by exposure to heated air, and may be packaged in such a manner that a sterile toothbrush head is delivered to the user at the time of use.
Since the amount of dentifrice may be closely controlled at the time ofmanufacture, the right amount of dentifrice is carried by each toothbrush head. Since bristle layer 32is impervious, none of the dentifrice 36 will be lost to the expandable layer .30 when the toothbrush head 26 is wetted as would be the case were the dentifrice 36 carried directly upon the expandablerlayer 30.
The toothbrush head 26 when wetted expands in the manner illustrated in, Figures 8.and 9. Thus, the expandable layer 30 rises so that the bristle layer 32 is spaced from the bottommost layer 28 more than double the. distance which it was .spaced therefrom in the dry condition of toothbrush head 26. The dentifrice 36 being iwetted is' immediately available for use. Moreover, the expandable layer '30 expands laterally so that it projects beyond the position which it occupied when it was dry. Thus, the sides .of toothbrush head 26 instead of being'vertical bulge convexly outwardly when the toothbrush head 26 is wetted. The outward bulging of the expandable layer 30. causes the same to expand both above and below the region of engagement withthe flanges 20. This accomplishes the anchoring of the toothbrush head 26 to the head end 18 so that disengagement during brushing is avoided.
The formation of the toothbrush head 26 is shown in Figures 1 through 3. In the first stage sheets of the bottommost layer 28, the expandable layer 30, and the bristle layer 32are superposed in the manner shown in Figure l and the layers cemented together by non-toxic plastic cement. Dentifrice 36 is then poured over the bristle.layer -34 ,(see Figure 2). The uppermost. surface of the dentifrice 36 is then: doctored by conventional.
doctor means so that the same isfiUShiIWith the bristle elements 34 of'bristle layer .32..
The laminated. structure is then scored and cut (see Figure 3). Since the sides of each of the toothbrush heads 26 are vertical, the cutting away of the toothbrush heads 26 may be readily accomplished by perpendicularly cutting the laminated mass along rectangular score lines, as illustrated in Figure 3.
The toothbrush heads 26 may then be packaged, as for example in a magazine, or in individual envelopes, and sterilized; Sterilization may be accomplished as heretofore indicated by exposing the toothbrush heads 26 to the action of heated air.
The toothbrush heads 26 arestored and dispensed in their dry condition, and'in such condition they occupy the minimum volume. In the wet condition of the toothbrush heads 26 the brushing action which is achieved is the most satisfactory since the bristles 34 are supported by the highly resilient layer 30, such layer 30 being highly cellular. in its expanded condition. This permits the toothbrush. heads 26' to brush curvedsurfaces andto achieve a' de'gree of accommodation during brushing which may notLbe achievedv by conventional bristle type toothbrushes;
Thetoothbrush heads 26 are discarded after use; In this fashion the most sanitary brushing may be'achieved with the optimum amount of: dentifrice.
The presentinvention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or cssenital attributes: thereof: and; accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims,.rather than to the foregoing specification. as indicating the scope of the invention;
1. Asingle-use toothbrush'comprising a handlehaving a receiver at one end, said receiver including inwardly projecting means, and a disposable single-use toothbrush head carried in said receiver, said head'comprisinga relatively rigid and relatively thin bottommost layer, a layer. ofrpliable material which expands greatly when wetted with 'water superposed above and secured to said bottommost layer, a bristle layer comprising a layer of pliable rubber that is impervious to water, said bristle layer having bristles projecting upwardly,.said bristle layer being superposed above and secured to said pliable material layer, each of said layers being of uniform thickness throughout its entire length and having straight sides, the inwardly projecting means of said receiverbeing adaptedto grasp the layer of pliable ma ten'alwhen it expandsgreatlywhen wetted with water.
2. In a single-use toothbrush as defined in claim 1 a dentifrice which is activated by water disposed on the uppermost surface of said bristle layer.
3. A disposable single-use toothbrush head comprising arelatively rigid and relatively thin bottommost layer,-a layer of pliable material which expands greatly when wetted with water superposed above and secured to said bottommost layer, and a bristle layer comprising a layer .of pliable rubber that is imperviousto water, said bristle layer-having bristles projecting upwardly, and said bristle layer be ingsuperposedabove and secured to said pliable material layer, and each of said layers bein'g of-uniform thickness throughout its entire length and having straight'side's;
'4. A disposablesingle-use toothbrush headin accord ance withclaim 3 having dentifrice-disposed on the upper most surface of said bristle layer.
References- Cited-inthe file ofthis patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,128,04 5 Reenstierna Feb. 9. 1915 2,217,439. Fuller Oct. 8, 1940 2,476,201. .Ligoure: July 12, 1949