US 3103680 A
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p 1963 A. KRICHMAR 3,103,680
STERILIZABLE TOOTHBRUSH Filed May 28, 1962 United States Patet 3,103,680 STERILIZABLE TOOTHBRUSH Abraham Krichmar, 6103 42nd Ave., Hyattsville, Md. Filed May 28, 1962, Ser. No. 197,980 3 Claims. (Cl. 15-167) This invention relates to a sterilizable toothbrush.
The type of toothbrushes in most common use is of one-piece plastic construction, e.g., cellulose acetate, and conventionally consists of a relatively elongated hard handle portion and a bristle containing head portion, the bristles being a relatively hard fibrous material (often nylon). The very nature of this toothbrush and its manner of use makes an avoidance of septic conditions virtually impossible. Except before its very first use, the ordinary toothbrush contains significant quantities of foreign matter such as food particles, toothpaste and the like on the bristles and on the head portion. As much, and more than for reasons of deterioration through wear and tear, the septic condition of the ordinary toothbrush underlies the advice commonly given by dentists to replace the toothbrush at frequent intervals.
As an alternative to early replacement, periodic sterilization of the toothbrush would seem equally desirable since in truth most people fail to discard their favorite toothbrush soon enough. However, the plastic materials from which toothbrushes are ordinarily fabricated simply are incapable of repeated heating, as would occur upon boiling or other form of heat sterilization.
The principal object of the instant invention is to pro vide a toothbrush structure capable of being heat sterilized, upon boiling.
A further object of the instant invention is to provide an attractive, light-weight, largely metallic toothbrush structure.
Briefly stated, the instant invention comprises a toothbrush formed from a metal handle and a non-metallic (usually plastic) bristle-containing head and a bowl shaped metal plate or cap all looked together into a heat sterilizable (upon boiling) unitary device.
The detailed construction of the toothbrush of the present invention can best be described with reference to the attached drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a side view of the toothbrush;
FIGURE 2 is a top view of the toothbrush;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional side view taken along line 3--3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view of the toothbrush head taken along line 44 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 5 is an isometric expanded view of the toothbrush component members.
Referring now to the drawing, it may be seen from FIGURE 5 how the toothbrush is formed from the three separate component members of a handle 12, a brush head Y14 and the cap 16. As shown in FIGURE 5, the handle end of member 12 is made in the same form as a conventional toothbrush handle. The head end, however, is necked down to a thin fiat portion 1 8 containing a pair of circular apertures 20 spaced apart along the longitudinal axis of handle -12.
Brush head 14 has projecting outwardly from the top face thereof bristles 24 suitably arranged and secured to head 14. The detailed formation and attachment of the bristles 24 in head 14 does not form part of the instant invention and may be varied as desired. Extending from the back or base of brush head 14 is a pair of projections or dowels 22 sized to just fit into apertures 20 in head portion 18 of handle 12, interlocking the head and handle members.
The third component member, namely plate or cap 1 6, is formed (as shown best in FIGURE 5) like an oval shaped bowl with a slot 28 in the rim at the handle end See thereof. The bowl-like depression in cap 16 is suflicient to more than encompass the base and sides of head 14, leaving enough of a circumferential rim 30 to perm-it some overlapping of the top face of head 14.
The toothbrush 10 is assembled as follows. First the head portion 18 of handle '12 is slipped through slot 28, whereby head portion 18 rests at the :bottom of the bowllike depression in cap '16. Thereafter brush head 14 is placed inside the bowl-like depression of cap 16 with its dowels 22 fitted into apertures 20 on head portion 18 in the manner shown on the drawing. Once the three component members 12, '14, 16 have been so assembled, the cap 16 is swaged or otherwise forced into tight overlapping engagement with brush head 14, effectively locking all three component members together into a unitary toothbrush 10.
Suitably, handle '12 may be made of aluminum, preferably anodized to obtain a pleasing variation of colors. The cap 16 is also metallic, preferably being made of stainless steel, a material which is aesthetically pleasing yet of sufiicient strength to restrain head 14 against the thermal expansion during boiling sterilization. Lastly, the brush head I14 and the bristles 24 may be made of conventional toothbrush materials, e.g., nylon or hog bristles for the bristles, land for the head, cellulose butyrate, polyethylene or any of the modem-day plastic materials which have similar physical properties. =Notwithstanding the use of plastic materials for head 14, the toothbrush 10* constructed according to the present invention is capable of periodic boiling until the bristles are truly worn out and the toothbrush is ready to be discarded.
The aluminum handle 12 and stainless steel cap 16 can, of course, withstand the thermal conditions of heat (boiling) sterilization. The problem has been that the bristle containing toothbrush head simply could not withstand such conditions without rapid deterioration as evidenced by loss of bristles and other signs. By the present structure, the thermal weakness of the non-metallic head member 14 has been compensated for.
As may be seen in the drawing, completed toothbrush 10 is a tightly interlocked unitary device. The side and overlapped rim 30 of cap 16 tightly encases the plastic head 14 therein, and through the great structural strength of stainless steel virtually prevents thermal expansion during the course of boiling. At the same time, the positive interengagement of dowels 22 in apertures 20' on the head portion '18 of handle 12 prevents the handle 12 from being worked loose from cap .16.
As a particular advantage of the present invention, the above described toothbrush structure need not be either more bulky nor of greater weight than the ordinary onepiece plastic toothbrush. The aluminum handle 12 can be given an oval cross-section and stainless steel cap 16 quite thin. In this way, therefore, there has been provided an easy to manufacture toothbrush for which sanitary conditions may be maintained through heat sterilization upon boiling.
It is to be understood, however, that even through there has been herein disclosed and described a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the same is susceptible to certain changes fully comprehended by the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed as new is:
1. A sterilizable toothbrush comprising a metallic handle; a brush head formed of a heat distortable plastic material; and an oval, bowl shaped metallic cap having inwardly deformed free edges, said cap having in the end wall thereof an elongated slot through which a head portion of said handle projects, said brush head having dowel means, said handle head portion having a mating aperture adapted to receive said dowel means, said brush head being overlapped completely about the periphery thereof by the inwardly deformed free edges of said cap in such a manner that said brush head is restrained in tight engagement with said handle head portion inside the central depression of said cap, said cap having sufiicient strength to prevent thermal distortion of said brush head during boiling sterilization, whereby said brush head, said handle head portion and said cap are firmly interlocked.
2. A sterilizable toothbrush capable of heat sterilization which comprises: an anodized aluminum handle having a hand gripping portion and a head portion, said handle being reduced in thickness in the area of said head portion; a brush head formed of a heat-distortable plastic material having a plurality of nylon bristles extending from the upper surface thereof; and an oval bowlshaped stainless steel cap, said cap having an elongated slot formed in an end wall thereof adjacent the bottom of said cap, the head portion of said handle adapted to project through said slot and to fill the bottom portion of said cap, said brush head being overlapped completely about the periphery thereof by the inwardly deformed free edges of the side and end walls of said cap whereby the bottom surface of said brush head is forced into tight engagement with the encapped handle head portion, a
pair of dowels projecting from the bottom surface of said brush head, a pair of mating holes in the handle head portion adapted to receive said dowels thereby to positively prevent relative lateral movement of said br-ush head with respect to said encapped handle head portion, said oncapped handle head portion and said brush head acting to completely fill said cap, whereby said brush head, said handle and said cap are permanently interlocked.
3. A sterilizable toothbrush as described in claim 2, wherein said handle is charcterized by a laterally restricted neck portion between said handle gripping portion and said head portion, and said heat-distortable plastic head is formed of polyethylene.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS