US 3298507 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan.17,1967 vFwcclcmf. 3,298,507
DISPOSABLE TOOTH CLEANER Filed Aug. so, 1965 2 sheets-sheet 1' INVENTOR www@ )MW ATTORN EYS Jan. 17, 1967 F. WCGCHE 3,298,507
DISPOSABLE TOOTH CLEANER Filed Aug. 30, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR lATTORNEYS BJMWM www United StatesPatent O 3,298,507 DISPOSABLE TOOTH CLEANER Frank Micciche,` 83 Clover Ave.,
Floral Park, N.Y. 11001 p Filed Aug. 30, 1965, Ser. No. 483,609 6 Claims. l(Cl. 2064-46) This application is a continuation-in-part of copending application Ser.` No. 370,285, filed May 26, 1964, now abandoned. y
This invention .relates to dental applicators, more es* pecially to a novel means for oral hygiene which is designed for a low-cost production and distribution and is readily disposable after a single use. Articles of this general type and purposes heretofore known all have serious disadvantages economically or technologically or both which have substantially prevented their general acceptance.
It is an object of this invention to provide an inexpensive tooth cleansing article which may be readily and cheaply manufactured on existing mass-production ma* ehinery with only minor changes therein.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a unitary tooth cleaning means and wrapper which can be readily manufactured, and distributed under such high standards of hygiene as to insure reaching the ull,
timate user in a completely sterile condition.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tooth cleaning device which may be readily used by children and invalids without danger of injury to themselves or others.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a tooth cleaning vehicle which is completely portable and of such small bulk that it may be readily distributed in vending machines and which may be carried in an ordinary mans pocket wallet or billfold or i-n a ladies purse.
These and other objectswill be readily apparent from the following description and drawings.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 shows one form of the invention as manufactured and beforeuse; l
FIGURE 2 is a transverse sectional view of the toothbrush and package along the line 2-2 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 shows the article before sealing;
FIGURE 4 shows the article removed from the package and placed upon the nger of the user;
FIGURE 5 is a longitudinal sectional view along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 6 is a transverse sectional view along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 depicts a plurality of these devices during the tinal stages of manufacture before the individual units have been separated and packaged for distribution.
Referring to the drawings, more particularly to FIGURE 4, it will be seen that the device consists essentially of a relatively smooth and flexible sleeve 1, which is closed at one end 2 and opened at the opposite end 3. The sleeve 1 may be slit inwardly of opening 3 to form a plurality of tabs 4.
Preferably the sleeve 1 is provided with gussets 5, on two opposite sides thereof so that the article may be readily folded at as shown in FIGURE 1 for packaging and distribution with a minimum of bulk. Between the gussets 5 and adjacent the sealed end 2, one face of the sleeve is provided with a suitably roughened applicator section 6. This applicator serves to retain a tooth cleaning compound or dentifrice 7 for application to the tooth surfaces and also provides mild and desirable stimulation to gingival areas. Instead of or in addition to such a dentifrice, a suitable antiseptic or germicidal agent may be carried by the applicator 6.
Patented Jan. 17, 1967 ICC The applicator 6 preferably is preformed and is bonded to sleeve 1 by a suitable adhesive layer 9. Where sleeve 1 and applicator 6 are made of compatible thermoplastic materials, they maybe heat-sealed or fused together by high-frequency electrical current, direct application of heat, or other procedures well known in the art.
The roughened outer surface of section 6 may Ibe porous or spongy or it may be in the form of short bristles suitably embedded or bonded in the base portion. Preferably, section 6 is made of a plastic, such as nylon, with a face of raised looped filaments projecting from the backing or base. An example of a suitable material is the nylon plastic strip used for closures of the Velcro type.
It will be understood that the sleeve portion is a synthetic plastic material which is flexible, non-porous, non-toxic and waterproof, such for example as polyvinyl chloride, natural and synthetic rubbers, with plasticisers and other agents which are non-toxic and have no objectionable taste or odor characteristics. It is desirable that the sleeve 1 be at rleast slightly elastic so as to insure satisfactory t and retention over a reasonable range of finger sizes.
Tabs 4 facilitate drawing the toothbrush over the finger prior to use without touching the brush portion 6 and the used device may thereby be readily stripped from the linger without contacting the soiled portions. To prevent slipping, the outer surface of one or more of the tabs 4 may be embossed or otherwise treated as indicated by the numeral 8 in FIGUREZ to increase frictional engagement with the fingers of the other hand in placing and removing the brush. l
In FIGURE l the toothbrush is shown in a preferred form as packaged for distribution. Here the side gussets 5 have been folded inwardly with the top and bottom surfaces substantially in engagement to reduce the bulk and to facilitate packaging "and distribution. Tabs 4, if present, likewise may be folded over along a fold line 11 so as to lie alongthe corresponding outside portion of sleeve 1.
In this condition, the device may be readily enclosed in a protective cover 12 similar to the packaging of first-aid strip bandages.
While the outer protective cover or wrapper 12 may be of a different material than the base portion of the applicator, such as paper, cellophane or other synthetic plastic lm used for packaging, it is preferred that it be of the same material. This makes it possible to form the outer wrapper portion of the article integral with the applicator in a continuous automatic operation, with consequent savings in material and labor.
This improvement will be described with particular reference to FIGURES 7 and 3. In FIGURE 7, there are shown a plurality of individual units in a continuous strip as manufactured from plastic tubing of suitable size and composition on conventional automatic machinery. Each of these units consists of the applicator portion 1 and wrapper sections 22, 22. The latter are produced by slitting the tubing on the sides thereof, corresponding to the gussets 5, 5 formed in the applicator portion 1.
The units are separated from the continuous strip by severing at the cut lines, FIGURE 7, and the unit now appears as shown in FIGURE 3. To complete preparation of the article, the wrapper sections are sealed transversely at 13, adjacent tab 14, and then folded back over the applicator 1 -as indicated by the arrows forming a sandwich with the applicator therebetween. The remaining edges of the wrapper sections 22, 22 are brought into register and sealed as indicated at 15 to enclose the applicator and thereby form the complete package unit 12. Sealing may be effected by cementing with a suitable adhesive; preferably however, the seams are formed by fusion, by application of heat, high-frequency current or other well-known procedures.
For ease of opening, one end of the wrapper may be provided with a tear line or weakened zone.
FIGURE 7 is a more-or-less diagrammatic showing of these brushes as produced in a long continuous strip on automatic machinery before the individual units have been severed from the strip. v
In using this disposable toothbrush, after removing the wrapper, the tabs 4 are lifted and a finger, usually the index finger, of the user is inserted into the open end 3. By traction on one or more of the tabs 4, the sleeve is drawn over the finger until the bud of the finger is in the closed end underlying the brush portion 6. After moistening the dentifrice 7 with water or otherwise as desired, the teeth are cleansed in the usual manner.
Upon completion of the operation, the device is removed from the finger by pulling on a convenient tab and then discarded without touching the soiled portions thereof.
Inthe preferred form of this brush, the sleeve is formed with side gussets or pleats similar to those in many paper and plastic sacks. However, for greater simplicity and economy of manufacture, the sleeve may be formed as a continuous cylinder land folded flat without pleats or gussets.
Any acceptable dentifrice may be used and in either dry or paste form, the essential requirement being that it may be readily applied during the manufacturing operation and that it be retained in position until use.
Depending upon the materials used and the manner of distribution, the toothbrush may be produced and packaged in other forms than as shown in FIGURE 1, such as a rolling to a cylindrical or circular shape. v
It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing disclosure relates to only a preferred embodiment of the invention and that it is intended to cover all changes and -modifications of the example of the invention heretofore chosen for the purposes, of the disclosure, which do -not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A unitary dental applicator and wrapper assembly comprising a flattened cylindricalsheath vof flexible irnpervious plastic material having an open end for insertion of a finger of the user, and sealed at the other end, aroughened section on said sleeve adjacent said sealed end, -an integral cover for said applicator consisting of two fiat sheets of the sheath material overlying said applicator on the top and bottom thereof and .connected thereto by a relatively narrow and short tab at 1the sealed end of said sheath, said sheets being sealed together at their outer edges to enclose said sheath.
2. An applicator and Wrapper assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which the roughened section of said sleeve is a pile fabric.
3. An applicator assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which the sheath is formed with a pair of longitudinal gussets whereby said sheath may be readily flattened to reduce the bulk for packaging.
4. A unitary dental applicator and wrapper assembly comprising a sheath of flexible material having an open end for insertion of a finger of the user and. sealed at the other end, an integral cover for said applicator consisting of two flat sheets of the sheath material overly ing said applicator on the top and bottom thereof and connected thereto by a relatively narrow and short tab at the sealed end of said sheath, said sheets being sealed together at their outer edges to enclose said sheath.
5. A unitary-dental applicator and wrapper assembly comprising a sheath of flexible material having lany open end lfor insertion of a finger of the user and sealed at the other end, a roughened section on said sleeve adjacent saidsealed end, an integral cover for said applicator consisting of two flat sheets of the sheath material overlying said applicator on the top and bottom thereof and connected thereto by a relatively narrow and shorttab at the sealed end of said sheath, said sheets being sealed ltogether at their outer edges to enclose said sheath. i
6;. A unitary dental applicator and wrapper assembly comprising a flattened cylindrical sheath of flexible material having an open end for insertion of a finger kof the user and sealed at the other end, a roughened section on said sleeve adjacent said sealed end, an integral cover for said applicator vconsisting of two flat sheets of the sheath material overlying said applicator on the top andV bottom thereof and connected thereto by a relativelyv narrow and short tab at the sealed' end of Vsaid sheath, said sheets being sealed together at their outer edges to encloseusaid sheath. l
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,894,413 1/1933 Nenning et al.' 15-227 2,016,951 10/1935 Welker 15-509 X 2,686,325 8/,1954 Silver 15-227 X 3,018,498 1/1962 Wasserman\ 15--227 X 3,176,338 4/1965 Homburger l 15-509 CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner.
S. E. BECK, Assistant Examiner.-