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United States Patent Application 20160331123
Kind Code A1
KNIGHT; TOMMY JUBEI November 17, 2016

TOOTHBRUSH WITH TONGUE CLEANER

Abstract

A manual toothbrush has a handle with a head at one end of the handle having first and second opposing sides, the handle and head made of a first polymeric material. Nylon bristles are fixed to and extend from a first side of the head. A U shaped auxiliary member is made of a second polymeric material that is more flexible than the first polymeric material. The auxiliary member is co-molded with the head and extends partially around a periphery of the head with a first side of the auxiliary member adjacent the first side of the head. The auxiliary member includes a U shaped tongue cleaner projecting away from the second side of the head with an open side of the U facing the handle, and a plurality of projections projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member spaced apart from and substantially parallel to the nylon bristles.


Inventors: KNIGHT; TOMMY JUBEI; (Tampa, FL)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

KNIGHT; TOMMY JUBEI

Tampa

FL

US
Family ID: 1000001884255
Appl. No.: 15/098571
Filed: April 14, 2016


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
14801196Jul 16, 2015
15098571
62161819May 14, 2015

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A46B 9/04 20130101; A46B 15/0081 20130101
International Class: A46B 15/00 20060101 A46B015/00; A46B 9/04 20060101 A46B009/04

Claims



1. A manual toothbrush comprising: (a) a handle with a head at one end of the handle having first and second opposing sides, the handle and head comprising a first polymeric material; (b) nylon bristles fixed to and extending from a first side of the head; (c) a U shaped auxiliary member comprising a second polymeric material that is more flexible than the first polymeric material, the auxiliary member being co-molded with the head, the auxiliary member extending partially around a periphery of the head with a first side of the auxiliary member adjacent the first side of the head, the auxiliary member comprises: (i) a U shaped tongue cleaner projecting away from the second side of the head with an open side of the U facing the handle; and (ii) a plurality of projections projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member spaced apart from and substantially parallel to the nylon bristles.

2. The manual toothbrush of claim 1 wherein the projections project from the first side of the auxiliary member a distance less than a distance the nylon bristles extend from the first side of the head.

3. The manual toothbrush of claim 1 wherein there are two rows of projections projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member and the nylon bristles extending from the head are at least in part located between the rows of projections projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member.

4. The manual toothbrush of claim 3 wherein the projections project from the first side of the auxiliary member a distance less than a distance the nylon bristles extend from the first side of the head.
Description



[0001] This is Continuation-in Part of application Ser. No. 14/801,196 filed Jul. 16, 2015 which claims benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 62/161,819 filed May 14, 2015.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to a toothbrush with an integral tongue cleaner.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] For years, dentists have recommended that persons brush at least twice a day and floss once a day to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and to prevent bad breath. However, many oral care experts do not mention that a very high percentage of odor causing bacteria are found on the surface of the tongue. Some dentists recommend that their patients simply brush their tongue, as they do their teeth. However, this practice is very harsh and aggressive to the tongue, and can be very uncomfortable and unproductive.

[0004] Other inventions have attempted to solve this problem, however most have been very unsuccessful due to an array of reasons including for example: some prior art tongue cleaners, due to their irregular shape, can cause the user to experience a gagging-reflex and an abrasive feeling on the tongue's surface; and most tongue cleaners are expensive and difficult to manufacture, thus they are very uneconomical.

DISCUSSION OF THE PRIOR ART

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 5,758,380 discloses a toothbrush provided with a U shaped tongue scraper. Other examples of toothbrushes equipped with tongue cleaners are disclosed in the following U.S. patent publications: U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,891,864; 4,455,704; 5,915,433; 6,647,581 B1; 8955190 B2; 20120167319 A1; 20140325778 A1; D 162941; D 246878; D 377417; D 265270; D 284528; D 285389; D 295695; D 423785; D 423786; and D 727626 S.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] There is provided in accordance with one aspect of the present invention a manual toothbrush has a handle with a head at one end of the handle having first and second opposing sides, the handle and head made of a first polymeric material. Nylon bristles are fixed to and extend from a first side of the head. A U shaped auxiliary member is made of a second polymeric material that is more flexible than the first polymeric material. The auxiliary member is co-molded with the head and extends partially around a periphery of the head with a first side of the auxiliary member adjacent the first side of the head. The auxiliary member includes a U shaped tongue cleaner projecting away from the second side of the head with an open side of the U facing the handle, and a plurality of projections projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member spaced apart from and substantially parallel to the nylon bristles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] FIG. 1 there is a perspective view of an exemplary toothbrush of a first embodiment with the bristles pointing upwardly.

[0008] FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the exemplary toothbrush of FIG. 1 with the bristles pointing downwardly.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exemplary U shaped tongue cleaner not assembled with a toothbrush.

[0010] FIG. 4 is a top view of another exemplary toothbrush with the bristles pointing upwardly and having the tongue cleaner and the head of the toothbrush molded together.

[0011] FIG. 5 is a side view of the exemplary toothbrush of FIG. 4.

[0012] FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the exemplary toothbrush of 4.

[0013] FIG. 7 is a section view of the exemplary toothbrush of FIG. 4 taken at line 7-7 of FIG. 5.

[0014] FIG. 8 is a top view of an exemplary toothbrush of the present invention with the bristles pointing upwardly and having the tongue cleaner and the head of the toothbrush molded together.

[0015] FIG. 9 is a side view of the exemplary toothbrush of the present invention shown in FIG. 8.

[0016] FIG. 10 is a bottom view of the exemplary toothbrush of the present invention shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.

[0017] FIG. 11 is a section view of the exemplary toothbrush of the present invention taken at line 11-11 of FIG. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] Referring first to FIG. 1 there is shown a perspective view of an exemplary manual toothbrush 10 with bristles 11 extending upwardly. FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the toothbrush 10 of FIG. 1 with the bristles pointing downwardly. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exemplary U shaped tongue cleaner 20 not assembled with a toothbrush. The toothbrush 10 has a handle 12 with a head 13 located at one end of the handle. The bristles 11 are fixed to and extend from one side of the head 13 of the toothbrush. Toothbrush handles and heads most often are made of a polymer and the bristles are most often a nylon material. A U shaped tongue cleaner 20 extends outwardly, for example about two millimeters, from a side of the head opposite from the side of the head from which the bristles extend. The tongue cleaner 20 has an open side of the U facing the handle 12. The U shaped tongue cleaner has a periphery that is complementary to a periphery of the head of the toothbrush.

[0019] The exemplary tongue cleaner 20 comprises a polymer that is relatively rigid. The polymer may be any suitable polymer selected in accordance with good engineering practices that does not have any adverse effects on the oral health of a user of the toothbrush. In the exemplary prototype illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 the tongue cleaner 20 is adhered to an edge of the periphery of the head 13 of the toothbrush and extends a distance of about two centimeters beyond the surface of the head that is opposite from the surface from which the bristles extend. The U shaped tongue cleaner is next to the outer peripheral surface of the head of the toothbrush such that the tongue cleaner overlaps the head a distance of about one centimeter. The tongue cleaner may be fixed to the head of the toothbrush in such a configuration using a suitable adhesive or other suitable method of attachment. Alternatively the surface of the head opposite the bristles may be provided with a ledge or groove for receiving the tongue cleaner. It is further understood that the tongue cleaner may be co-molded or insert molded with the handle and head of the toothbrush.

[0020] Referring next to FIGS. 4-6 there is shown top, side and bottom views of another exemplary manual toothbrush 100 having a handle 112 with a head 113 at one end of the handle. A U shaped tongue cleaner 120 extends outwardly, for example about two millimeters, from a side of the head opposite from the side of the head from which the bristles 111 extend. The tongue cleaner 120 has an open side of the U facing the handle 112. In this embodiment a U shaped tongue cleaner 120 is molded together with the head 113 of the toothbrush as best understood by referring to FIG. 7 which is a cross section taken at line 7-7 of FIG. 5. Of course if desired the U-shaped tongue cleaner 120 could be fixed to the head 113 of the toothbrush using a suitable adhesive. In this embodiment a portion of the periphery of the head is adjacent and fixed to the U-shaped tongue cleaner and if desired bristles 111 may be fixed to and extend from the head 113 and bristles 114 may be fixed to and extend from the U shaped tongue cleaner. Put another way, in this embodiment an assembly of a U shaped tongue cleaner with the head of a toothbrush has an internal periphery of a portion of the U-shaped tongue cleaner adjacent and fixed to an external periphery of the head of the toothbrush, while the U shaped tongue cleaner projects from the assembly in a direction opposite the direction that the bristles of the toothbrush project from the head of the toothbrush.

[0021] Referring next to FIGS. 8-11 there is shown top, side, bottom and cross section views of a manual toothbrush 200 of the present invention. A handle 212 has a head 213 at one end of the handle. The handle and head comprise a first polymeric material As used herein and in the claims a polymeric material is understood to mean a substance that has a molecular structure consisting chiefly or entirely of a large number of similar units bonded together, e.g., many synthetic organic materials used as plastics and resins. The head has first and second opposing sides nylon bristles 211 fixed to and extending from a first side of the head 213.

[0022] A U shaped auxiliary member 219 comprises a second polymeric material that is more flexible than the first polymeric material of the handle 212 and head 213. The first and second polymeric materials may be any suitable polymer materials selected in accordance with good engineering practices that do not have any adverse effects on the oral health of a user of the toothbrush. The auxiliary member 219 is co-molded with the head 213 with the auxiliary member extending partially around a periphery of the head with a first side of the auxiliary member adjacent the first side of the head from which the nylon bristles 211 extend. As used herein and in the claims "co-molded" is understood to mean two components comprising two different polymeric materials that molded together as a unit in one process such as dual injection molding, two-shot molding, two color molding, two component molding and/or multi-shot molding. The auxiliary member 219 comprises a U shaped tongue cleaner 220 projecting away from the second side of the head with an open side of the U facing the handle as shown in FIG. 10. The U shaped tongue cleaner 220 has a height. for example. of about two millimeters. The auxiliary member 219 further comprises a plurality of projections 214 projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member spaced apart from and substantially parallel to the nylon bristles 211. As shown in a side view in FIG. 9 and in a cross section in FIG. 11 the projections 214 project from the first side of the auxiliary member 219 a distance less than a distance the nylon bristles 211 extend from the first side of the head 213. As shown in a top view in FIG. 8 and in a cross section in FIG. 11 there are two rows of projections 214 projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member 219, and the nylon bristles 211 extending from the head 213 are at least in part located between the rows of projections 214 projecting from the first side of the auxiliary member. The projections 214 function to aid the nylon bristles 211 in cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums of a user of the manual toothbrush 200.

[0023] It is understood that an auxiliary member as disclosed may be combined with a manual toothbrush having a handle of any suitable shape and a head of any suitable shape, including rectangular, square or round.

[0024] While the invention has been described with reference to certain exemplary embodiments, obvious modifications and alterations are possible by those skilled in the related art. Therefore, it is intended that the invention include all such modifications and alterations to the full extent that they come within the scope of the following claims or the equivalents thereof.

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