Refillable Toothpaste Dispensing System
A refillable toothpaste dispensing toothbrush has a toothpaste containing capsule for dispensing toothpaste through the bristle head of the toothbrush. The toothpaste capsule can be filled using any standard toothpaste tube. Grooves in the toothpaste passageway prevent clogging of toothpaste in the toothbrush. In an alternate embodiment, the dispensing toothbrush also contains a sonic vibrating device.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/319,441 filed on Mar. 31, 2010, entitled “Easy Brush,” and is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/832,041 filed on Jul. 7, 2010. For the purpose of providing a continuous disclosure, the aforementioned applications are incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Toothpaste dispensing toothbrushes are known in the prior art; however, several drawbacks have prevented them from finding wide spread use in the industry. The present invention seeks to solve these drawbacks, including preventing toothpaste clogs and allowing for easy cleaning of reusable parts as well as easy, cost effective replacement of replaceable parts. The present invention easily disassembles into three main components, each serving a specific, unique purpose, and each being specifically designed for replacement or cleaning.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to an improved toothpaste dispensing toothbrush.
2. Description of the Prior Art
U.S. Pat. No. 4,622,984 to Gaebel discloses a toothbrush and toothpaste dispenser comprised of a hand manipulated rotating shaft with a transparent indicator window and is capable of dispensing toothpaste through the bristles.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,273,629 to Jordan discloses a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush that is capable of dispensing paste through the bristles. The toothbrush body has a hollow interior that stores a paste container and dispenses it through a stem. The device is controlled by a button that, when pressed, forces paste through the stem.
U.S. Pat. No. 7,244,073 to Trocino discloses a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush that contains a refillable paste container in the body. The refillable container is actuated by a plunger that, when twisted, forces toothpaste through the bristles of the brush. The brushing end of the toothbrush is removable and changeable.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,277,194 to Smith also discloses a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush wherein the paste container is actuated by a plunger that, when twisted, forces toothpaste through the bristles of the brush. However, the Smith device uses disposable paste containers rather than refillable ones.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,826,341 to Kwak, U.S. Pat. No. 3,938,897 to Craig and U.S. Pat. No. 4,116,570 to Parenti each disclose a toothbrush device with a built in standard toothpaste dispenser tube and a handle that slidably dispenses the paste through the bristles.
While effective in dispensing toothpaste, these prior art devices have several known drawbacks. Toothpaste regularly clogs the passageway, causing the brush to become inoperable until cleaned. Toothpaste storage means are either specially designed disposable tubes, which require higher costs to replace, or re-useable capsules that may be difficult to fill and clean. Furthermore, inadequate filling ports have been known to cause toothpaste to flow out of the port while filling, which creates an undesirable mess.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of toothpaste dispensing toothbrushes now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new toothpaste dispensing toothbrush wherein the same can be utilized for providing convenience for the user when brushing their teeth.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush that can be easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance. The present invention breaks down into three main components, each of which can be easily cleaned or replaced.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush that does not clog with toothpaste. The present invention has a plurality of groves in the toothpaste passageway to ensure moist toothpaste remains in the passageway. Moist toothpaste makes it easier to clear dried toothpaste from the outlet port of the toothbrush.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a universal fitting for a refillable toothpaste capsule. The present invention has a tapered inlet port on the refillable toothpaste capsule that is capable of receiving any size toothpaste tubes for clean, easy refilling.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring now to
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A rotating knob 19 with threads 30 is screwed into the lower end of the capsule and is attached to the screw shaft. The knob can be unscrewed to access the interior of the capsule for cleaning. In an alternate embodiment, the knob can be formed as part of the toothpaste capsule. Rotating the knob causes the screw shaft to rotate. The plunger 31 is threadedly attached to the screw shaft so that rotation of the knob causes the plunger to traverse the screw shaft. The plunger has a soft rubber circumferential surface to ensure a tight seal between it and the interior walls of the capsule. Alternatively, the plunger can have an 0-ring or similar sealing member to ensure a proper seal.
The upper surface of the capsule has an inlet port 28 and an outlet port 33. The inlet port has a threaded, tapered interior for threadedly receiving various size toothpaste tubes. The threads are discontinuous to further accommodate a variety of difference size tubes. A toothpaste tube can be threadedly attached to the capsule inlet port for refilling the capsule with toothpaste. Once the capsule is filled, the toothpaste tube is removed and a threaded cap 25 is threadedly attached to the capsule inlet port to ensure toothpaste does not exit through it. The capsule outlet port 33 mates with the body inlet port 24located on a mid surface 52 that separates the upper and lower ends of the body. When the knob is turned, toothpaste is forced out through the capsule outlet port and into a body passageway 30 inside the tapered upper end of the body. The interior side 38 of the capsule's upper surface 35 is sloped, causing the upper surface to have a tapered thickness. The thickness is greatest at the inlet port, which causes the plunger to contact the inlet side of the surface first, thus ensuring the last amount of toothpaste is forced out through the outlet port. The upper surface has a circumferential lip 39 for the pressure grips to grasp. The capsule can be inserted into the open base 53 of the tubular lower end 54 of the body 11 until it latches the pressure grips. To remove the capsule the pressure grips are pressed inward, causing them to release the capsule.
Referring now to
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In use an individual can remove the capsule from the toothbrush body, cap the outlet port to prevent paste from flowing out, screw a toothpaste tube into the universal inlet port and squeeze paste into the capsule. Once the capsule is filled, it can be inserted into the toothbrush and locked into place by the pressure tabs. The grooves will ensure its proper alignment so that the capsule and body ports align. The knob is turned and paste is dispensed through the head.
With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.
Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
1) A clog resistant toothpaste passageway for a dispensing toothbrush comprising:
- a neck member of a toothbrush with an internal passageway for communicating toothpaste to bristles located on an exterior surface of said neck, said passageway having an internal surface with a plurality of grooves for preventing the buildup of toothpaste in said passageway.
2) The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said grooves on said internal surface of said passageway are formed in a radial spiral around the circumference of said internal surface.
3) The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said grooves on said internal surface of said passageway are formed longitudinally along said internal passageway.
4) A universal inlet port for a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush, comprising:
- an inlet port protruding from a toothpaste containing capsule for attaching a toothpaste tube thereto when filling said capsule with toothpaste, wherein said inlet port has a threaded tapered interior for receiving a variety of different size toothpaste tubes, said threaded interior has a longitudinal slit through said threads, thereby making said threads discontinuous in order to further accommodate multiple size toothpaste tubes, wherein toothpaste tubes transfer toothpaste into said capsule and a tapered threaded cap seals said inlet port when said toothpaste tube is removed.
International Classification: A46B 11/00 (20060101);