Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2745770 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2745770
(54) English Title: TOOTHBRUSH
(54) French Title: BROSSE A DENTS
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • A46B 9/04 (2006.01)
  • A46B 3/00 (2006.01)
  • A46B 3/20 (2006.01)
  • A46B 5/00 (2006.01)
  • A46B 5/02 (2006.01)
  • B25G 1/00 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • MOSKOVICH, ROBERT (United States of America)
  • RUSSELL, BRUCE M. (United States of America)
  • STORZ, JOACHIM (Austria)
  • LANGGNER, TANJA (United Kingdom)
  • KUCHLER, THOMAS (Austria)
(73) Owners :
  • COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY (United States of America)
(74) Agent: SMART & BIGGAR
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2014-11-18
(22) Filed Date: 2003-08-08
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2004-02-19
Examination requested: 2011-10-21
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
60/402,162 United States of America 2002-08-09
60/402,170 United States of America 2002-08-09
60/402,670 United States of America 2002-08-12

English Abstract

A toothbrush (10) includes a head (14) having a bristle carrying surface formed from a thin flexible dome shaped membrane (24). An air space (28) is located between the base of the head and the membrane so that the membrane can be capable of flexing to alter its shape during use and then resuming the original shape. In a second embodiment, the head (114) and/or handle (112) have elastomeric portions at least partially surrounding an open area. These portions are readily deflectable under pressure during use to improve handling of the toothrush and orientation of the cleaning elements (124). Alternatively the toothbrush includes a resilient spring-like longitudinal hinge (222) collinear with the longitudinal axis of the toothbrush head so as to separate the head into a pair of side by side longitudinal sections having extending cleaning elements (228) wherein the hinge urges the sections to return to their original position after the hinge has been opened as a result of the cleaning elements contacting teeth.


French Abstract

Brosse à dents (10) comprenant une tête (14) à surface porteuse de poils faite d'une membrane de forme arrondie souple et mince (24). Un espace libre (28) se trouve entre la base de la tête et la membrane, de sorte que la membrane peut se courber afin de modifier sa forme lors de l'utilisation et de reprendre sa forme initiale par la suite. Dans un deuxième mode de réalisation, la tête (114) ou le manche (112) présente des parties élastomères entourant au moins en partie une zone ouverte. Ces parties peuvent rapidement se courber sous l'effet de la pression lors de l'utilisation afin d'améliorer le maintien de la brosse à dents et l'orientation des éléments de nettoyage (124). Autrement, la brosse à dents peut comprendre un pivot longitudinal en forme de ressort élastique (222) aligné sur l'axe longitudinal de la tête de la brosse à dents afin de séparer la tête en une paire de sections longitudinales côte à côte possédant des éléments de nettoyage extensibles (228), le pivot incitant les sections à reprendre leur position initiale après l'ouverture du pivot, déclenchée par le contact des éléments de nettoyage avec les dents.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.


CLAIMS:
1. A toothbrush comprising a handle, a head mounted to
said handle, said head having a longitudinal axis, a spine
extending collinear with said longitudinal axis dividing said
head into a pair of side by side longitudinal sections
connected to said spine, said spine being confined to said
head, a plurality of cleaning elements on each of said sections
extending outwardly from said sections in a direction away from
said longitudinal axis, and said spine forming a hinge axis
made of a resilient material to comprise a spring-like hinge
whereby said sections may pivot from and to an original
position;
wherein each of said side by side sections includes
an inner set of cleaning elements and an outer set of cleaning
elements;
wherein said outer sets of cleaning elements are
plaque bristles mounted in a single row;
wherein said inner sets of cleaning elements are IMT
bristles; and
wherein said IMT bristles of each inner set are
mounted in an IMT container extending toward the distal end of
said head, and said plaque bristles of each outer set are
mounted in a bristle container disposed along side of and
connected to said IMT container for each of said sections, said
IMT containers extending further from said handle than said
bristle containers, and a side plate longitudinally abutting
each of said bristle containers and disposed against said IMT
containers for the remaining length of said IMT containers on
27


each of said sections to create a smooth continuous outer side
surface of said head at each of said sections.
2. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein terminal ends of
said inner sets of cleaning elements taper toward said hinge
axis.
3. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein terminal ends of
said inner sets of cleaning elements form an obtuse angle with
respect to each other.
4. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein said outer sets of
cleaning elements are longer than said inner sets of cleaning
elements.
5. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein said inner sets of
cleaning elements have spaced gaps in each inner set, and said
gaps in said inner sets being offset with respect to each other
to create a staggered pattern.
6. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein said IMT containers
are made from a flexible material.
7. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein said side plates
are made from a flexible material.
8. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein said IMT containers
are integral with said spine, and said bristle containers being
made from a hard plastic material.
9. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein said inner
containers are made of a flexible material integral with said
spine.
28


10. A toothbrush comprising a handle, a head mounted to
said handle, said head having a longitudinal axis, a spine
extending collinear with said longitudinal axis dividing said
head into a pair of side by side longitudinal sections
connected to said spine, said spine being confined to said
head, a plurality of cleaning elements on each of said sections
extending outwardly from said sections in a direction away from
said longitudinal axis, and said spine forming a hinge axis
made of a resilient material to comprise a spring-like hinge
whereby said sections may pivot from and to an original
position,
wherein each of said side by side sections includes
an inner set of cleaning elements and an outer set of cleaning
elements;
wherein each of said inner sets of cleaning elements
are mounted in an inner container, and each of said outer sets
of cleaning elements are mounted in an outer container disposed
along side of and connected to said inner containers; and
wherein said inner containers extend outwardly away
from said handle a greater distance than said outer containers,
and a side plate longitudinally abutting said outer container
and disposed against said inner containers for the remaining
length of said inner containers to create a smooth continuous
outer side surface of said head at each of said sections.
11. The toothbrush of claim 1 wherein said handle
includes a recessed grip portion.
29



12. The
toothbrush of claim 1, wherein said side-by-side
longitudinal sections form an obtuse angle with respect to each
other in said original position.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
TOOTHBRUSH
This is a divisional of Canadian Patent Application Serial No. 2,495,026.
Background of the Invention
The present invention is directed to a manually held and operated
toothbrush or to a powered toothbrush which includes a handle and a head.
Cleaning elements are mounted to the head such as tufts of bristles. When
toothpaste is applied to the cleaning elements the user inserts the head into
the
mouth and brushes the teeth in a known manner.
The head of a conventional toothbrush usually has a flat or slightly
altered surface to which cleaning elements are attached. Usually the cleaning
elements are strands of plastic material(s) formed into tufts or other
groupings. The
strand groupings are attached to the head either before or after forming the
toothbrush handle.
Various attempts have been made for providing flexibility to the manner
in which the bristles are attached. Various approaches have also been taken
wherein
the bristle carrying surface of the head is not flat.
1

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
U.S. Patent No. 1,688,581, for example, discloses a
toothbrush having a bristle cariying member which is or-
dinarily bowed inwardly into the hollow head. The bris-
tle carrying member can be bowed outwardly by manipulat-
lug a wire nounted in the too-ibbrush.
U.S. Patent No. 5,483,722 discloses a
toothbrush with a resilient flexibie bristle support
which spans spaced parallel handle extensions. Differ-
ent embodiments of the toothbrush include having the
support bowed inwardly or bowed outwardly.
U.S. Patent No. 5,325,560 relates to an ortho-
dontic toothbrush which includes various rows of bris-
tles including centrally located longitudinally arranged
sets of bristles mounted on a flexible member over an
air pocket.
U.S. Patent No. 5,799,354 discloses a
toothbrush of rocker formation wherein base sections are
joined together by hinges. The toothbrush also includes
a hollow space below the base sections.
U.S. Patent No. 5,454,133 discloses a
toothbrush having a closed system of passageways for a
non-compressible medium such as a compressed gas which
flows below the bristle carrying base members.
U.S. Patent No. 6,088,870 disaloses a
toothbrush head with flexibly mounted bristles by util-
izing a flexibly resilient lattice network so that the
2

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
bristles deflect during brushing to conform to various
arcuate surfaces of the teeth. -
U.S. Patent No. 2,003,243 issued May 28, 1935
=,-,
to Campbell at al. discloses blocks containing groups of
bristles that are mounted on-a flexible wire attached to
a rigid toothbrush head (page 1, column 2, lines 45-55).
The flexibility of this mounting wire .helps the bristles
to conform to the shape of teeth being cleaned.
Blakeman U.S. Patent No. 2,706,825 issued
April 26, 1955 discloses a demountable bristle holder
for a toothbruah which 'flexes up and down relative to
the longitudinal axis of the toothbrush body. This
flexible member changes position. This plus the pres-
sure of the brush against teeth and movement of the
brush permits the brush to contact the teeth at various
degrees of conformation (column 2, lines 15-18).
Peters U.S. Patent NO. 4,520,526 issued June
4, 1985 has a flexible sectiOn in the handle which per-
mite the head portion to move relative to the handle
portion of the toothbrush in one plane. This patent
suggests that the flexibility avoids damaging delicate
tooth material and gam tissue (column 1, line 42-44).
Similar structures for imparting flexibility to the head
of a toothbrush and thereby reduce wear on tooth and gum
are disclosed in U.S. Patent NO. 5,146,645. .
3

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
Other approaches to flexible mounting of
toothbrush cleaning elements are disclosed ixa U.S. Pat-
ent Nos. 3,355,546 and 5,839,149. In these patents, the
head of the toothbrush is placed under the biting sur-
face of the tooth in a plane-perpendicular to the plane
of the tooth. The head of the brush when so oriented
has short bristles in the middle of the.head which are
pushed against the biting surface which causes longer
outer bristles to rotate into engagement with the side
ot the teeth and the gum line.
U.S. Patent NO. 5,987,690 issued November 23.
1999 to Heuler discloses a toothbrush with linkages be-
tween handle and bead that facilitate deflection of the
head so that the free bristle ends retain parallel
alignment with respect to the handle during use.
U.S. Patent No. 6,003,189 issued December 21,
1999 discloses a flexible section of a toothbrush be-
tween handle and head to absorb part of the force ap-
plied by the user of a toothbrush. An elastic shock ab-
sorbing means is inserted in this section to bias the
head into its inoperative position.
U.S. Patent No. 6,141,817 discloses a
toothbrush head with a central longitudinal axis that
underlies the middle of a resilient member containing
bristles. The central axis limits .deformation of the
middle of the resilient member. The balance of the head
4

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
'on either side of the central axis is sloped to allow
greater mavemeat of the flexibfe member, thereby causing
outer bristles to splay outward. The outward spraying
is believed to improve crevice intrusion Of the bristles
(column 2, lines 40-46).
European Patent Publication 0 454 625 A2 dated
October 30, 1991 discloses a cam in the handle of a
tooth-brush that can be used to change the angular ori-
entation of the head relative to the handle.
Other attempts made in the prior art to pro-
vide some form of movability of cleaning elements are
described in U.S. Patent No. 5,228,466 and WO 90/01281
which disclose a toothbrush wherein both the handle and
head are longitudinally hinged so as to provide dis-
placeabie bristles which are straddled about a .row of
teeth.
U.S. Patent NO. 1,616,484 discloses a
toothbrush which is hinged along the length of the han-
dle-so that two spaced head sections can be disposed
back to back with respect to each other. U.S. Patent
No. 1,616,484 discloses a hinged toothbrush that would
provide for brushing a tooth from three different direc-
tions.
U.S. Patent Nos. 5,528,782 and 5,269,083 dis-
close the bristles as being mounted in a rocking manner.
. 25
U.S. Patent No. 5,799,354 discloses the utilization of a
hollow space to provide for a hinging action. U.S. Pat-
s

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
exit No. 1,924,152 discloses a toothbrush having rows of
_rubber bristles. U.S. PateneNo. 301,644 discloses a
toothbrush having rows of bristles mounted in rubber
tongues.
U.S. Patent No. Des.421,843 illustrates a
toothbrush wherein the bristle carrying surfaces appears
to be non-planar.
U.S. Patent No. 4,240,452 discloses an elastic
base toothbrush wherein a bristle carrying plate is
mounted over rubber tubes.
A number of patents disclose some tooth and/or
gum massage devices having non-planar surfaces. For ex-
ample, British Patent No. 524135 relates to a. gum mas-
saging device having an air filled hollow rubber head to
provide an air cushion for the gum massaging members.
U.S. Patent No. 1,058,273 discloses a massaging device
having an interior air space. U.S. Patent No. 2,148,483
discloses a tooth and gum massager and exerciser which
includes a void filled with air.
U.S. Patent No.
= 2,176,309 also discloses a gum massager having air pock-
ets.
Hairbrushes are also disclosed in various pat-
ents having dame shaped outer surfaces. Examples of
these patents include U.S. Patent Nos. 3,739,419,
4,500,939 and 5,581,840. Similarly
U.S. Patent No.
6

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
Des. 892,299 shows a toilet brush with a convex shaped
bristle carrying surface.
Summary of the Invention
Some aspects of this invention may provide a
toothbrush head 'having a dome shaped or a trampoline type
cleaning element carrying surface to provide increased
flexibility of the cleaning elements.
Some aspects of this invention may provide a
toothbrush wherein the head is hinged along a hinge axis
collinear with the longitudinal axi's of the head.
Some aspects of this invention may provide such a
toothbrush which utilizes cleaning elements that can wrap
around the edge of the teeth for simultaneous contact with
both the front and top of the teeth.
Some aspects of this invention may provide
manufacturing techniques for making such a toothbrush.
In accordance with one aspect of this invention a
toothbrush includes a head in the form of a base having an
upstanding =wall to create a peripheral frame. A thin
resilient membrane is mounted to the frame with an open
space between the membrane and the frame. In
=
7

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
its initial condition, when the toothbrush is not being
used the membrane is convex so tfiat its original shape
is dame-like. The membrane is capable of flexing to al-
ter the original shape during use when the clearing ele-
_
ments carried by the membrane are brushed against the
teeth to recover to the original shape randomly during
such use.
Preferably, the cleaning elements are bristles .
secured to the membrane by in-molded technology.
In a preferred practice of the invention the
toothbrush head is aval shaped and the meMbrane is also
oval shaped. The membrane is convex in both its longi-
tudinal'and transverse directions.
In accordance with another aspect, this inven-
tion provides a simplified and effective way to obtain
deSired flexibility in head and handle. Like a trampo-
line, at least the portion of the head carrying bristles
is constructed to allow easy deformation of the bristles
when in use, which impraves contact with, and cleaning
of, teeth. Pressure on the bristles against the teeth .
causes the head to deflect along with the bristles but
the flexible head is designed to return to its original
position once the pressure on the bristle is relieved.
During the transition from heavy pressure to no pressure
on the handle, the bristle stays in constant contact
8

CA 02745770 2013-11-21
62301-2462D
with the tooth because of the flexibility built into the
toothbrush head.
In accordance with still another aspect of this
invention the head of the toothbrush has a spine which extends
collinear with the longitudinal axis of the head thereby
dividing the head into a pair of side by side longitudinal
sections connected to the spine. The spine forms a hinge axis
made of resilient material which serves as a spring so as to
permit the sections to move from and to an original position in
response to contacting the teeth.
In accordance with yet another aspect of this
invention, there is provided a toothbrush comprising a handle,
a head mounted to said handle, said head having a longitudinal
axis, a spine extending collinear with said longitudinal axis
dividing said head into a pair of side by side longitudinal
sections connected to said spine, said spine being confined to
said head, a plurality of cleaning elements on each of said
sections extending outwardly from said sections in a direction
away from said longitudinal axis, and said spine forming a
hinge axis made of a resilient material to comprise a spring-
like hinge whereby said sections may pivot from and to an
original position; wherein each of said side by side sections
includes an inner set of cleaning elements and an outer set of
cleaning elements; wherein said outer sets of cleaning elements
are plaque bristles mounted in a single row; wherein said inner
sets of cleaning elements are IMT bristles; and wherein said
IMT bristles of each inner set are mounted in an IMT container
extending toward the distal end of said head, and sa.id plague
9

CA 02745770 2013-11-21
=
62301-2462D
bristles of each outer set are mounted in a bristle container
disposed along side of and connected to said IMT container for
each of said sections, said IMT containers extending further
from said handle than said bristle containers, and a side plate
longitudinally abutting each of said bristle containers and
disposed against said IMT containers for the remaining length
of said IMT containers on each of said sections to create a
smooth continuous outer side surface of said head at each of
said sections.
In accordance with yet another aspect of this -
invention, there is provided a toothbrush comprising a handle,
a head mounted to said handle, said head having a longitudinal
axis, a spine extending collinear with said longitudinal axis
dividing said head into a pair of side by side longitudinal
sections connected to said spine, said spine being confined to
said head, a plurality of cleaning elements on each of said
sections extending outwardly from said sections in a. direction
away from said longitudinal axis, and said spine forming a
hinge axis made of a resilient material to comprise a spring-
like hinge whereby said sections may pivot from and to an
original position, wherein each of said side by side sections
includes an inner set of cleaning elements and an outer set of
cleaning elements; wherein each of said inner sets of cleaning
elements are mounted in an inner container, and each of said
outer sets of cleaning elements are mounted in an outer
container disposed along side of and connected to said inner
containers; and wherein said inner containers extend outwardly
away from said handle a greater distance than said outer=
containers, and a side plate longitudinally abutting said outer
container and disposed against said inner containers for the
9a

CA 02745770 2013-11-21
62301-2462D
remaining length of said inner containers to create a smooth
continuous outer side surface of said head at each of said
sections.
In a preferred practice of this aspect of the
invention the side by side sections may also include soft
flexible material. Preferably, the cleaning elements on each
section include an outer set of cleaning elements of longer
length than an inner set. The outer cleaning elements could
function as plaque removal bristles which are of sufficient
length to extend partially along the tooth while the inner
cleaning elements brush against the tooth. The terminal
surfaces of the inner sets of cleaning elements preferably form
an obtuse angle from the two sets of inner cleaning elements of
the side by side sections to maximize contact with the teeth
when the sections are in their original position. During use
the brush head is pressed against the edge of
9b

CD, 02745770 2011-07-07
the teeth thus causing the flexible hinge to open and
close during cleaning.
The Drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a toothbrush
in accordance with this invention;
Figure 2 is a side elevational view of the
toothbrush shown in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a front elevational view of the
toothbrush shown in Figures 1-2;
Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view taken
through Figure 3 along the line 4-4;
Figure 5 is a front elevational view of a pow-
ere d toothbrush in accordance with this Invention;
Figure 6 is a perspective view of a toothbrush
having elastic areas in the head and handle to allow de-
flection of the brush, bristles and handle for better
teeth cleaning and control in accordance with a further
embodiment of this Invention;
Figure 7 is a side elevational view of the
toothbrush shown in Figure 6;
Figure 8 is a top plan view of the toothbrush
shown in Figures 6-7;

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
Figure 9 is a side elevational view of the
toothbrush of Figure 6 showing aeflection in the open
area under the bristles and the handle area;
Figure 10 is a top plan view of a powered
toothbrush in accordance witiTthe embodiment of Figures
6-9 of this invention;
Figure 11 is a perspective view of a
toothbrush formed in accordance with still another em-
bodiment of this invention;
Figure 12 is a side elevational view of the
toothbrush shown in Figure 11;
Figure 13 is a top plan view of the toothbrudh
shown in Pigures 11-12;
Figure 14 is an end devotional view of the
toothbrush shown in Figures 11-13 in its original closed
=. position;
Figure 15 is a cross-sectional view taken
through Figure 13 along the line 15-15, but with the
brush head in its hinged open position and omitting some
of the cleaning elements; and
Figure 16 is a front elevational view of a
powered toothbrush in accordance with the embodiment of
Figures 11-15 of this invention.
Detailed Deser4tion
Figures 1-4 illustrate a toothbruSh 10 in ac-
cordance with one embodiment of this invention. As
11

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
shown therein toothbrush 10 includes a handle 12 and a
head 14. Handle 12 may include'a suitable grip pad 16
made of an elastamer material. The invention, however,
is primarily directed to the structure of head 14. As
shown in Figure 4 head 14 haS.a. base portion 18 with an
upstanding wall 20 to create a peripheral frame extend-
ing outwardly above base portion 18. In accordance with
this invention a membrane 22 is attached to frame 20
completely along its periphery. Membrane 22 in its ini-
. 10 tial non-use condition. is convex or bowed outwardly as '
best shown in Figure 4. The convex bowing would be
preferably both in the longitudinal and transverse di- =
rections thus presenting a dome-like outer surface 24 to
which cleaning elements 26 are connected.
The invention in all embodiments is particu-
larly suitable for cleaning elements in the form of
strands or bristles attached via in-molded technology
(INT) methods that generally require small cross-
sections of naterial into which the strands are perma-
nently attached. The strands utilizing 1DIT methods are
preferab1y attached during formation of the toothbrush
handle or at least during formation of the head which is
the portion of the toothbrush to which the strands and
other materials are attached. A key feature of the in-
vention of Figures 1-4 and of Figure 5 is the use of
thin cross-sections of material for ummbrane 22. Mem-
.
12

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
brane 22 is flexible and resilient.. The cross-section
shown, for .example, in Figure 4-is formed like a moon
crescent thus representing A shape similar to the dome.
Because of the open space 28 between base por-
tion 18 and membrane 22 the Membrane would move from its
original dame-like shape to be distorted into other
shapes as the cleaning elements or bristles 26 contact
the teeth. Thus, the dome has a thin membrane of ma-
terial or combinations of material that can flex to be-
come altered from its original shape and recover to its
original shape randomly during brushing. The bristles
26 are attached to the flexible dome and move accord-
ingly, creating a random topology and by doing so im-
prove the cleaning of the teeth. The moving bristle
strands have more degrees of motion than other
toothbrushes and thus represent a different and unique
tooth brushing device.
In the illustrated embodiment of this inven-
tion the head 14 is generally oval shape and the mem-
brane 22 has a corresponding oval shape. See Figure 3.
Any suitable form of cleaning elements may be
used as the cleaning elements 26 in the broad practice
of this invention. The term "cleaning elements" is in-
tended to be used in a generic sense which could include
conventional fiber bristles or massage elements or other
forms of cleaning elements such as elastomeric fingers
13 :

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
or walls arranged in a circular cross-sectional shape or
any type of desired shape including straight portions or
sinusoidal portions. Where bristles are,uged, the bris-
tles could be mounted Co tuft blocks or sections by ex-
_
tending through suitable openings in the tuft baocks so
that the base of the bristles is mounted within or below
= the tuft block and below membrane 22.
It is to be understood that the specific il-
lustration of the cleaning elements is merely for exam-
plary purpose. The invention can be practiced with
various combinations of the same or different cleaning
element configurations (such as stapled or in-molded
technology bristles, anchor free technology (AFT), etc.)
and/or with the same bristle or cleaning element materi-
als (such as nylon bristles, spiral bristles, rubber
bristles, etc.) Similarly, while Figure 2 illustrates
the cleaning elements to be generally perpendicular to
the outer surface 24 membrane 22 or head 14 some or all
of the cleaning elements may be angled at various angles
with respect to the outer surface of head 14. It is
thereby possible to select the combination of cleaning
element configuration, materials and orientations to
achieve specific intended results to deliver additional
oral health benefits, like enhanced cleaning tooth pol-
=
ishing, tooth whitening and/or massaging of the gums.
14

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
Preferably, however, cleaning elements 26 are
.
IMT bristles since 114T bristlei require small cross-
sections of material into which the strands are attached
and the membrane 22 in the preferred practice of the in-
vention has a small cross-se-Ction.
Although Figures 1-3 illustrate the membrane
22 to occupy generally the entire head 14, the invention
nay be practiced where the head 14 is of sufficient size
that it could include other bristle carrying surfaces
adjacent to the dome shape membrane 22.
Although Figures 1-4 illustrate a manually op-
erated toothbrush, the iwvention may also be practiced
where the head includes one or more power or electri-
cally operated movable sections carrying cleaning ele-
ments. Such movable section may oscillate in a rota-
tional manner or may oscillate linearly in a longitudi- =
nal direction with respect to the longitudinal axis of
the head or may oscillate linearly in a lateral or
transverse direction with respect to the longitudinal
axiS of the head. The movable section May oscillate in
and out in a direction toward and away from the outer
surface of the head. The movable section may rock back
and forth with respect to the outer surface of the head.
The movable section may rotate continuously in the same
= 25 direction, rather than oscillate. Any suitable drive
mechaniam nay be used for imparting the desired notion

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
to the movable section. Where plural movable sections
are used, all of the movable sections may have the same
type and direction of movement, or combinations of dif-
ferent movements may be used.
Figure 5 illustrates a toothbrush 10A which
includes a power driven movable disc or section 30 hav-
ing cleaning elements. The movable section 30 could be
oscillated rotationally such as by using the type of
drive mechanism shown in U.S. Patent No. 5,625,916, or
cotld move in and out using the type of drive mechanism
shown in U.S. Patent No. Re35,941.
Alternatively, the other types of drives re-
ferred to above could move section 30 in other manners
and directions. Although Figure 5 shows movable section
30 to be at the distal end of the head, the movable sec-
tion(s) could be located at any desired location on the
head.
= Handle 12, base 18 and frame 20 are preferably
made of hard plastic materials which are used for manual
toothbrushes. As noted, however, a characteristic of
dome shape membrane 22 is that it is made of a flexible
resilient material such as an elastomer capable of being
moved from its original position and then returning to
=
that original position.
16=

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
Membrane 22 may be secured to frame 20 in any
suitable manner. Thus, for example, frame 20 includes
inwardly inclined surfaces for =receiving membrane 22.
Other structural arrangements may be used within the
practice of this invention to mount membrane 22 on head
14.
igures 6-9 illustrate a manual toothbrush 110
in accordance with another embodiment of this invention.
This is a variation of the prior embodiment using a
trampoline type structure to achieve an up and down mo-
tion. As shown therein toothbrush 110 includes a handle
112 and a head 114. Handle 112 may include a suitable
area 116 made of an elastomeric material. This elas-
tomeric portion of the handle =is preferably molded with
an open area 118 which is readily deformable by the
user. The elastomeric material 116 on the top side of
the handle 112 (as viewed in Figures 6, 7 and 9) will
yield under pressure of the user's fingers to provide a
better grip on the handle while providing a more com-
=fortable feel to the handle. Figure 9 illustrates this
elastomeric portion 116 of the handle 112 in a depressed
state. The downward arrow in this Figure represents the
pressure applied by the toothbrush user. The open area
=118 is thereby minimized. As soon as the user's pres =
-
=sure is released, the properties of the elastomeric por-
11
=

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
tion 116 of the handle 112 return the elastomeric mate-
rial 116 to its original shape illustrated in Fig. 6.
A similar flexible, deformable open area 120
is created in the head by inclusion of an elaStemeric
portion 122 in the head overlSring open area 120. Clean-
ing elements 124 are arrayed in the elastomeric portion
of the head and fastened thereto by known methods in-
cluding in-molded technology (IMT). Bristle attachment
utilizing ZMT methods preferably occurs during formation
et the toothbrush handle or at least during formation of
the elastameric portion 122 of the head 114.
In use, the application of pressure by the
toothbrush user causes a like pressure of the teeth
against cleaning elements 124 as illustrated by the ar-
row in Figure 9. This causes deflection of the elas-
tomeric portion 122 of head 114 which in turn causes a
reorientation of cleaning elements relative to the teeth
being cleaned. As the user's pressure is reduced, the
open area 120 of head 114 opens up causing the cleaning
elements to follow the shape of the teeth being brushed
and thereby improving the cleaning of the teeth. When
all user pressure is released, the open areit 120 returns
to its original shape.
The elastomeric portion 122 of head 114 should
be a material or combinations of material that can flex
to become altered from its original shape and recover to
18

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
its original shape randomly during brushing. The clean-
ing elements, for example, bristles, are attached to the
flexible membrane creating a flexible orientation of
cleaning elements 124 which improves the Cleaning of the
teeth. The moving bristle stands have considerable de-
grees of motion and thus provide a unique tooth brushing
experience.
Any suitable form of cleaning elements may be
used as the cleaning elements 124 in the broad practice
of this invention, as discussed with the embodiments of
Figures 1-5. It is to be understood that the specific
illustration of the cleaning elements is merely for ex-
emplary purposes. The inVention can be practiced with
various combinations of the same or different cleaning
= element configurations (such as stapled or in-molded
technology bristles, AFT, etc.) and/or with the same
bristle or cleaning element materials (such as nylon
bristles, spiral bristles, rubber bristles, etc.) Simi-
larly, while Figures 7 and g illustrates the cleaning
elements to be generally perpendicular to the elas-
tomeric portion 122 of head 114, some or all of the
cleaning elements may be angled at various angles. It
is thereby possible to select the combination of clean-
ing element configurations, materials and orientations
to achieve specific intended results to deliver addi-
tional oral health benefits, like enhanced cleaning, .
19
=

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
tooth polishing, tooth whitening and/or massaging of the
gums.
Portions of handle 112 and head 114, may be
made of hard plastic material which is used for manual
toothbrushes. As noted, howeer, a feature of this
toothbrush is use of elastomeric portions 116 of the
handle and/or elastomeric portion 122 of head 114, such
as an elastomer capable of being moved from its original
position and then returning to its original position.
Thia invention may also be practiced where the
head 114 includes one or more power or electrically op-
erated movable sections carrying cleaning elements.'
Figure 10 illustrates a toothbrush liah which
includes a power driven movable disc or section 150 hav-
ing cleaning elementa. The movable section 150 could be
similar to section 30 of Figure 5. Although Figure 10
shows movable section 150 to be at the one end of the
head, as with Figure 5, the movable section(s) could be
located at any desired location on the head.
In another embodiment of this invention a
toothbrush includes a head longitudinally separated into
side by side areas by means of a flexible hinge struc-
ture that serves as a spring to return the brush head
materials and cleaning areas to their original position.
' 25
Figures 11-13 illustrate a toothbrush 210 which includes
an elongated handle 212 and a head 214. A portion of

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
handle 212 may be recessed at gripping area 216 between
shoulders 218 and 220. Shoulder 218 could extend out-
wardly a sufficient distance to act as a hook or ledge
to facilitate hanging the toothbrush in an inverted con-
dition.
Head 214 and handle 212 are elongated and have
a longitudinal axis. As shown in Figures 14 and 15 head
214 includes a spine 222 which extends collinear with
the longitudinal or major axis of the toothbrush handle
and head. As a result, head 214 is separated into two
side by side longitudinal sections 224,226 connected to
the spine 222. Spine 222 is made of a resilient mate-
rial such as an elastamer which is sufficiently flexible
as to be movable and yet return to its original posi-
tion. Az a result, spine 222 functions as a hinge axis
whereby the side by aide sections 224,226 may move or
pivot about the spine away from the original position
shown In Figure 14 to an open position such as shown in
Figure 15 when the cleaning elements on the sections
224,226 contact the teeth. Then sections 224,226 return
to their original position under the influence of the
resilient hinge or spine 222. Preferably hinge or spine
222 is confined to head 214.
As illustrated, each of the sections 224,226
includes sets of cleaning elements. For example, an
outer set of cleaning elements 228 is located at the
21

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
outer periphery of each section 224,226 while an inner
set of cleaning elements 230 is -located closer to the
spine 222. Preferably, the terminal surfaces 232 of the
inner cleaning elements 230 are tapered toward the hinge
axis 222 so that the adjaceni- terminal ends 232 of each
inner set of cleaning elements forms an obtuse angle as
indicated by the letter A in Figure 14 when the brush
head is in its original position.
The outer sets of cleaning elements 228 extend
outwardly a longer distance from the outer surface of
the sections than do the inner cleaning elements 230.
As a result, the combined cleaning elements are designed
to wrap around the edge of the teeth for simultaneous
possible contact with both the front and top of the
teeth. See Pigure 14. During use the brush head is
pressed against the edge of the teeth causing the flexi-
ble hinge to open and close during cleaning.
As illustrated in Figures 11-13 in a preferred
practice of the invention the outer sets of cleaning
elements 228 are bristle bundles of plaque bristles.
The inner sets of cleaning elements 230 may be bristles
formed by in-molded technology (1-1rT) where sets of bris-
tles are fused together at one end and the fused end is
inserted in a mold cavity during the manufacture of the
head.
22

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
Figure 15 shows the sections 224,226 in their
open position. Figure 15 omits "some of the cleaning
elements so as to provide a better unders.tanding of how
the cleaning elements are mounted. As shown therein,
the plaque bristles 228 are in' the form of bristle bun-
dles or tufts inserted into individual holes 234 in
bristle container 236. The inner sets of cleaning ele-
ments 230 are MMT bristles mounted in INT container 238.
The IKT containers 238 may be made of soft flexible
elastomer material integral with hinge axis 222, as
shown in Figure 15.
AS shown in Figures 11-13 the bristle con-
tainer 236 does not extend completely to the distal end
of the head 214.. Accordingly, side plates 240 are pro -
vided on each side of the head longitudinally abutting
against bristle containers 236 and disposed against con-
tainers 238 for the remaining length of containers 238
so that a smooth contour results along the side of the
head 214. Side plates 240 may also be inac3.e of a soft,
flexible elastomer material.
As best shown in Figures 11-12 each inner row
of IMT bristles 230 has its bristles spaced apart or
staggered so that the inclined MKT bristles of each sec-
.
tion may fit between the spacing of adjacent
bris-
= 25 tles of the other section.
. 23

CD, 02745770 2011-07-07
Although Figures 11-15 illustrate a preferred
form of cleaning elements to be the plague bristles and
1MT bristles any suitable form of cleaning elements may
be used as the cleaning elements 228 and 230 as previ-
ously described. Thus the term "cleaning elements" is
intended to be used in a generic sense which ceuld in-
clude conventional fiber bristles or massage elements or
other forms of cleaning elements such as elastomeric
fingers or walls arranged in a circular cross-sectional
shape or any type of desired .shape including straight
portions or sinusoidal portions. Where bristles are
used, the bristles could be mounted to tuft blocks or
sections by extending through suitable openings in the
tuft blocks so that the base of the bristles is mounted
within or below the tuft block.
Similarly, it is to be understood that the
specific illustration of the cleaning elements is merely
for exemplary purposes. The invention can be practiced
with various combinations of the same or different
cleaning element configurations (such as stapled or nter
bristles, AFT, etc.) and/or with the same bristle or
cleaning element materials (such as nylon bristles, spi-
ral bristles, rubber bristles, etc.) Similarly, wIalle
Figure 12 illustrates the cleaning elements to be gener-
ally perpendicular to the outer surface of head 214 some
or all of the cleaning elements may be angled at various
24

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
angles with respect to the outer surface of head 214.
It is thereby possible to selecE the combination of
cleaning element configurations, materials and orienta-
tions to achieve specific intended results to deliver
additional oral health benefits, like enhanced cleaning
tooth polishing; tooth whitening and/or massaging of the
gums.
Handle 212 could be made of a conventional
hard plastic material which could, however, include a
soft elastomer section 242 near the head 214. Bristle
containers 236 could also be made of a hard plastic
material while side plates 240 and IMT containers 238
are made of a soft elastomer material. By having the
bristle containers 236 mounted against the IMT contain-
ers 238, the bristle containers 236 and their cleaning
elements 228 move along with the movement of the IMT
containers 238 in response to the IMT bristles 230 con-
tacting the teeth. If desired,= the bristle containers
236 may also be made of a soft elastomer material.
Although Figures 11-13 illustrate a manually
operated toothbrush, the invention may also be practiced
where the head includes one or more power or electri-
cally operated movable sections carrying cleaning ele-
ments. Figure 16 illustrates a toothbrush'210A which in-
cludes a power driven movable disc or section 250 having
= 25
=

CA 02745770 2011-07-07
cleaning elements, similar to the movable sections of
toothbrushes 10A and 110A.
26

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2014-11-18
(22) Filed 2003-08-08
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2004-02-19
Examination Requested 2011-10-21
(45) Issued 2014-11-18
Lapsed 2018-08-08

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Registration of Documents $100.00 2011-07-07
Filing $400.00 2011-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2005-08-08 $100.00 2011-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2006-08-08 $100.00 2011-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2007-08-08 $100.00 2011-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2008-08-08 $200.00 2011-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2009-08-10 $200.00 2011-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2010-08-09 $200.00 2011-07-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 8 2011-08-08 $200.00 2011-07-07
Request for Examination $800.00 2011-10-21
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 9 2012-08-08 $200.00 2012-07-25
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 10 2013-08-08 $250.00 2013-07-22
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 11 2014-08-08 $250.00 2014-07-17
Final Fee $300.00 2014-08-07
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 12 2015-08-10 $250.00 2015-08-03
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 13 2016-08-08 $250.00 2016-08-01
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Abstract 2011-07-07 1 25
Claims 2011-07-07 3 88
Description 2011-07-07 26 879
Drawings 2011-07-07 6 117
Representative Drawing 2011-08-19 1 5
Cover Page 2011-08-19 1 44
Claims 2013-11-21 4 108
Description 2013-11-21 28 942
Representative Drawing 2014-10-23 1 5
Cover Page 2014-10-23 1 44
Correspondence 2011-07-26 1 38
Assignment 2011-07-07 3 108
Prosecution-Amendment 2011-10-21 2 73
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-11-21 10 345
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-06-03 2 67
Correspondence 2014-08-07 2 75