US 3667454 A
A powered, vibrating toothbrush from which ultra-violet radiation is emitted at the bristle end. The bristles are carried on the end of a tubular shank projecting from a handle. A radiation emitting lamp tube is enclosed within the shank, the lamp tube being coated with a radiation blocking material except at its end portion aligned with the bristles. The source of electrical energy in the handle energizes the vibrator and the lamp tube.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Prince 5] June 6, 1972 54] TOOTHBRUSH WITH ULTRAVIOLET 2,397,757 4/1946 Schwedersky 128/395 ENHTTER 2,688,97l 9/1954 Daniels et al. ..l28/393  Inventor: Larry W. Prince, 1320 South Depew Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Street, Den er, C l 80226. AttorneyClarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson  Filed: June 12, 1970 21 Appl. No.1 45,634 ABSTRA T A powered, vibrating toothbrush from which ultra-violet  US CL 128/242 15/22 R 128/62 A radiation is emitted at the bristle end. The bristles are carried  [m Cl A61h29/o0 A46b M2 on the end of a tubular shank projecting from a handle A 58 d l 22 2 radiation emitting lamp tube is enclosed within the shank, the l 1 le 0 are 5/ 2 lamp tube being coated with a radiation blocking material ex- 2 62 A cept at its end portion aligned with the bristles. The source of electrical energy in the handle energizes the vibrator and the  References Cited lamp tube.
UNITED STATES PATENTS Roberts l 28/393 12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 111111.1/111 Pww TOOTHBRUSH WITH ULTRAVIOLET EMITIER This invention relates to a therapeutic type of brushing implement and more particularly to a dental toothbrush provided with ultra-violet radiation emitting means.
Although the use of ultra-violet radiation for therapeutic purposes is known and has been utilized in conjunction with various other devices such as hairbrushes, its use with toothbrushes presents a special problem. In this regard, it will be appreciated that the relatively small size of the bristle head of the toothbrush does not ordinarilyaccommodate an ultraviolet lamp. It is therefore rather difficult to properly direct ultra-violet radiations where desired at the same time that any brushing action is being effected. It is therefore an important object of the present invention to provide a toothbrush implement which overcomes the foregoing problem and accordingly provides a source of radiation emitted from the location of the toothbrush bristles in a relatively simple and economical fashion.
In accordance with the present invention, ultra-violet radiation may be emitted from an elongated lamp tube which is enclosed within a tubular shank projecting from a handle within which a battery source of electrical energy is mounted as well as a motor driven vibrator for the tubular shank in order to cause oscillatory movement of the brush bristles or oral treating elements projecting from the enlarged end portion of the shank. The ultra-violet lamp tube is coated with a radiation blocking material along its length except for the end portion aligned with the brush bristles so that radiation emitted from the lamp tube will be restricted to the location of the brush bristles. The tubular shank is provided at its end opposite the brush bristles, with internal threads by means of which it is connected to the output of the electrically powered vibrator. At the same time that the shank is threaded onto the output of the vibrator, the lamp tube enclosed therewithin is inserted into an electrode socket by means of which electrical energy is supplied to the electrodes of the lamp tube for generating the radiation.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the toothbrush implement of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 2-2 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial sectional view of the toothbrush showing the forward portion thereof.
FIG. 4 'is a partial side elevational view with parts broken away and shown in section of the handle portion of the toothbrush with the shank portion removed therefrom.
FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken substantially through a plane indicated by section line 5-5 in FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a simplified electrical circuit diagram associated I with the toothbrush.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, the toothbrush generally denoted by reference numeral 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2, includes an axially elongated handle portion 12 and a replaceable tubular shank 14. The shank is made of a transparent plastic and includes an enlarged head section 16 at the end thereof remote from the handle portion 12 from which the toothbrush bristles 18 extend. The shank 14 is of course dimensioned so as to properly fit within a person's mouth in order to enable brushing of the teeth by an oscillatory movement about the longitudinal axis.
As shown in FIG. 2, the shank is connected to an motor driven device or vibrator 20 enclosed within the forward section 22 of the handle portion to which the rear section 24 may be threadedly connected in order to enclose therewithin the batteries 26 constituting the source of electrical energy for the vibrator 20. A switch mechanism 28 may be mounted on the handle section 22 for connecting and disconnecting the electrical circuit through which energy is supplied to the vibrator.
Vibrator devices of this type and their drive connections to associated tool shanks, are well known as disclosed for example in US. Pat. No. 1,992,770 to Rathbun. Accordingly, the details of the vibrator 20 are omitted.
As more clearly seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the vibrator includes an output member 30 having an electrode socket portion 32 and an externally threaded formation 34. The shank 14 is accordingly provided with an internally threaded enlargement 36 at one axial end adapted to be threadedly secured to the output member 30 of the vibrator through the threaded formation 34. The shank projects through the opening 38 in the forward section 22 of the handle and is oscillated or reciprocated along its longitudinal axis when electrical energy is supplied to the vibrator 20 as aforementioned. The shank also encloses an axially elongated, ultra-violet radiation emitting lamp tube 40 one end of which is received within the electrode socket 32 upon threaded mounting of the shank on the output member thereby establishing an electrical connection between the source of electrical energy and the electrodes associated with the lamp tube. Electrical wiring extends to the socket terminals from the battery power source through the vibrator casing in accordance with the circuit diagram of FIG. 6.
As shown in FIG. 3, the lamp tube 40 is externally coated along a major portion of its axial length with a radiation blocking material 42 leaving exposed an end portion 44 within the enlarged head section 16 of the shank. Thus, upon closing of the switch mechanism 28 a circuit is completed as shown in FIG. 6 so as to supply electrical energy from the batteries 26 to both the vibrator motor 20 and the lamp tube 40. When energized, the lamp tube will emit radiation from the exposed end portion 44 aligned with the brush bristles 18 to properly direct the radiation onto the tissues being simultaneously treated by vibration of the brush bristles 18. Further, the exposed end portion 44 of the lamp tube or the internal surface of the head section 16 may be coated with a filter material in order to regulate the intensity of the radiation being emitted in accordance with established safety health standards.
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 as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A therapeutic brushing implement comprising a handle, a tubular shank extending from the handle made of a radiation transmissive material, said shank being formed with an enlargement at an end remote from the handle, brush bristles mounted on said enlargement, an elongated lamp tube enclosed within said shank, a source of electrical energy within said handle, coupling means engageable with the lamp tube within the handle for conducting energy from the source to produce radiation in the lamp tube, and radiation blocking means coating the lamp tube except for an end portion within the enlargement from which said radiation is emitted.
2. The combination of claim 1 including vibrating means mounted within the handle and energized from said source for imparting oscillatory movement to the shank and the brush bristles carried thereon.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said coupling means includes an electrode socket receiving the lamp tube and an externally threaded formation on the socket to which the shank is threadedly connected.
4. The combination of claim 3 wherein the externally threaded socket is connected to the vibrating means.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein said end portion of the lamp tube is coated with a radiation filter material for regulating the intensity of the radiation emitted.
6. The combination of claim 1 wherein said coupling means includes an electrode socket receiving the lamp tube and an externally threaded formation on the socket to which the shank is threadedly connected.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein said end portion of the lamp tube is coated with a radiation filter material for regulating the intensity of the radiation emitted.
8. The combination of claim 1 wherein said end portion of the lamp tube is coated with a radiation filter material for regulating the intensity of the radiation emitted.
9. A therapeutic implement comprising a handle, a tubular shank extending from the handle made of a radiation transmissive material, said shank being formed with an enlargement at an end remote from the handle, treating elements mounted on said enlargement of the shank, an elongated lamp tube enclosed within said shank, a source of electrical energy within said handle, and energy transfer means mounted within the handle and engageable with the lamp tube for conducting