US 2039278 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1936- L. H. BLANCHARD 2,039,278
CLEANING AND MASSAGE DEVICE FOR DENTAL PURPOSES Filed Nov. 6, 1935 Patented May 5, 1936 UNITED STATES CLEANING AND MASSAGE DEVICE FOR- DENTAL PURPOSES Lloyd H. Blanchard, Barre, Mass. Application November 6, 1935, Serial No. 48,550
The present invention relates to a cleaning and massage device for dental purposes, and has for its object to provide an improved device of the above indicated character adapted for effective cleaning of the teeth, in general, and especially the inter-dental spaces, as well as for massage treatment of the gums.
In my co-pending application Serial No. 11,570, filed March 18, 1935, there is shown and described a device of the above indicated character consisting of an element of flexible material providing spaced concentric annular walls adapted to collapse upon the application of pressure to expel cleaning substances from between the walls, as well as to exert a suction effect to work the cleaning substances back and forth in an interdental space. The present invention contemplates certain improvements in the device of the aforementioned application whereby the general effectiveness of the device in cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums is increased. The above and other advantageous features of the invention will hereinafter more fully appear from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:
Fig. 1 is a view in front elevation of a device embodying the invention.
Fig. 2 is a view in side elevation of the device of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view along the line 33 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view along the line 4-4 of Fig. 1, on an enlarged scale, showing the cleaning action of the device on the surfaces of the teeth.
Fig. 5 is a sectional view similar to Fig. 4, illustrating the suction action of the device in cleaning an inter-dental space.
Fig. 6 is a sectional view along the line 66 of Fig. 5, looking in the direction of the arrows.
Figs. 7 and 8 are fragmentary sectional views showing details of the construction.
Fig. 9 shows a modification in the form of the device.
Like reference characters refer to like parts in the different figures.
Referring first to Figs. 1 and 2, the invention comprises a combined cleaning and massage element I, composed of resilient material such as rubber, the element being mounted on a suitable handle 2 by means of a metal shank 3. As best shown in Fig. 3, the shank 3 terminates in a. head 4 having a series of openings 5 in which the material of the element I is received when the element is formed on the shank, as by molding. Thus the element I is firmly anchored on the head 4 of the shank, with the head 4 providing a relatively rigid base by which pressure can be applied to the flexible material of the element I when the latter is applied to the teeth, 5
The element I is made in the form of one or more cups 6 of identical construction, with the cups 6 separated by a space I of sufficient width to permit the cups to flex independently of each other. As best shown in Fig. 4, each cup 6 pro- 10 vides concentric annular walls 8 and 9 spaced from each other a distance at least as great as the thickness of a wall, and with acentral portion within the inner wall 8 entirely clear. It is also to be noted that the depth of the spaces between the walls 8 and 9 is: several times the thickness of a wall, so that each cup 6 is extremely flexible. In Fig. 6, which shows in outline a pair of adjoining teeth with the interdental space between them indicated at I0, it is apparent that the diameter of the opening within the inner wall 8 is. considerably greater than the width of the inter-dental space approximately at the gum line.
The outer wall 9 of a cup 6 is flared above the 5 rim of the inner wall 8 to provide a ring II, from which extends a series of serrations I 2. Each serration I2 provides an edge I2w bevelled inwardly towards the center of the cup 6, see Fig. 7, and these serrations I2, being extremely flexible, are most effective in cleaning the exposed surfaces of the teeth when the device is used in somewhat the same manner as a tooth brush. As best shown in Fig. 4, the serrations I2 yield readily when applied to the surface of a tooth, so that a dragging action is obtained as the cup is drawn across a tooth, which action is most effective in thoroughly cleaning the tooth surfaces. A certain amount of suction and gum massage efiect is also obtained simultaneously with the cleaning action of the serrations I2, due to the tendency of the walls of the cup 6 to collapse when pressure is applied through the handle.
When. using the device for the particular purpose of cleaning an inter-dental space, the cups 6 are filled with tooth paste or powder as desired, and the element applied to an inter-dental space substantially as shown in Figs. 5 and 6. Then when pressure is applied, the walls 8 and 9 collapse by reason of their extreme flexibility and the relative rigidity of the teeth, gums and metal shank 3 which carries the element I, which collapse results in forcing the cleaning material carried by the cup into the inter-dental impossible of attainment.
space. The outer wall 9 tends to collapse first, due to the spreading of the serrations 12, the inward bevel of the edges l2a causing the serrations to spread outwardly very easily. This results in some of the cleaning material being initially forced into the inter-dental space before the inner wall 8 starts to yield, thereby giving a very effective penetration of the cleaning material when the walls are fully collapsed, as shown in Fig. 5. When pressure is relaxed, the walls 8 and 5 tend to resume their normal form, as shown in Fig. 4, thereby sucking the cleaning material back into the cup.
Obviously, alternate compression and'release of the element I will result in the spaced cupsG moving the cleaning material back and forth within one or more inter-dental'spaces with an extremely effective action. It has also been found that various liquids used in treating diseased con dition of the teeth and gums may be flushed through the inter-dental spaces with the same facility as pastesor powders, a result heretofore The device can also be used for the purpose of massaging thegums, either with or without the use of cleaning material, it having been found that the suction effect resulting from alternate compression and release 'of the element will serve to stimulate blood circulation in the gums.
As best shown in Fig. 8, diametrically opposed portions of the outside wall 9 of each cup 6 provide a series of sharp ribs or knives [3. The purpose of these knives I3 is to obtain an increased cleaning action, particularly when the device is bridged across the teeth, as indicated in dotted lines, the opposed knives l3 being close enough together to clean from both sides, as the device is moved back and forth.
As previously pointed out, the space 1 between the cups 6 is sufficientto permit the cups to col- -lapse independently of each other, so that the device can be used in any part of thexmouth with the cups being utilized either singly or together. In Fig. 9, there is shown a modification wherein the head of shank 3' is curved, so as to impart a similar form to the element l. approximates the curvature of the jaw so that the cups 6 will engage the teeth very closely.
From the foregoing, it is apparent that by the present invention there is provided an improved device for the cleaning and care of the teeth and gums, by theme of which it is possible to alwayskeep the'teeth, and particularly the inter-dental spaces, in a clean and healthy condition.
1. A device for dental purposes, comprising an element having a relatively rigid base and a cup providing spaced concentric annular walls of thin flexible material for the reception of a cleaning substance in the spaces between the walls, said walls having a depth much greater than their thickness so as to readily collapse uponthe application of pressure to expel the cleaning substance from the-inner wall spaces, with the outer wall providing a series of serrations extending beyond the rim of the inner Wall.
2. A device for-dental purposes, comprising an element of flexible material mounted on a relatively rigid handle, said element providing a collapsible cup having spaced-concentric annular walls and with the outer wall providing a series of serrations bevelled inwardly towards-the center of the cup, whereby said serrations are adapted to bend outwardly in response: to pressure applied through said handle.
3. A device for dental purposes, comprising an element of flexible material mounted on a'relatively rigid handle, said element providing collaps ible cups in spacedrelation and with the outer walls of said cups providing opposed ribs orteeth extending parallel to the axis of each cup.
LLOYD 'H. BLLANCHARD.