US 2083217 A
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June 8, 1937. E. LBROTHERS ET AL 2,033,217
PROPHYLACTIC DEVICE FOR THE ORAL CAVITY Filed July 14, 1934 9' IN VENTOR.
fdW/n Bra/hers Abe 2 Brafbers TTORNEY.
Patented June 8, 1937 UNITED S'i PROPHYLAOTIC DEVICE FOR THE ORAL CAVITY Edwin 1. Brothers and Abe R.- Brothers, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Application July 14, 1934, Serial No. 735,159
This invention is a prophylactic device for the oral cavity and more particularly a device for keeping the teeth in clean and hygienic condition. It is adapted to be used daily as one uses a tooth brush.
Tooth pastes and powders have long been used with the conventional tooth brush to keep the teeth clean and white, and it is now the common practice for persons to use either a tooth paste 10 or a tooth power at least once or twice daily. In order to accomplish, with such a brush, the effect desired, it is essential that tooth pastes or powders embody abrasive or detergent materials and, as a general rule, they include materials having a pronounced abrasive character, although, of
course, in very finely divided form, and in addition thereto, embody chemical solvents, the purpose of which is to remove stains and whiten the teeth. Inasmuch as the normal brushing of the teeth is of relatively short duration, the solvents employed must be strong and the abrasive used must be sufficiently efiective to accomplish the.
desired result in a short period of time. Consequently, it is fair to say that the majority of tooth powders and pastes now in the market are harmful to the teeth and many of them include, as one or more constituents, materials which are even of a poisonous nature if taken internally in appreciable quantities.
Our study and experimentation in connection with this situation have led us to believe that there are many material advantages to be gained by dispensing with the use of powders and pastes in the cleansing of the teeth and utilizing in their stead a pronouncedly different mode of operation for maintaining the oral cavity in clean and i hygienic condition.
Our theory is that a polishing action, assisted by a scraping action to remove the more tightly adhering particles of tartar or the like from and between the teeth, will produce thoroughly satisfactory results without attendant disadvantages. In carrying out this mode of operation, we employ a device in some respects similar to the conventional tooth brush in that it embodies, among other elements, a handle and bristles, but it differs appreciably from the conventional brush in that it includes a cooperating scraping element v and the bristles which enter into the construction are relatively hard and stiff and are mounted in a novel relation well adapted to carry out the purposes intended. In the conventional tooth brush, the bristles employed, in the presence of F a paste or powder, have a relatively soft brushing effect. In other words, they bend appreciably all parts of the teeth in a simple and expeditious manner.
An important feature of the present invention is that the device thereof is so constituted that it is. intended for use and is employed without either a tooth paste or powder, the cleaning and polishing action being accomplished by contact of the bristle with the tooth surface to thereby impart 'to the teeth a high polish without the employment of extraneous materials The bristles employed, moreover, aresuch as to cooperate with the scraper element of the device in such manner as to remove the last vestige of calcium or other tartar forming deposits.
Another important feature of this invention resides in the fact that the structure is such that it may be used by the individual to remove tartar which has deposited upon the teeth and thus make it unnecessary to have large quantities of tartar removed at periodical visits to the dentist.
The scraper element is an important feature of this invention in that there are certain mineral deposits which are apt to accumulate on and between the teeth and which are extremely difficult to remove in the absence of means particularly adapted for this purpose. The scraper element of this device is such that it is well adapted for this purpose and is so constituted that it may be satisfactorily and efficiently manipulated by a novice.
A further important practical feature is the incorporation, in the handle of the device, of ayieldable joint embodying a tensioning member so constituted that when the teeth are brushed or polished by contact of the bristles therewith,
there is possibility, on the part of a person with a not too delicate a touch, to injure the gums with the stiff bristles. By incorporating in the brush the yieldable connection as specified, it is impossible to impart to the bristles suificient pressure to injure the gums particularly when this tension is regulated in a manner to control the maximum pressure of which the device is susceptible. The tensioning means is preferably so positioned that the brush portion is manipulated through the tensioning means, but the scraper portion is adapted for direct operation in order to permit the application of such pressure as may be necessary to remove the deposits to which we have referred.
Features of the invention, other than those adverted to, will be apparent from the hereinafter detailed description and claims, when read in conjunction with theaccompanying drawing.
The accompanying drawing illustrates difierent practical embodiments of the invention, but the constructions therein shown are to be understood as illustrative, only, and not as defining the limits of the invention.
Figure l is a side elevation-, of a deViceembodying the present invention, a portion of which device is shown in central longitudinal section in showing a somewhat modified form of construc-;
tion. Figures 4 and 5 are fragmental face views showing a modified form of scraper.
Figure Sis 'a section on the line 6-45 of Figure 5. s Figure? is a section showing a modified for I of cross section which may be employed in Figure 5.
Figure 8 is a face view showing a further modified form of scraper.
Figure 9 is a section on the line 9-9 of Figure 8. a Figure 10 shows a further modified form of scraper.
Figure 11 is a, section on the line I I.H of Figure 10.
Referringto the drawing and more particularly 0' to Figures '1 andl -l indicatesa handle to the forward end of which is pivotally securedabrush stock 2 on which is supported a-plurality of knots 3 and i of bristles. These. knots and bristles are mounted insu'ch a way that their 4 axes pass through the" longitudinal medial line of the stock, so that in the construction shown in these figures, they are in tandem in the longitudinal direction of the device. Two or more of these knots may be employed, but there are pref- 50 erably two or three, two being illustrated .in the drawing.
Each knot is circular in form and embodies a large number of relatively stiff bristles secured firmly together at their bases to form the 55 knot or tuft. The knot may be mounted directly within the stock in any well known and appropriate way as by cementing, vulcanizing or casting, but by preference, we mount each tuft within an individual holder 5 in the form of a ferrel or cup, so that the knots may be conveniently fabricated independently for subsequent association with a separately made stock.
A very satisfactory form, of arrangement is as shown in Figure 3, wherein the holders 5' are shown incup form and having therein knots 3 and'd corresponding to similar knots'of Figures 1 and 2. The cups are externally threaded to be received in tapped seats in the stock 2, so that they are readily removable or replaceable and vice a distance somewhat less than the thickness of a tooth so that the device may be caused to straddle the teeth and operate simultaneously upon both the lingual and facial sides thereof. Furthermore, the bristles must be sufficiently stiff, so that when thus operated they will bear tightly against the teeth with sufficient pressure to produce a polishing action thereon and said device may be operated dry or nearly so to give a high polish when thus used.
The free ends of the knots may be flat or plane, but we find we get better results if the knot is generally convex on its face with a V channel cut diametrically into such face in the medial line of the stock 2, and these V shaped channels which are indicated by the reference character 6 are alined in the several knots so that the said knots may operate simultaneously .upon the crowns of the teeth. The curvilinear faces of the knots may, however, be used directly on the facial or lingual sides of the teeth to give the polish desired, while the V shaped grooves 6 in conjunction with the curvilinear faces thereof permit the knots to enter well into the interproximal spaces.
It will be noted from Figure 2 that the stock 2 of the device is shaped to closely conform. with the shape of the knots 3 and 4, so that when two knots are used, the stock is substantially hour glass shape. The purpose of this shaping is to permit the knots to be brought into close contact with the teeth when acting on one face or the other thereof and to permit of a rolling or tilting action of the device when the knots are positioned one inside and one outside of the teeth, so as to simultaneously operate upon the lingual and facial sides of the teeth. The narrowing of the stock in proximity to the space between the knots materially assists in the manipulationof the device when used in this way.
The so-called hour glass shape results from forming the stock with re-entrant portions which conform to the separate tufts or knots individually and bring about a relatively narrow portion between the two knots or at the nearest part of the hour glass shape, so that when the knots are made to straddle the teeth and the handle oscillated about its longitudinal axis, the knots move on a long radius and are better able to reach to the gum line over an extended surface which would not be the case if the sides of the stock were parallel to one another. This hour glass shaping therefore has a very important mechanical function and is not provided as a matter of design or appearance.
When utilizing a device of this character with bristles which are as stiff as those employed, there may be a tendency in case of a person with a heavy hand to force the same too strongly against the gums in which event injury thereto may result.
The device of this invention may of course be made with the stock 2 rigid with the handle I, but it is for the purpose of precluding such injury that the parts are joined or pivoted to one another as indicated at l. This hinging may be accomplished in various ways, but a very satisfactory form is shown in Figure 1. Here a small spring hinge, the leaves 8 and 9 of which are secured to the respective parts 2 and I, is employed, the spring acting in a direction to normally hold the stock 2 in alinement with the handle The spring employed, however, is carefully chosen to yield under a pressure which would be suificient to harmthe gums and consequently with this sort of an arrangement any tendency to apply too great a pressure will simply cause the spring to yield and the stock to swing back as indicated in dotted lines in this figure. Suflicient pressure, however, is provided for by the spring to ensure proper cleaning and polishing action. Instead of a spring hinge, as shown in Figure l, we may employ a leaf spring for this purpose or a coil spring I0 shown in Figure 3 or a rubber connection or any 0 other appropriate yieldable connection which will hold the knots to their work under a yielding pressure which will yield if too much pressure is applied and will preclude injury by this operation.
The spring connection between the handle and the stock of the brush is important with this invention because the tufts 6 are hard and tight. If these tufts were such as are found in ordinary tooth brushes and were relatively soft and yielding, there would not be any great danger of harming the teeth or gums, but when, as in the present case, hard and unyielding knots are used, a person with a heavy hand might well lacerate the gums and it becomes desirable therefore to protect the gums against undesirable pressure and this is accomplished by the yielding connection which we have described.
Experience has shown that with certain individuals there is a very pronounced tendency to accumulate mineral deposits on the lingual side of the teeth and in the interproximal spaces. An ordinary brushing of the teeth will not remove these deposits and it is necessary for such individuals to periodically have a dentist remove this so-called tartar deposits through the employment of sealers. The device of the present invention makes it possible in the ordinary everyday care of the teeth to preclude the formation of these deposits by daily applying a mild scraping operation which dislodges the greater portion of the particles while permitting the brush portion to thereupon effect the polishing action and remove any particles which the scraper has left. It is essential to remove all of these particles as they build up very quickly. Hence a combined scraping and polishing action are essential to the desired results. The scraping action on the lingual faces and in the interproximal spaces should first be carried out and then these parts thoroughly polished with the bristle portion of the device.
By putting a high polish on the teeth, deposits can not so readily lodge and by daily scraping these surfaces with a mild scraping operation, they are kept clean without destroying the polish which may be heightened immediately thereafter by the application of the bristles thereto.
The scraper forming part of the present invention may partake of various forms. Fundamentally it embodies a raised edge preferably having associated therewith a projecting point to permit access to the interproximal spaces.
In the accompanying drawing, we have shown various forms of a scraper element, but these forms are illustrative, only, and do not define the limits of this invention. However, in Figure l,
the scraper element is shown as formed by making the end of the handle of concave form as shown at H and then hollowing out the handle l2 to produce a raised scraping edge l3 with scraping points H5. In Figure 3, the handle is shown as thickened at its end at it and hollowed out at IE to produce the scraping edge H. The configuration of the raised portion 15 is such as to produce a scraping point I8. In Figure 5, the handle is hollowed out at l9 to produce substan- 7 tially the cross section shown in Figure 6 or Figure '7 and impart a raised edge 20 with a scraping point 2|.
In Figures 8 and 9, the handle has a raised portion 22 hollowed out at 23 to produce the. raised edges 24. In Figure 10, the handle has a convex surface 25, the end portion of which is stippled 0r milled as at 26 to provide a roughened scraper surface, while the end of the handle is shaped to produce a scraper point 21.
The foregoing illustrative forms may be utilized in the removal of deposits from the teeth and when any of them is used with the brush, a clean, highly polished surface will result and one which we have found to be absolutely impossible to produce and maintain with a conventional tooth brush even when used with strong chemical solvents and abrasive pastes and powders.
The present invention differs from all prior practice in its mode of operation in that it is possible through the employment of this device to produce and maintain white teeth having a high luster either by dry or wet treatment and in the total absence of any extraneous abrasive, detergent or polishing materials. In giving the mouth a prophylactic treatment, the scraper may also be used to scrape the tongue and the points or projections l4, l8, 2i or 27 may be utilized as a tooth pick to remove extraneous matter from the spaces between the teeth.
The device functions by virtue of the removel of the greater portion of hard tartar and other deposits followed immediately by the application of a polishing operation by the stiff bristles, sufficiently stiff in fact that they will not bend to such extent as to produce the wiping action so common in conventional tooth brushes.
Having thus fully described the invention, what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In a device of the character described, the
combination of an elongated stock provided with l a plurality of hard and tight bristle knots arranged in a single row and spaced apart, and said knots being provided in their free ends with centrally alined channels extending longitudinally of the stock and medially across the free ends of the knots.
2. In a device of the character described, the combination of an elongated stock provided with a plurality of hard and tight bristle knots arranged in a single row and collectively providing a brushing surface substantially twice as long as the width thereof, said knots being provided in their free ends which form said brushing surface with centrally alined channels extending longitudinally of the brushing surface and through the centers of the knots.
3. In a device of the character described, the combination of an elongated stock provided with a plurality of hard and tight bristle knots arranged in a single row and collectively providing a brushing surface substantially twice as long as the width thereof, said knots being provided in their free ends, which form said brushing surface, with centrally alined channels extending longitudinally of the brushing surface and through the centers of the knots, and said knots being spaced apart at such brushing surface a distance approximately equal to the depth of said channels.
l. In a device of the character described, the combination of a brush head, flattened, and of substantially hour glass contour in plan view, a single hard and tight bristle knot supported in substantially centralized relation in each broad 6. In a device of the character described, the combination of a brush head, flattened, and of substantially hour glass contour in plan View, a single hard and tight bristle knot in substantially centralized relation to each broadened portion of said brush head with the axes of said knots in parallel relation to one another and perpendicular to the flat face of the brush head and each knot having a diameter substantially equal to its height.
EDWIN I. BROTHERS. ABE R. BROTHERS.