US 2244098 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
VJune 3, 1.941. w. W. BUslcK TOOTHBRUSH l Filed Nov. 2l, 1958 Patented June 3, 1941 UNITED STAT ES PATEN T OFF-l CE TOOTHBRUSH' William W. Busick, Los Angeles, Calif. Application November 21, 1938, Serial No. 241,610
This invention relates to brushes, and more particularly to toothbrushes.
An important object of the invention is to provide a simple and' practicable toothbrush, the head or bristle-supporting portion of which is readily deforma-ble so' thatV the brushing surface may be made either convex for efficient cleaning of the inside surfaces of the teeth or concave for efhcient cleaning of the outside surfaces of the teeth.
Another object is to provide a toothbrush having a flexible bristle-supporting member whereby portions of the bristles may be readily pushed back to permit otherbristles to get down in between the teeth.
Another object is to provide a toothbrushhaving a flexible bristle-supporting head with means for flexing and distorting the head in various directionsV to'break and' loosen deposits of dentifrice that may collect at the base of the bristles.
Another Objectis to provide al toothbrush having the foregoing advantages that is of such design that it may be readily kept in clean and sanitary condition.
Other more specific objects and features of the invention will becomel apparent from `the following detailed description, with reference to the drawing, of certain particular embodiments of the invention.
In the drawing: i
Fig. lis a side view of a toothb-rush in accordance with the invention, so adjustedl that the head presents a convex lbrushing surface;
Fig. 2 is a side view similar to Fig. 1, but showing the device adjusted to cause the-head to present a concave cleaning surface;
Fig. 3 is a longitudinal sectional View, taken substantially in theY plane III-III of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a side viewY of` the adjustingelement of the brush;
Fig. 5 is a longitudinal sectional View of a gum massaging device in accordance with the invention, the section being taken at right angles to the sectional view of Fig. 3;
Fig. 6 is a cross section through the head of the brush, taken on line VI-VI- of Fig. 2; and
Fig. '7 is an enlarged sectional detail View showing the anchoring of the bristles.
The device illustrated in Figs. 1i to 4 is identical with that illustrated in Fig. 5, except for the construction' of the gum or toothy contacting elements. Figs; 1 and 2 show a brush employing hair bristles for4 cleaning the teeth, whereas the massaging device of Fig. 5employs. rubber tips in place ofV hair bristles. Otherwise the constructions of the.` cleaning brush and the massaging device are identical.
ReferringV to the drawing, the brush disclosed comprises a head l and a handle 2 which are preferably formed integrally with each other from some resilient material, such as relatively sof t` rubber.
'Ihe head l1hasibristles 3 extending therefrom on one face,these bristles 3 preferably being arranged in tufts in accordance with the usual practice,1and firmly secured within the material of the'head l, asbyvulcanizing. The-material of the head I is preferably projected to form a small nipple or ring 4 at the base of each' tuft, which provides a' longer contactsurfacebetween the bristles and the supporting material of the head, and, at the same time, provides for substantial flexibility with respect to lateral movement of each tuft.
The head l and handle 2 preferably conform to theV usual toothbrush design with respect to their lateral dimensions; Vthat is, they have a width substantially greater than their thickness. This shape is ordinarily employed in toothbrushesto provide necessary strength in the direction in which it is needed, `and avoid unnecessary bulk where it is not necessary to provide strength. In. the present construction, however, there is an additional advantage in having the head relatively thin. as compared to its width. Thus means is provided for flexing the head l toV make the cleaning surface thereof either` concave or convex, and the making of the head relatively thin facilitates the-flexing involved in changing the shape of thehead.
To stiien the head I and handle 2 longitudinally and also to provide means for distorting the head into either the convex shape shown in Fig. 1.,- or the concave shape shown in Fig. 2, a relatively stilT. wire core member 5 is incorporated in the. head and handle. Thus the head l and. handle 2 are made solid, except for a small control passage l5 extending longitudinally therethrough in which the rod is rotatably mounted.
Referring toFig. 4, that portion of the rod 5 which is imbedded in the handle 2 is preferably straight but the end portion thereof, which lies within the headv l, is curved in a single plane to impart the desired curvature to the flexible head l. By virtue of. the fact that the head l is constructed of resilient material, such as soft rubber and the. rod is constructed. of relatively stiff metal, the head .l i exes to. follow the curvature of the rod 5,- and by rotating therod 5- through 2 180 the head I may be distorted into either the position shown in Fig. 1, in which the cleaning face is convex, or into the shape shown in Fig. 2, in which the cleaning face of the head is concave. Of course during rotation of the rod 5 between either of the two positions mentioned,v
the head I is deflected laterally. However. by virtue of the fact that the head is of substantially greater width than its thickness, it tends to reis so shaped the head tends to snap into the two positions of use shown in Figs. 1 and 2, when the rod 5 is turned.
To enable the user to rotate the rod 5 and thereby adjust the brush into either of the positions described, the rod 5 is provided on its rear end with a finger piecel 6 which may be of the same material as the handle 2 and have the rear end of the rod 5 firmly imbedded therein. To provide a good anchorage in the nger piece 6, the rear end of the rod 5 may be formed into a ring or eye 'I. The finger piece B is also preferably of the same lateral dimensions as the handle 2 so that in either position of adjustment, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, it forms a smooth continuation of the handle 2. To tend to retain the finger piece 6 and the rod 5 in one of the two positions of adjustment shown, the rear end of the handle 2 is preferablyV formed with a groove 8 extending transversely thereacross and the forward end of the thumb piece 6 is provided with a tongue 9 dimensioned to t within and be received in the groove 8. By virtue of the fact that the handle material is flexible, the sides of the groove can yield to permit rotation of the finger piece but revert to normal position after turning movement has been completed. Of course it is not essential that the finger piece 6 be of soft resilient material like the handle 2, and it may be made of rigid material, such as hard rubber or any of the well-known synthetic plastics.
It is desirable that the handle 2 be relatively stiff both with respect to longitudinal bending and also with respect to twisting. 'I'he straight portion of the rod 5 provides material reinforcement against longitudinalrbending but no resistance to twisting. I therefore prefer to imbed in the handle 2 a reinforcing element I0 of relatively stiff wire, which element may be bent back upon itself, as shown, with the bend adjacent the rear end of the handle and the two ends terminating substantially at the juncture of the handle 2 with the head I. Obviously the reinforcing element Ill cannot be extended into that portion of the head I which is flexed during manipulation.
The reinforcing element I0 reinforces the handle 2 against any appreciable twisting motion during rotation of the finger piece 6 and rod 5 to adjust the head of the brush.
As previously indicated, the massaging device illustrated in Fig. 5 is identical in all respects with the brush construction shown in Figs. 1 to 4, except for the substitution of rubber tufts I2 for the bristles 3 of Fig. l. Massage devices having rubber massage elementsinstead of bristles are in general preferable for massaging the gums,
since they are less apt to scratch the mucous membrane and are more readily maintained in sterile condition.
A bristle is inherently more diicult to maintain in sterile condition than a rubber element, by virtue of its animal origin and porous nature. However, the brush described with reference to Figs. 1 to 4 incorporates a construction that is as sanitary as it is possible to produce in a bristle brush. This is true by virtue of the fact that the entire handle and head are preferably molded integrally from soft rubber so that there are no openings where foreign matter might enter into the interior of the device. Thus the rubber surface of the head and lower portion of the handle is imperforate. Of course there is always a possibility for foreign matter to accumulate in the bases of the bristles, but this tendency can be reduced as completely in the construction described as in any other bristle brush construction by virtue of the fact that the bristles are imbedded and vulcanized in the rub'ber of the head. y
The employment of the'nipples or collars 4 around the tufts of the bristles is advantageous from a sanitary standpoint, because it reduces the tendency for foreign matter to accumulate at the base of the bristles. Thus with the collar construction disclosed, 'the exposed portions of the bristles are spaced away from the surface of the head I. Furthermore, the collars or nipples, being of flexible material, can readily bend, and during a brushing operation they do bend freely in all directions, thereby tending to crack and break away any accumulations -of foreign material, such as residues of tooth paste, or other dentifrice employed. This flexing and breaking away of accumulations of dentifrice may also be produced by rotating the rod 5 while holding the head of the brush in a stream of water, or agitating the head in a basin of water. The rotation of the curved end portion of the rod 5 violently distorts the head I, stretching it in some places, and compressing it in others to break away and facilitate the removal of any incrustations of foreign materials that may be present.
As shown in Fig. 2, the bristles 3 preferably do not project any great distance into the head I proper, their main attachment to the head being through the nipples 4. This permits extreme flexibility of each tuft of bristles independently of the others, and is advantageous in that it facilitates the bending of bristles that may be juxtaposed to high portions of the teeth to thereby permit the bristles juxtaposed to crevices between the teeth to enter freely into the crevices. Such action, of course, is conducive to thorough cleaning of the crevices between the teeth, which is most important.
As previously indicated, the entire head I and lower portion of the handle 2 are completely imperforate so that there is no opportunity for liquid to enter into the interior of the head and handle to cause corrosion of the rod 5 (if the latter is of a corrodible material).
To further reduce the possibility of water entering the handle at the rear end, the passage receiving the rod 5 is preferably made extra small adjacent the rear end of the handle, as indicated at I3, whereby it fits very snugly about the rod 5 and effects a fluid-tight seal therewith. The forward end of the linger piece 6 also is preferably fitted snugly against the flexible end of the handle 2 so that there is little opportunity for water to penetrate to the rod 5.
It is understood that although the anchoring of the bristles 3 in the rubber head I by means of the nipples or collars 4 has been shown in conjunction with the construction for distorting the head into either concave or convex shape, these features have value when used independently of each other, and need not necessarily be employed in the same brush.
To simplify the Wording of the claims, the cleaning or massaging elements of my brush are defined therein as rubbing elements, this expression being intended to include either bristles, as shown in Fig. 1, oi the drawing, or rubber tufts, as shown in Fig. 5, or any other equivalent elements.
Various minor departures from the particular construction shown and described may be made without departing from the invention, and the latter is therefore to be limited only to the extent set forth in the appended claims.
l. A device of the type described, comprising an elongated head of exible material and an elongated handle extending from and xedly secured to one end of said head in substantial alignment therewith, a continuous longitudinal passage extending through said head and handle and a substantially rigid core member extending Within said passage in said head and handle,
that portion of said core member lying Within said handle being substantially straight and that portion of said core member lying Within said head being curved, means for rotating said core member with respect to said handle and head to impart curvature to said head in any one of a plurality of diierent directions, said head having rubbing elements thereon, and additional means for yieldably retaining said core member in either of two diametrically opposite positions of rotation in one of which positions said rubbing elements on said head are on the inside of the curve of the head and in the other of which positions the rubbing elements are on the outside of the curve of the head.
2. A device of the type described comprising an elongated head of exible material having rubbing elements positioned on one side thereof, a passage extending longitudinally through said head, a substantially rigid, elongated, longitudinally curved, shaping element positioned within and substantially iilling said passage in said head and imparting curvature to said head, said shaping element being rotatable Within said passage, and means for rotating said shaping element to change the direction of curvature of said head, in which said passage in said head is of smaller lateral dimensions in the direction parallel to said one side than in the direction perpendicular to said one side.
WILLIAM W. BUSICK.