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Publication numberUS2273207 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 17, 1942
Filing dateAug 9, 1939
Priority dateAug 9, 1939
Publication numberUS 2273207 A, US 2273207A, US-A-2273207, US2273207 A, US2273207A
InventorsJohn W Kuhn
Original AssigneeJohn W Kuhn
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toothbrush
US 2273207 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J. W. KUHN Feb. 17, 1942.

'I'OO'IIHBRUSH Filed Aug. 9, 1959 2 SheetsI-Sheet 1 Feb. 17, 1942. w, N I 2,273,207

TOOT'HBRUSH Filed Aug. 9, 1939 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 f0hn W Zfwhw Patented Feb. 17, 1942 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE TOO'IHBRUSH John W. Kuhn, Akron, Ohio Application August 9, 1939, Serial No. 289,299

7 Claimi n n i n ela e to t ot b u h s n h s for its primary object to improve brushes of this type to the end that not only the time required in adequately caring for the teeth is substantially reduced but also that less skill is required'and yet the teeth vgnll be more thoroughly cleaned.

The conventional toothbrush, in plan view, has

the head of the brush directly in line with the handle, thus rendering it impossible to align the brush with the teeth when brushing the inner surfaces thereof and requiring that the brush be held at an awkward angle. Moreover even if the brush head were offset laterally in the conventional brush there would be a tendency for the brush to roll due to the weak grip provided by the narrow handle, and of course two separate brushes would be necessary.

It is an object of the present invention to pro vide a toothbrush such that the teeth may be thoroughly cleaned on all exposed surfaces without tilting the handle at an angle to the teeth, thereby maintaining the rows of bristles in align.- ment with the teeth at all times.

Another object of theinvention resides in the o s on of a o th rush havin a s t a its arthe nd o con rm o the c nt o h u h a d h um line ad acen wi d m te and large molars to permit'brushing such teeth without undue irritation of the gums.

A further object of the invention consists in he provision i a dou lei oth sh. that a. brush with two heads and two sets of bristles, whereby the grinding surfaces of the teeth on both sides of the lower jaw Or the upper jaw may be simultaneously cleaned, and the outer surfaces of the teeth on either side of the upper and lower jaw as well as the inner surfaces may b m e usly c e ned; a her by e u er surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth as l as t e i e s ac s f a e ma b s mul+ taneously cleaned, and all cleaning operations may be e rmed while the han l o h brush is i ntia horizont po ion whe e operator is standing erect.

Another object of the invention resides in pro-. viding a toothbrush having a double head in which the heads may be moved toward and from each other to accommodate themselves to the positions of the teeth, and to permit simultaneous cleaning of certain of the various rows of surfaces of the teeth.

A further object of the invention consists in providing a toothbrush in which a rotary action of the brush heads is produced more or less mechanically during the cleaning operations due to muscular tension when gripping the handle lightly and the conventional reciprocating action of the brush; also a brush in which this rotary action may be supplemented by a voluntary pressure on the handle on the outward stroke or the reciprocating action and reduction of pressure on the inward stroke; thus simultaneously adjusting the brush heads to the diverging teeth lines on the outward stroke and the converging teeth lines onthe inward stroke.

A still further object of the invention consists in the provision of a novel massage device which may be readily attached to or removed from the toothbrush and which is highly elIective in stimulating circulation of blood in the gums.

Another object of the invention resides in the provision of a toothbrush which may be made as an integral unit or with detachable heads as may be desired.

Other objects and advantages of the invention willbe in part apparent and in part pointed out in the following detailed description of the drawings, in which,

Figure 1 is a plan view of one form of the novel toothbrush.

Figure 2 is a side elevational view of the brush shown in use in cleaning the grinding surfaces of the upper teeth.

Figure 3 is a view of a slightly modified brush shown in action in simultaneously cleaning the outer surfaces of the upper and lower teeth on the right side of the mouth.

Figure 4 is a plan view of a brush such as shown in Figure 3 and having detachably applied thereto (partly broken away) a novel massaging device.

Figure 5 is a sectional view taken on line 5-5 of Figure 4.

Figure 6 is a side elevational view of the construction shown in Figure 4.

Figure 7 is a sectional view taken on line l.1 of Figure 1, and

Figure 8 is a plan View of a construction, partly broken away, in which the brush heads are integrally connected but are detachable from h h ndl as in F ur Referring to the drawings in greater detail and particularly to Figures 1, 2 and 7, the numeral I indicates the handle of the brush gen erally, and the numerals 2 and 3 indicate the two brush heads, which in this particular form are shown as detachably connected to the handle.

The handle I is preferably made of a conventional moldable composition such as Celluloid, Bakelite or the like, it being essential however that the material be resilient. It will be seen from the drawings that the handle is more or less oval or loop-shaped in design, the longitudinal curvature of the two legs of the handle being such as will facilitate the proper relative movement of the brush heads 2 and 3 as will appear hereinafter.

Adjacent the forward end of the handle I a bridge member 4 is formed as an integral part of the handle to serve as a fulcrum for the brush heads forming in effect two interlocking loops or ovals. The bridge 4 might be curved in the opposite direction if desired, or such a bridge could be employed in addition to the one shown. This part of the handle is thickened as indicated to reinforce the same and also to receive the U-shaped reinforcing member 5 when desired. The element 5 is preferably a strip of metal flattened intermediate its ends and provided with right and left hand screw threads on its ends. This member 5 is placed in the mold prior to casting the handle and is therefore entirely embedded in the material of the handle except for the screw threaded ends 6-5 which are left exposed for the purpose of securing the detachable brush heads 2 and 3.

The two branches of the handle I are preferably made slightly thinner adjacent the middle as indicated at 8 so as to facilitate the flexing action to be referred to and which is indicated indotted lines in Figure 1. Each branch is also provided with a forwardly and slightly tapering rib 8. This construction serves to both supplement and conserve the natural resilietncy of the material of the handle.

The brush heads 2 and 3 are also formed of molded material, preferably of the same material and color as the handle I, and in molding these elements right and left hand threaded nuts 9 are placed in the mold and are intended to cooperate with the right and left hand threads on the member 5.

The brush heads 2 and 3, it will be noted, are offset laterally from their shank portions 2' and 3' respectively in which the nuts 9 are located,

thereby permitting the brushes to be placed in alignment with the teeth at all times and avoiding the necessity of placing the handle at awkward angles particularly when brushing the inner surfaces of the teeth.

As is generally well known the gum line tapers toward the grinding surface of the teeth at the back of the mouth and this is especiallytrue at the point where the wisdom teeth are located.

Therefore to avoid injury to the gums the brush tion to the handle, in which the respective legs of the handle merge into the inner sides of the brush backings; the brush heads comprising the backings, the bristles, and a portion of the legs of the handle. The brush heads are positioned at an angle to receive the respective legs of the handle, and at approximately 7 angles to facilitate the out-away portions I!) in relation with the teeth and gums as shown in Figure 3. It will also be noted in Figure 3 that when the teeth line is positioned at a comparative 7 angle the gum line is approximately 10 angle, the difference being compensated in part by the cut-away portions Hi. This permits the conventional three rows of bristles and narrowing the brush heads to two rows and then one at a point where the least surface of the teeth is exposed beyond the gum line.

By reference to Figure 7 which is a section on line 'l-'! of Figure 1 it will be noted that the transverse series of bristles in each of the heads 2 and 3 are angularly arranged. For instance, the full lines at the left of Figure 7 indicate the bristles as extending vertically of the backing 2 while the dotted lines indicate the next series of bristles as inclined slightly to the left. These series alternate throughout the length of the brush, and the same construction is embodied in brush 3 except that the series of bristles between the vertical series incline to the right rather than to the left. This construction of brush is effective in that a number of bristles will always be flexed toward the gum line when the brush is presented to the teeth thereby insuring the removal of particles of food which may be caught in the crevices formed between the teeth and the gums.

With the brush as shown in Figures 1 and 2 the heads 2 and 3 may be separated the amount desired to facilitate simultaneous cleaning of two rows of teeth by merely applying the proper amount of pressure to the opposed sides of the handle I. In other words, the two brushes may be quickly adjusted to the width of the mouth, or they may be adjusted in accordance with the extent of opening of the mouth. Substantially the same adjustment of the brushes may be accomplished by pressing the thumb of the operative hand in the horse-shoe shaped forward portion of the handle so as to force the shank 2'3' apart the desired extent. Moreover, by reason of the angle position of the heads the brush handle may be maintained parallel to the teeth at all times thereby providing for the proper presentation of the rows of bristles to the teeth even when cleaning the inner surfaces thereof. Also the heads 2 and 3 may be readily removed when necessary for replacement, and yet due to the right and left hand thread mountings for the heads there is no liability of their working loose while in use.

It should also be noted that in the use of the present toothbrush in which the brush heads are caused to move relatively by gripping pressure on the handle, some movement of the brush heads will be caused by unconscious variation in the pressure of the hand of the operator as he moves the brush back and forth. This minor move ment of the heads will cause a more or less rotary action to be imparted to the brush heads which is generally conceded to be an excellent method of thoroughly cleaning the teeth. Also this rotary action may be supplemented by a direct rotary action applied to the brush handle.

o m at tooth ush sh n i F ure 3 s ubs antial y iden c l h ha h wn in Elsures l and 2 except that the brush heads II and 12 and their shank portions H and I2 are formed integral with the handle l3, and therefore the reinforcing element l4 when used will not be provided with the threaded end portions. In other respects the brush and its operations are identical with the form previously described and its description need not be repeated.

Referring to Figures 4, 5 and 6, the brush [3 is identical with that shown in Figure 3, but for the purpose of illustrating the gum massage at.- tachment the brush of Figures 1 andZ could just as well have been employed.

The massage attachment, which is preferably formed of soft rubber, is indicated generally by the numeral 20, and is provided with an integrally formed loop portion 2| adapted to be engaged by the thumb if desired to assist in retaining it in position. The loop 2| is preferably shaped to correspond to the shape of the forward end of the brushhandle.

A rib 22 extends downwardly from the back of the massage device and is adapted to extend between the two brush heads. The lower edge of the rib 22 is provided with laterally extending flanges 23 which overlap the backs of the brush heads, and the inner end of the rib is provided with a wedge shaped extension 24 which is situated just beyond the inner ends of the brush heads. A flange 25 depends from the top of the massaging device to a point adjacent the back of the brush heads thereby practically enclosing the bristles.

To place the gum massaging attachment in position on the brush it is necessary that the handle be squeezed slightly so as to cause the brush heads to spread apart a suflicient distance to permit the entry of rib 22 and wedge 24 into position. Thereafter, pressure on the handle is released and the attachment is securely held in position.

The operative face of the massage device has been designed to eflectively create a circulation of blood in the gums to which it is applied. To this end the rubber surface is formed with depressions 26 adjacent its outer edges which act as vacuum cups in drawing blood toward the surface of the gums. Due however to the location of these vacuum cups near the outer edges of the attachment they will be spaced a substantial distance from the gum lines when in use and therefore will have no tendency whatever to draw the gums away from the teeth.

Extending from both sides of each of the vacuum cups 26 are series of ribs 21. These ribs are arranged at an angle of about 60 to a groove 28 which extends along the median line of the attachment. By this inclination of the ribs 21 it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that each stroke of the attachment will cause a flow of the blood first in one direction and then in the other thereby greatly stimulating the natural flow.

In Figure 8 a slightly modified form of brush is shown. In this form of the invention the handle 30 is substantially the same as the forms heretofore described, being provided with a bridge member 3| and with an imbedded reinforcing member 32. It differs from the pre viously described forms however in that the forward end of the handle as indicated at 33 is solid instead of being divided into two branches. Moreover, the double brush instead of being formed in two separate brush heads is formed in'an integral piece 34 with two sets of bristles 35 properly positioned at an anglewith the han die as in the other figures of the drawings.

I In this form of the invention the reinforcing member 32 is provided with a reinforcing plate .36 situated at the end of the handle and a threaded extension 31 for cooperation with a nut 38 imbedded in the head 34. This construction of course permits the removal of the brush head when worn out and the substitution of a new one just as in the embodiment of the invention shown in Figures 1 and 2.

The operation of the toothbrushes and the massage attachment have been fully described in connection with the detailed description of the structures and need not be here repeated.

From the foregoing description it will be apparent that I have devised a novel construction of toothbrush and massage device; that the brush is so designed as to permit the cleaning of all exposed surfaces of the teeth while maintaining the brush handle substantially parallel with the teeth, thus avoiding the necessity of difficult operation of the brush, presenting the bristles in proper relative position to the teeth and insuring a proper cleaning of the teeth; that by reason of the double brush as herein described the time required in effectively brushing the teeth may be reduced about one-half or more and that the cleaning operation is improved by the slight rotary action imparted to the brush heads by the natural variation in pressure applied to the handle during the cleaning operation; that by reason of the position of the bristles with respect to the handle the inner surfaces of the teeth may be cleaned without skillful manipulation of the handle; that when detachable heads are employed the right and left hand threaded connection thereof with the handle will avoid any tendency of the heads becoming loose by reason of pressure on the offset portions; that the brushes are so designed as to avoid any undue irritation of the gums; that a novel construction of effective massaging device has been provided and that it may be readily applied to and removed from the brush without the use of tools or ex- 7 traneous parts.

In accordance with the patent statutes I have described what I now believe to be the preferred construction of toothbrush and massaging attachment, but inasmuch as various minor changes may be made in the details of construction without departing from the spirit of the invention it is intended that all such changes be included within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A toothbrush comprising an elongated loopshaped handle formed of resilient and moldable material, said loop being divided at one end to provide two flexible branches, a bridge member extending transversely of the handle to form a fulcrum for the branches, an extension on the free end of each branch, said extensions being arranged in parallel and normally in contact throughout their length, and a brush head connected with each extension, the bristles of the brush heads being substantially normal to the plane of the handle.

2. A toothbrush comprising an elongated loopshaped handle formed of resilient and moldable material, said loop being divided at one end to provide two flexible branches, a bridge member extending transversely of the handle to form a fulcrum for the branches, an extension on the free end of each branch, said extensions being arranged in parallel and normally in contact throughout their length, and a brush head connected with each extension, said brush heads forming acute angles with the center line of the handle, the bristles of the brush heads being substantially normal to the plane of the handle.

3. A toothbrush comprising an elongated loopshaped handle formed of resilient and moldable material, said loop being divided at one end to provide two flexible branches, a bridge member extending transversely of the handle to form a fulcrum for the branches, an extension on the free end of each branch, said extensions being arranged in parallel and normally in contact throughout their length, a brush head connected with each extension, a side of each brush head integrally engaging the respective side of the handle, the bristles of the brush heads being substantially normal to the plane of the handle.

4. A toothbrush comprising an elongated loopshaped handle formed of resilient and moldable material, said loop being divided at one end to provide two flexible branches, a bridge member extending transversely of the handle to form a fulcrum for the branches, an extension on the free end of each branch, said extensions being arranged in parallel and normally in contact throughout their length, a brush head connected with each extension, and said extensions being flattened outwardly to form the brush heads.

5. A toothbrush comprising an elongated loopshaped handle formed of resilient and moldable material, said loop being divided at one end to provide two branches, an extension on the free end of each branch, said extensions being arranged in parallel and normally in contact throughout their length, a brush head connected with each extension, and a bridge member extending transversely of the handle adjacent the divided end thereof to provide a fulcrum.

6. A toothbrush comprising an elongated loopshaped handle formed of resilient and moldable material, said loop being divided at one end to provide two branches, an extension on the free end of each branch, said extensions being arranged in parallel and normally in contact throughout their length, a brush head connected with each extension, an arcuate bridge member extending transversely of the handle with its end portions merging into the branches of the loop, and a reinforcing member located in the bridge member and extending through the free ends of the handle.

7. A toothbrush comprising a loop-shaped handle formed of resilient material, one end of the loop being formed to provide legs, a bridge member extending transversely of the handle, and dividing the handle into two loops, a U-shaped reinforcing element having its base embedded in the bridge member and its branches embedded in portions of the legs of the handle with portions extending outwardly beyond the same, said outward extensions being formed with screw threads, a pair of brush heads, and a nut fixed to each of the brush heads and adapted to engage the threaded extensions.

JOHN W. KUHN.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4654921 *Jan 16, 1986Apr 7, 1987Dinner Mark E WToothbrushes
US5048143 *Oct 23, 1990Sep 17, 1991Carroll David TTeething brush
US5105499 *Mar 1, 1991Apr 21, 1992The Procter & Gamble CompanyToothbrush having handle joined to brush head by non-pinching flexible twin beam structure
US5146645 *Mar 1, 1991Sep 15, 1992The Procter & Gamble CompanyToothbrush employing resiliently buckling arch to indicate excessive brushing pressure
US5222272 *Feb 12, 1992Jun 29, 1993Kabushiki Kaisha Y.S. Park New YorkBrush
US5272784 *Aug 12, 1991Dec 28, 1993Levin Samuel NToothbrush handle
US5291878 *Jul 14, 1992Mar 8, 1994Steve LombardoBaby teething gum massager
US5471702 *Jan 13, 1995Dec 5, 1995Chesebrough-Pond's Usa Co., Division Of Conopco, Inc.Toothbrush with lateral stroke correcting features
US5485807 *Apr 11, 1994Jan 23, 1996B & G Ventures, Inc.Hand-held brush
US5511273 *Aug 22, 1995Apr 30, 1996Preventive Dental Specialties, Inc.Variable engagement toothbrush
US5623739 *Oct 10, 1995Apr 29, 1997Thompson; RoxanneToddler/child toothbrush
US5987690 *May 29, 1996Nov 23, 1999Heuler; UweResilient toothbrush
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US6289546Mar 29, 1999Sep 18, 2001Stephen D. HaradaToothbrush and method of fabricating same
US6292973 *Apr 29, 1999Sep 25, 2001Robert MoskovichToothbrush having controlled head movement
US7039984 *Nov 24, 2000May 9, 2006Johnson And JohnsonHandle for tooth cleaning member
US7526828 *Feb 21, 2006May 5, 2009Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare Gmbh & Co KgToothbrush
US8156995Apr 20, 2009Apr 17, 2012Rite-Hite Holding CorporationDoor element
US8166600 *Oct 23, 2008May 1, 2012Byung-Taek LeeToothbrush for pet dog
US8540007Apr 13, 2012Sep 24, 2013Rite-Hite Holding CorporationDoor element
US8572794Aug 26, 2011Nov 5, 2013Dilcia Yamileth PateOral-care brushing implement
US20100101036 *Oct 23, 2008Apr 29, 2010Byung-Taek LeeToothbrush for pet dog
DE2752118A1 *Nov 22, 1977May 23, 1979G R P Ges Fuer Rationelle PsycZahnbuerste
EP0760220A2 *Aug 20, 1996Mar 5, 1997Preventive Dental Specialties, Inc.Variable engagement toothbrush
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/167.1, 15/143.1
International ClassificationA46B9/04, A46B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA46B9/04, A46B2200/1066, A46B17/00
European ClassificationA46B17/00, A46B9/04