US 2651068 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 8, 1953 K. SEKO I CONFORMABLE TOOTHBRUSH AND TONGUE SCRAPER Filed NOV. 18, 1950 KAICHI SEKO linventor r y (Ittornegs Patented Sept. 8, 1953 CONFGRMABEE TO OTHBR-U'SH TONGUE SGRAPER .Kaichi .Scko, seattle, Wash assignor of onefourth to Min Tsubota, Seattla'Wa'sh.
Application November 18, 1950, Serial.No..1- 96,s87
This present invention relates to the general art of all cleaning devices and consists essentially of a toothbrush element which :is separable from a long tapering handle at the endof which is provided a ring which serves the dual purpose of providing a convenient pivot about which to rotate the toothbrush handle and at the same time the ring may be used as a tongue scraper to further simplify oral hygiene. With the toothbrush so arranged it is possible by the rotation of the toothbrush generally along itslongitudinal axis to thus present the cleaning bristles in a most efficient manner to the various irregularities and spaces between the teeth.
A large variety of toothbrush arrangements have been provided in the past each striving to simplify the efficient cleaning of the teeth Those devices which have :been studied however, usuahly provide .for the ease of cleaning in certain directions or in certain parts of the tooth structure or oral cavity but they achieve this characteristic by means which work to the detriment of other positions of use. The need for a scraping means for the cleaning of the upper surface of the tongue has long been recognized and many devices have been created for this purpose, some of them very simple as evidenced by the bamboo type of tongue cleaner which has been used in the past by the Japanese people especially.
Usually scrapers of this order have been applied as separate units and their utility has been greatly reduced by virtue of the fact they are quite often mislaid and generally are not readily obtainable during the toothbrushing operation.
In my present invention I have provided :a
to easily reach particularly the normally inaccessible crevices in betweentooth spaces it must be possible to conveniently rotate the brush so that the most suitable presentation of the bristles can be made. To achieve this I provide a ring on the end of the handle which is mounted so as to swivel thereon and to have this ring sufficiently large to accommodate a nnger other than the .indexifinger to theend that the toothbrush may be easily and conveniently rotated 5 Claims. (01.15-111) 2 and yet be held securely in any desired position.
The principal object of my present invention therefore is to provide a combination toothbrush and tongue scraper in which the tongue scraper element has as a prime purpose the provision of a swivel handle portion so that the toothbrush as a whole can be conveniently swiveled about a point adjacent one finger of the hand while the toothbrush is rotated between the thumb and forefinger of the same hand.
A further object of this invention is to provide a toothbrush in which the brush itself is positioned in an offset relationship from the axis of the handle "with the end of the bristle tufts being generally along the longitudinal axis of the handle so that fuller advantage can be taken of the rotating feature of my toothbrush.
A further object of my invention is to provide a removable toothbrush unit which can be conveniently secured to the handle portion and to have the back plate of the toothbrush so rounded and curved that fullest advantage of the rotary "action of the brush can be taken and many parts of "the tooth structure can be brushed with greater convenience.
A further object is to provide, in conjunction with a toothbrush, a swivel mounted scraper element arranged so that the scraper will lie flat on the tongue surface being scraped without .stri-ot attention on the part of the user to the exact positioning of the tooth brush handle.
Further objects, advantages and capabilities will be apparent from the description and disclosure in the drawings, or may be comprehended or are inherent in the device.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective view showing a preferred form of my toothbrush and tongue scraper;
Figure 2 is a side elevation of the toothbrush end of my device, the same being shown partly in section to show the manner of attaching the brush to the handle and its alignment therewith;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary sectional view. taken on a plane through the longitudinal axis. of the lower portion of the toothbrush and cutting through the ring scraper element;
Figure 4 is a fragmentary face view of that portion of the toothbrush shown in Figure -3 and particularly illustrating the scraper ring.
Referring more particularly to the disclosure in the drawings, the numeral it designates the handle of my toothbrush. This maybe rormed 55 of any suitable materiali However ltlends itself best to being molded from various plastic materials. In the larger end which is drawn to a conical form I, preferably, provide a metal insert l2 which can be molded into the handle during its manufacture and be provided with preformed threads so as to accept the joiner portion M of the toothbrush member 16. The use of a bushing is desirable at this point in that normally several brushes 16 will be used from time to time as they become deformed in use. With a single handle ID the bushing forms an adequate means for taking care of the extra wear that would be occasioned on the threads if they were formed within the body proper of handle [0. The toothbrush I6 is provided with a plurality of bristle tufts l8 and while the tufting may take any desired form a preferred structure is to provide transverselydisposed V shaped ends for each tuft of bristles after the showing of Figures 1 and 2. This permits great ease in cleaning between teeth particularly when the brush itself may be conveniently rotated so as to bring the apex of the V portions in alignment with the crevices between the teeth.
In order to provide for maximum utility of the brush and to take full advantage of the capacity for easy rotation in the hand about its longitudinal axis I prefer that the general plane of the outstanding ends of the bristle tufts start substantially in the same plane as the longitudinal axis of handle [0, and to have the balance of the tufts disposed with their ends further from the plane of the handle, progressively to the end of the brush. This is quite different from the usual toothbrush where the bristle are normally on the opposite side of the brush as it is used. To achieve this result without interfering with handle 10, which preferably should be straight, I provide an ogee extension illustrated at 20 and 22 to connect the joiner portion l4 and the back of the brush I6, curve 22 being of lesser degree than curve 20. This ogee is formed by the two oppositely disposed curves shown at 26 and 22 in Figure 2 of the drawings. With the bristles this angularity disposed with the handle the brush fits the teeth better and the'minimum movement of the head or hand is required when changing from one side of the oral cavity to the other. At this time it is desired to call attention to the curve of the brush back and the fact that the end is fully rounded and the sloped portion where the ogee curves 28 and 22 are disposed are rounded and reduced in cross section to the minimum compatible with the desirable strength of the brush. Such an arrangement is of great value in providing a brush that can be conveniently placed at any desired point against the tooth structure in the mouth.
At the opposite end of handle 10 I provide a ring 30 which for most convenient operation should be just sufiiciently large enough so that the largest finger of the probable user of the brush can be freely inserted in the same. This ring is provided with a hub portion 32 which is adapted to encircle a reduced neck portion 34 in handle l0 and when in position either the material of the handle is swedged to form a retaining rivet head-like boss 35 or a separate member provided for this purpose. With most plastic materials this can be formed from the plastic during the assembly operations if done at the proper time in the curing cycle of the plastic.
Referring especially to Figure 2, it will be noted that brush supporting member forms, in effeet, a lever offset from the longitudinal axis of handle l0. As handle I0 is rotated by thumb and forefinger and more or less free to rotate about its longitudinal axis as supported for rotation by the little finger in ring 30, when bristle tufts I8 are forced against the users teeth brush supporting member [6 tends to swing about said longitudinal axis to a position opposite the teeth with the bristle tufts normal to the surface of the teeth. In this way the user can swiftly and automatically orient the bristle tufts in a position normal to the surface of the teeth, the proper position for presenting a toothbrush to teeth.
To insure that ring 30 will serve its secondary purpose as a scraper element, it is best provided with sharpened edges as are illustrated in 38 and 39, especially in Figure 3. When so arranged the device is most convenient to use in slipping on and off the finger but the rather sharp edges, not sharp in the sense of cutting, but sharp in the sense only of being reduced to a thin edge, have been found to be most satisfactory in scrap ing the upper surface of the tongue and at times may be used for scraping other portions of the oral cavity.
In Figure 1 of the drawings I have illustrated the form of handle l0 which has proved most satisfactory in general use. In this the handle should be reasonably slender and have sufficient length so that either end of the device can be placed well back in the mouth. Then, it has been found for use of the brush portion that some substantial body is required, therefore the brush end of the handle is enlarged considerably over the opposite end because this is normally the point where the toothbrush pressure is applied. When the brush is not used and the scraper element is used, then again the principal gripping portion is the enlarged end of handle Hi.
It has been found that when using the brush, particularly a brush of this order, in which every attempt is made to make it convenient to reach portions of the tooth structure, that normally are diiiicult of access, that fluted or grooved sides on the handle are very desirable so that when the user picks up the brush and grasps the same normally by thumb and forefinger pressing on diametrically opposite sides on flutes 40, this position can be maintained and there is always a basis of reference for the user during the operational use of the device. I have found the fluted or grooved polygonal shape illustrated in the drawings in Figure 1 to be most convenient.
It is believed that it will be clearly apparent from the above description and the disclosure in the drawings that the invention comprehends a novel construction of a conformable toothbrush and tongue scraper.
Having thus disclosed the invention, I claim:
1. A toothbrush, comprising: an elongated handle having in transverse cross-section a symmetrical shape with the distance between opposite sides substantially uniform; a swivel member secured to one end of said handle by a swivel connection; a brush supporting member secured to the other end of said handle; bristle tufts secured to one side of said brush supporting member; and a portion of said brush supporting member extending at an angle to the longitudinal axis of said handle, positioning the tips of said bristle tufts close to the longitudinal axis of said handle, whereby, when the user engages said swivel member with a little finger and supports said handle with other digits, said bristle tufts will tend toassume a position normal to tooth surfaces against which they are pressed.
2. A toothbrush, comprising: an elongated handle having in transverse cross-section a symmetrical shape with the distance between opposite sides substantially uniform; a brush supporting member joining with one end of said handle; bristle tufts secured to one side of said brush supporting member; a portion of said brush supporting member extending at an angle to the longitudinal axis of said handle, positioning the tips of said bristle tufts close to the longitudinal axis of said handle; a ring shaped member having a hub portion at one side, and the other end of said handle having a portion of reduced diameter rotatably positioned in said hub portion, said handle having a, portion of increased diameter joining with said portion of reduced diameter and lying inside of said ring shaped member thereby securing said hub portion in place, whereby, when the user grasps said toothbrush with digits supporting said handle and a digit positioned in said ring shaped member, said bristle tufts will tend to assume a position normal to tooth surfaces against which they bear.
3. A toothbrush, comprising: an elongated handle portion having in transverse cross-section a polygonal, symmetrical shape with the distance between opposite sides substantially uniform; a brush supporting portion having substantially an ogee extension from one end of said handle portion by which means the main portion of said brush supporting portion lies at one side of the longitudinal axis of said handle portion; bristle tufts secured to said brush supporting portion with the main portion of said bristle tufts lying at the same side of said longitudinal axis of said handle portion as said main portion of said brush supporting member; and a ring mounted on the other end of said handle portion in a manner permitting rotation of said ring about a diameter thereof lying on the longitudinal axis of said handle portion, whereby, when the user positions a little finger in said ring and supports said handle portion with other digits, said bristle tufts will tend to assume a position normal to tooth surfaces against which they are pressed.
4. -A toothbrush, comprising: an elongated handle; a brush supporting member secured to one end of said handle; bristle tufts secured to one side of said brush supporting member; a portion of said brush supporting member extending at an angle to the longitudinal axis of said handle, positioning the tips of said bristle tufts close to the longitudinal axis of said handle; a swivel member secured to the other end of said handle by a swivel connection, said swivel member having an opening extending therethrough centered on the longitudinal axis of said handle, whereby, when the user positions a little finger in said opening and supports said handle with other digits, said bristle tufts will tend to assume a position normal to tooth surfaces against which they are pressed.
5. A toothbrush, comprising: an elongated handle; a brush supporting member secured to one end of said handle; bristle tufts secured to one side of said brush supporting member; a portion of said brush supporting member extending at an angle to the longitudinal axis of said handle, positioning the tips of said bristle tufts close to the longitudinal axis of said handle; a swivel member secured to the other end of said handle by a swivel connection, said swivel member having an opening extending therethrough centered on the longitudinal axis of said handle, whereby, when the user positions a little finger in said opening and supports said handle with other digits, said bristle tufts will tend to assume a position normal to tooth surfaces against which they are pressed, and said swivel member having a sharpened edge extending laterally of said longitudinal axis of said handle forming tongue scraping means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date D. 122,815 Crosby Oct. 1, 1940 1,128,139 Hoffman Feb. 9, 1915 1,470,710 Davis Oct. 16, 1923 2,049,956 Greenberg Aug. 4, 1936 2,130,661 Zaebst 'Sept. 20, 1938 2,405,029 Gallantry et al. July 30, 1946 2,414,775 Stavely Jan. 21, 1947 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 640,015 France of 1928