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Publication numberUS2819482 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1958
Filing dateAug 5, 1954
Priority dateAug 5, 1954
Publication numberUS 2819482 A, US 2819482A, US-A-2819482, US2819482 A, US2819482A
InventorsHoward T Applegate
Original AssigneeEugene F Traub
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tooth cleaning and gum massaging instrument
US 2819482 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jani 14, 1958 H. 'r. APPLEGATE 2,819,482


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- INVENTORQI w/mefi ZAP/M5475 BY Q g I ATTORNEYS United States Patent i TOOTH CLEANING AND GUM MASSAGING INSTRUMENT Howard T. Applegate, Larchmont, N. Y., assignor of onehalf to Eugene F. Traub, New York, N. Y.

Application August 5, 1954, Serial No. 448,031

1 Claim. (Cl. 15-110) This invention relates to an instrument for cleaning teeth and massaging the mucous membrane of the mouth approximating the gingival portions of the teeth, commonly called the gums.

One object of this invention is to provide an improved form of tooth cleaning instrument by means of which the surfaces of the teeth are cleaned by an erasing action.

Another object of this invention is to provide a device of this type in which the operative head consists of a combination of bristles, an encasing resilient body of some suitable material such as sponge rubber and plastic materials of similar physical characteristics.

Other and more detailed objects of the invention will be apparent from the following disclosure of the several embodiments thereof illustrated in the attached drawings.

In the drawings,

Figure 1 is a plan view of one form of instrument in accordance with this invention;

Figure 2 is a side elevational view thereof;

Figure 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of Figure l; and

Figure 4 is a longitudinal, central, vertical, cross-sectional view of the head of a modified form of cleaning instrument in accordance with this invention.

The ordinary toothbrush is notoriously ineffective in thoroughly cleaning the teeth and has the disadvantage of causing mechanical destruction of tooth substance and peridental membrane fibers. A stiff bristle brush as commonly used produces actual abrasion of the tooth enamel and recession of the mucous membrane from the gingival portions of the teeth. This exposes the less dense structure of the teeth, the cementum, to the fluids of the mouth.

A broad purpose of this invention is to avoid all of these disadvantages and provide a tooth cleaning instrument which really cleans the teeth by an erasing action on the surfaces thereof and a picking action on their interproximal surfaces. In addition, the device is capable of massaging the gums without injury to them.

As illustrated in the drawings, the device includes a handle 10 of any suitable material, preferably molded from some of the modern natural and synthetic plastic materials. It is desirable that the body portion 10 be mildly flexible yet sufficiently rigid so that proper pressure can be applied to the teeth at its head end. Molded in the handle 10 at one end are a series of groups of bristles 12 of any suitable material. It will be noted that the bristles are arranged in transversely extending but longitudinally spaced groups and that they have their free ends tapered to a wedgelike form, as is clear from Figure 3. handle in any of the usually available methods.

Surrounding the bristle groups is a body 14 of resilient material which completely encloses and contacts the bristle groups throughout a major portion of the length thereof but leaves them exposed for a relatively short distance at their upper ends. The body 14 is secured to the These groups of bristles are secured in the 2,819,482 Patented Jan. 14, 1958 ice handle 10 in any suitable manner, as for example by mechanical attachment, by a suitable cement or adhesive or by an interlock molded construction.

As is clear from Figure 3, the top surfaces of the body 14 between the bristle groups are given a smooth curved form, preferably circular. The body 14 is partially d1- vided between the bristle groups, as indicated by the lines 1d, so that the upper halves of the body sections and bristles can be afforded some relatively lateral movement with respect to each other in use.

The resilient body 14 can bemade of any suitable flexible material of which soft or sponge rubber is an example. It will be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to a particular body of material as any substantially soft deformable natural or synthetic material may be used which has characteristics similar to fluid or sponge rubber.

The other end of the handle 10 has a single group of bristles 18, which group can be circular in cross-section, brought to a point, as clearly indicated in the drawings. Surrounding the base of this bristle group is a body 20 of material similar to that of the body 14. The body 20 can be molded around the bristles so as to be permanently attached thereto. The lower end of the bristle group 18 is secured in any suitable formof externally threaded ferrule so that this unit can be threaded into a corresponding threaded hole in the handle. The ferrule 22 could be of a sufficiently hard plastic material suitable for the purpose. This is illustrative since anysuitable method of attaching this unit to the handle may be employed.

The modification shown in Figure 4 is generally similar to the head end of the previous structure. In this case as before, a series of bristle groups 42, extending across the head, are molded in a handle 40 or otherwise secured thereto. Surrounding these bristle groups is a resilient body 44 which is substantially rectangular in form or at least its top surface is planar. -It is not provided with slots nor is it surface curved as in the previous case. This modification operates quite similar to the previous one when the body 44 is made of still softer resilient material such as a very soft rubber, as for example sponge rubber, so that when pressure is applied to its top surface it will be depressed to fit around the outside of the tooth surfaces. The body 14 of the: previous arrangement is preferably made of a harder material for which reason its tooth surface is provided with a series of transversely extending longitudinally curved surfaces 24 as previously mentioned.

It will be understood, of course, that the various bristle groups can be made of any suitable material such as natural bristles, synthetic plastic bristles and the like. The bristle group tips extend approximately one-quarter inch beyond the topmost surface of the bodies 14 and 44, but this is not a rigid dimension since it can be varied, depending somewhat upon the resiliency of these bodies. The bristles should extend a suflicient distance under pressure when the instrument is in use so that they will enter the embrasures between the teeth and clean the int-erproximal spaces and surfaces.

The incisions 16 are provided so that the instrument can adjust itself in use to surround the exposed surfaces of the teeth and effect an erasing action both on small and large teeth simultaneously. An example: the incisions permit the bristles to enter the embrasures in the molar region under pressure by permitting the incisions to open up. In the bicuspid region the head is so proportioned that the bristles will fit around the teeth Without requiring the incisions to open up.

The single bristle group at the other end of the handle provides what may be termed a multiple toothpick. The conical resilient body 20 surrounding the bristles can effect an erasing action on the approximal teeth surfaces as the bristles are ,usedina picking action.

This device permits of a novel method of cleaning the teeth. When the head is charged with a dentifrice it is inserted in the mouthwith the bristles pointing upwardly so that their tips can come in contact with the muco buccal fold, which of course is the place wherethe cheek meets the socalled gums.

The side of the instrument having the largest exposed surface of rubber-like material is placed against the mucous membrane of the maxilla. A downward stroke is then started in the direction of the teeth with some pressurev against the mucosa, increasing in intensity as the stroke proceeds and completing the stroke Whenthe interproximal spaces are reached. Thiseffects a massaging action of the gums. The instrument is then rotated on its longitudinal axis slightly, permitting the tips of the bristles to enter :the, interproximal spaces. With the axes of the bristles .:at right angles to the long axes :of the teeth, pressure is applied so that the bristlesenter the interproximal spaces and both the concave and convex surfaces of the teeth are engaged by the top surfaces of the. bodies 14 or 44. Since the body 14 is relatively denser than .the body-44, the curvedsurfaces '24 insure complete tooth surface contact. In the-case of the softer body 44, its :top surface is depressed so that it fitsaround the teeth. Theresult is that the bristles'penetrate the interproximal spaces and thebody portion is in maximum contact .with the .buccalsurfaces of the-teeth. With the head thus .firmly held the handle is given a'directed back andaforth motion .in a horizontal plane for a limiteddistance, say approximatelyone-eighthinch. This causes a scrubbingand polishing action on the surface of the teeth and the working of the ends of the bristles in the inter proximal spaces to dislodge any foreign material. The operation .is then completed by directing the head "downwardly towards the grindingor cutting edges of the teeth, while holding. it .firmly against them,-so as to improve the tendency :to. sweep .any debris downward and out of the .embrasures.

In addition the flexible body portions 14 or 44 effect an erasing and polishing action on the buccal surfaces removing any stains. These steps are repeated around the mouth buccally and lingually; maxilla and mandible separately, with each operationoverlapping the preceding one. The occlusal surfaces of .the bicuspids and molars can be easily cleaned bya rotary motionof the bristle side of the instrument on these surfaces.

Finally, interproximal space cleaning can be completed with either end of the. instrument which operates quite similar to a toothpick with no injurious consequences to themucousmembrane. .The conical rubber body 20 also erases stains and removes any foreign material from the interproximal surfaces.

It is preferable in accordance with this invention that the bristle groups be unattached to the resilient bodies 14 and 44 so that the upper surfaces of these bodies can be depressed around the bristle groups thereby permitting variation in the exposure length of the groups when the bodies are under pressure.

From the above description it will be apparent that I have devised a novel and obviously very-efiective cleaning instrument which also serves to massage the gums withoutinjury to them. The novel subject matter of this invention can be embodied in various physical forms, and I do not, therefore, desire to be limited to the examples herein given but only as required by the appended claim.

What is claimed is:

.A gum massaging and .tooth cleaning implement comprising in combination a substantially rigid handle and a head at one end comprising a .plurality of groups of bristles longitudinally spaced along said handle and a solid erasing body of resilient material in which said bristle groups are embedded to a point to leave only the ends exposed'for a .short distance, the resilient material between .the bristle groups assuming under pressure the surface contour of the exposed and approximal surfaces of the teeth andthe exposed ends of the bristle groups entering the interproximalspaces, said erasing body being longitudinally curved and transversely slit between the bristle groups.

References Cited in the file of this patent UITITED STATES PATENTS 1,128,139 Hofiman. Feb. 9, 1915 1,191,556 Blake July 18, 1916 1,588,785 Van Sant June 15, 1926 1,598,224 Van Sant Aug-31, 1926 2,042,239 Blanding May 26, 1936 2,117,174 Jones May 10, 1938 2,668,308 Grossman Feb. 9, 1954 2,679,063 Hofimann May 25, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 38,440 "France "Mar. 3, 1931 (2nd addition to 647,642) 207,195 Switzer'land Jan. 16, 1940

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U.S. Classification15/110, 15/106, 15/167.1, 15/114
International ClassificationA46B9/04, A61H13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA46B2200/1066, A46B9/04, A46B5/0016, A61H13/005
European ClassificationA46B5/00A6, A46B9/04, A61H13/00B