US 2847003 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
8" 1958 N. D. HELMER ET AL 2,847,003'
PROTECTIVE MOUTHPIECE Filed Oct. 22, 1956 M/PMAN D. HJELMEQ, ,F QED .71. l-Zi s'mn,
ied Sa e. Pa
The present invention relates generally to sporting goods, and more particularly toan improved mouth guardforfootball. players, paratroopers, and others engaged in such strenuous physical activities;
Although the use of mouth guards to protect the teeth of persons engaged in physical activities, hereinafter referred to generally as players, is by no means new, de-
' vices of this type previously available have been found to'be uncomfortable to wear, hampered the users breathing, ,or seriously interfered with. speech when'in a pro-- tective position.
The major objects of the present invention are to provide-amouth guard that eliminates the disadvantages of a previously available devices of this nature, is'compact, light in weight, tends at all times to remain in a protective position,- and can be easily and quickly removed from or positioned in a players mouth.
Other objects of the invention are to supply a-mouth guardthat is'easily and quickly cleaned, can be fabri cated from standard commercially available materials, and due to its structural simplicity, can be retailed at a sufficiently low price as to encourage its widespread use in those sports involving danger to the teeth.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred form thereof, and from the accompanying drawing illustrating same in which:
Figure 1 is a side elevational view of the invention affixed to the chin strap of a football helmet shown in a protective position;
Figure 2 is an enlarged vertical cross-sectional view of the device showing the manner in which it serves to protect the wearers teeth;
Figure 3 is a top plan view of the invention;
Figure 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the device taken on line 4-4 of Figure 3; and
Figure 5 is a rear perspective view of the invention.
Referring now to Figure 1 of the drawing, it will be seen that a helmet A is positioned on the head B of a player and is removably held in this protective position by a chin strap C. The invention as best seen in Figures 3 and 5, includes a resilient band D that can be removably affixed to strap C, and due to the resiliency thereof, tends at all times to maintain a semi-circular resilient, tooth protector E in a protective position relative to the players upper teeth F and lower teeth G. In practice it has been found desirable to mold band C and protector D as an integral unit from rubber, or other material having similar resilient qualities.
In detail the tooth protector E includes a flat semicircular cushion 10, which when the invention is in use, is positioned between the users upper teeth F and lower teeth G. A rib 12 extends upwardly from the forward curved edge portion of cushion 10. The interior face 12a of rib 12 tapers slightly upwardly and rearwardly, to the extent that it can be positioned in contact with the forward faces of the upper teeth F. The exterior face 12b of rib 12 curves downwardly and forwardly,
Patented Aug. 12, 1958 and is of such configuration as to be comfortable when the invention is positioned as shown in Figure 2, with the upper portion of face 12b in contact with the interior surface of the upper lip 14.
A curved, straight-walled second rib 16 is formed at substantially the center of cushion 10 and in alignment with band D, which rib is so laterally spaced from rib 12 that teeth F tend to be gripped therebetween. Band D, as may best be seen in Figure 5, extends outwardly from cushion 10 in substantial alignment with-rib 16. Due to the resiliency of the material from which it is fabricated, band D assumes the forwardly and down- I wardly extending position shown inFigure 5, when the cushion 10 is held in a substantially horizontal position.
Band D is formed with a first portion 18 that extends outwardly from cushion 10 and then develops into a second portion 20 which is thinner than the portion 18.
A transverse shoulder 22 is defined by the junction of band portions -18 and 20. Second band portion 20 has a transversely disposed tab 24 formed on the free end thereof.
At substantially the lower central portion of chin strap C two spaced parallelslits 30 and 32 are formed through which the second hand portion 20 is threaded. Band portion 20 is disposed on the interior surface of strap C, with tab 24 being situated on the exterior surface thereof. Tab 24 is longer than slit'32 whereby it cannot without the exertion of considerable force be moved inwardly through the slit.-
In Figure 2 it will be seen that band portion 18 is thicker than the width of slit 30 and that shoulder 22 prevents downward movement of thefirst band portion therethrough. Band portions 22 and 24 are of such Iengthth'at' when theprotector E is disposed on the teeth.
F in a protective position, the band D bows upwardly and outwardly as shown in solid line in Figure 2. When band D is thus positioned it serves two functions; first, prevents inadvertent separation of protector E from chin strap C, and second, at all times urges protector E upwardly into a protecting position on the teeth F. When protector E is manually removed from the mouth, the protector simply hangs downwardly on the lower end of band D as shown in phantom line in Figure 2.
In use, the operation of the invention is extremely simple, and inasmuch as it has been explained in detail hereinabove, need not be repeated.
From experience it has been foundthat the majority of accidents to athletes teeth are not actual loss of teeth from a sudden blow, but chipping or cracking thereof when the unprotected teeth F and G are suddenly and jarringly brought together. Resilient cushion 10 completely prevents such contact of teeth F and G, and the rib 12 protects the longer, more vulnerable upper teeth F against a sudden blow. In particular, it is to be noted that the mouthpiece provides the above-described protection, yet permits the user to talk freely and to breath in an unhampered manner.
Although the form of the invention herein shown and described is fully capable of achieving the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore mentioned, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment thereof and that we do not mean to limit ourselves to the details of construction herein shown and described other than as defined in the appended claims.
1. A protective mouthpiece for the upper and lower teeth of a person wearing a helmet having a chin strap afiixed thereto, including: a resilient generally semi-circular cushion that is adapted to be positioned between said upper and lower teeth; first resilient means that extend upwardly from at least a portion of the forward edge of which first: andsecondmeans ,are solaterally spaced,
thatthey tend-to .grip atleast a portion of said, upper teeth therebetween; and third resilient means :aifixedto' said cushion, having attaching means for connection-with a chin'strap.
2. A mouthpiece as defined in claim 1 in which said first means is a curved rib of the same general shape as the edge portion of said cushion from Which it projects.
3. A mouthpiece as definedin claim 1 in which said second means is a curved rib of the same general shape as the rearward edge portion of the cushion from which it projects.
4. A mouthpiece as defined in claim 1 in whichsaid third resilient means is a resilient band of such length as to bow forwardly when the lower end portion thereof is attached to a chin strap.
5. A mouthpiece as defined in claim 1 in which said third resilient means is a resilient band, and said attaching means is a transversely disposed tab provided on the outer end portion of said band that can be in- SCI'tCd through, at least one slit of smaller dimensions than said tab formed in a chin strap.
6. A mouthpiece as defined in claim 1.in which said third'resilient means is a resilient band that is formed with a free end portion of narrower thickness than the balance of said band which defines a transverse shoulder at the junction therewith, which band has a transversely disposed tab formed on the extremity thereof, with said shoulder and tab serving to define said attaching means for connection with a chin strap havingtwo spaced slits formed therein when said-free end portion is threaded through said slits.
7. A protective mouthpiece for the upper and lower teeth of a person wearing a helmet having a chinstrapm aflixed thereto, including: a resilient generally semicircular cushion that is adapted to be positioned between said upper and lower teeth; a first rib formed of resilient material that extends upwardly from the forward edge portion of said cushion, which rib is of such height as to be positioned between the interior surface of the upper lip and the exterior surfaces of said upper teeth; a second rib formedof resilient material that extends upwardly from at least a portion ofthe rearward edge portionof said cushion, which first and second ribs are so laterally positioned that a cavity is formed therein in which said upper teeth are) situated; and resilient 'meansconnccted to said cushion and having attaching means for connection with a chin strap.
8. A mouthpiece as defined in claim 7 in which said means is a resilient band and said attaching means is a transversely disposed tab formed on the outerend of said band that can be inserted through at least one slit-of-- smallertdimensions that said-tab formedin a chin'strap.
9. A mouthpiecetas defined in claim 7 in which said It means is a resilient band that is formed with a free end portionwofnarrower thickness. than the balance of said 1 band which defines a transverse shoulder at the junction therewith, which band'has a transversely disposed tab formed on the extremity thereof, with said shoulder'and tab serving to define said attaching means forconnectionwith a chin strap having two spaced slits formed therein.- 10. A mouthpiece .as defined in. claim 7 in which said cushion, first and second ribs and said means are formed as an integral unit.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,521,039 Carpenter Sept. 5,1950