US 2882544 A
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ATTORNEY United States Patent() TOOTH BRUSH Puzant H. Hadidian, Beirut, Lebanon Application October 23, 1957, Serial No. 691,966
2 Claims. (Cl. 15-167) i' This invention relates to an improved tooth brush.
Teeth are generally wider at the chewing surfaces than at the gum line so that generally triangular voids which are known as the interproximal spaces are formed between the teeth. These spaces are enlarged in the pres-- ence of pathologic conditions which cause the gums to recede as well as when the gums recede due to old age. Also, the, surfaces of the teeth present high spots, low spots and other irregularities which, together with the inter-z proximal spaces referred to, tend to retain food particles, the decay of which promotes dental caries, infections and other unhealthy conditions.
In order properly to clean the interproximal spaces and other normally inaccessible surfaces, it has been proposed to provide tooth brushes with bristles of different lengths, o'r tufts of bristles with irregular contours. It has also been proposed to make the effective surfaces of the bristles convex or concave. In some cases bristles, or the tufts of bristles, have been rigidly secured to a rigid back and, in some other cases, the bristles, or the tufts of bristles, have been secured to a more or less flexible or resilient back. In all cases, the constructions have been such that, if a relatively light pressure were applied, the effective surfaces of the bristles only contacted the high spots of the teeth, thus leaving the interproximal spaces and other depressions untouched. If suicient pressure were applied to insure entry of some of the bristles into the otherwise inaccessible areas, the remaining bristles were subjected to a pressure of an order calculated to cause erosion of the dentine.
One object of this invention is to produce an improved tooth brush which is capable of reaching, and properly cleaning, the interproximal spaces and other normally inaccessible depressions without subjecting the high spots of the teeth to excessive, or eroding, pressure.
The ideal tooth brush should consist of a single tuft, or of a relatively small group of bristles, which can work on the high spots and which is capable of entering the interproximal spaces and other depressions. A brush provided with a single tuft is highly impractical because of the length of time it would take to clean each tooth and space, one at a time.
It is therefore a further object of the invention to produce an improved tooth brush which has the usual large number of tufts, but which operates, or functions, in the same manner as if the brush had a single tuft.
More specifically, the object of the invention is to provide a tooth brush having a number of tufts or bristles, each of which is individually movable relative to the other tufts and in which the tufts are urged toward the teeth with a controlled yielding pressure so as to prevent the application of eroding pressure.
It has heretofore been proposed to use means for applying yielding pressure to the tufts of a tooth brush as shown, for example, in Neff Patent No. 2,482,928 of September 26, 1949, and in Hoffman Patent No. 2,679,063 of May 25, 1954. In structures of this type, each tuft is backed by, or bears against a resilient cushion and the movement of each tuft is wholly independent of, and has 2,882,544 Patented Apr. 21, 1959 ice no effect on, the movement of the other tufts. In other words, the structures referred to perimt a tuft in contact with an outwardly projecting tooth to move outwardly, but these structures are incapable of simultaneously urging a tuft corresponding to a receding tooth into contact with said tooth.
It is, therefore, a still further object of the invention to provide an improved construction wherein the pressure exerted on a tuft in contact with an outwardly projecting tooth will urgey anadjacent tuft into contacty with a receding tooth A'so as to insure that all teeth will be contacted by a substantially even pressure.
The full nature of the invention will be understood from the following specification and the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of a tooth brush embodying my invention.
Fig. 2 is a transverse vertical sectional View taken on line 2 2 on Fig. 2.
Fig. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view taken online 3--3 of Fig. 2 showing the brush at rest.` v
. Fig. 4 is similar to Fig. 3, showing the brush in actual use on an average set of teeth. Y
Fig. 5 is a plan view of an elastic diaphrgam which is usedr in the embodiment of Fig. 1.
Fig. 6 is, an elevational view ofv a tooth brush similar to that shown in Fig. 1, but in...which the tufts are urged with another embodiment of the invention.
. In all of the embodiments, the tooth brush includes' a;
conventional handle 10 and a tuft supporting end portion 12 which carries tufts 14 formed of suitable bristles, the upper ends of which are bound in a casing 16. Also, in all embodiments, supporting portion 12 of the brush has through holes 20 through which tuft casings 16 are freely movable and, in order to prevent the tufts from falling out, the tuft casings are provided with knobs 18 which are too large to pass through holes 20. In the embodiments of Fig. l, the tuft supporting member 12 is provided with an external groove 22 for receiving a bead 24 formed on the periphery of a diaphragm 26 which is preferably made of thin and flexible rubber. Diaphragm 26 is held in position by means of a cover 28 which is preferably of the snap-on variety so that it can be applied, or removed, without the use of any extraneous fastening devices. See Figs. 2 and 3. In assembling the brush, the tufts are inserted through holes 20, the bead 24 of diaphragm 26 is engaged with groove 22, and cover 28 is snapped on. Cover 28 is provided with openings 30 which register with the various tufts so that, when the tufts are pressed against the teeth, the casings of the tufts will project through openings 30, as shown in Fig. 4.
The embodiment of Fig. 6 differs only in that the diaphragm 26 of Fig. l is replaced with an inflatable tubular member 32 which is held in position by a suitaable cover 34 which may be applied or removed in the manner above described or in any other manner.
In the embodiment of Pig. 8, I use individual springs 36 for biasing the individual tufts. In this embodiment, the springs are held in position by a suitable cover 38.
The operation of the embodiments of Figs. 1 and 6 is as follows:
When the brush is addressed to the teeth, the bristles `which ride over spaces or depressions, will remain in the position of Fig. 3 or will be relatively slightly displaced as shown in Fig. 4. In any event, they will bear on the corresponding surfaces with a pressure which is a function of the resistance of the diaphragm, when at 3 rest, or when `only slightly stretched. On the other hand, the tufts which ride over high surfaces of the teeth will exert a pressure, which is a function of the resistance of diaphragm 26 when it is somewhat more distended.
Therefore, by selecting a diaphragm ofthe desired elas- Y In` theembodime'nt of` Fig. 8, the strength ofthe in-- dividual springs can -be regulated-to control the Alpressure of the bristles against the/teeth or gum.
- It is Vthus clearthatthefreedom of eachtuft to move, independentlyv of-the other tufts and subject to controlled pressure, prevents the application'k-of pressure lof an order likelyto cause erosion of the teeth or of the gums while insuring pressure suiiicientt'o c'au'se the 'tufts to reach otherwise inaccessible surfaces.
From the foregoing it will also bese'en that the essenceof my invention resides inthe provisionof `individually movable tufts and in the provision -of means vfor applying controlled yielding, or following, pressure Vto the tufts whereby some ofthe tufts willfreach into spaces and` depressions While the remaining tufts ride 1on the high spots of the teeth without applying eroding pres-A sure to said spots. The snap-on assemblyofthe back platesy makes vit possible to easily andquickly dismantle the brush Afor cleaning or for replacement of tufts, diaphragms -or springs.
.Because the diaphragm is 'in one piece and because the pressure appliedtby any tuft against-any portioniof the diaphragm tends to stretch the entire diaphragm, and
because, when some of the tufts are riding on high spots, other tufts will be riding on low spots, the elective pressure applied by the tufts will be substantially uniform and will always be of a relatively low magnitude which will not cause erosion of the teeth.
What I claim is:
l. A tooth brush including a tuft supporting member having a plurality of openings therein, a plurality of tufts freely movable in said openings with their bristles normally disposed beyond one side vof said supporting member, the ends of said tufts opposite said bristles being larger thansaid openings to prevent the tufts from completely passing through said openings, a relatively thin,
readily stretchable elastic sheet, and a cover clamping the periphery of said sheet to said supporting member with the body of said sheet closely overlying said ends of said tufts whereby, movement of any of said tufts in the direction of said cover will stretch said sheet over its venti-re area.
2i-The struc-ture recited in claim 1 in which Vsaid sheet is-disp'osed betweensaid supporting member and-said cover and in which said cover has openings therein which register with the openings in said supporting member and Athrough whichsaid ends of said tufts and the portions of the sheet stretched thereover pass when said tufts are moved in the 'direction of said cover.
`References Cited in they le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 'A263302 s Grusin Nov-'25,1941 '2,452,928 Nea etal, sept. 27, '1949 2,486,847" [Hockett NOV. 1, 1949 FOREIGN PATENTS 195,608 Germany -1 Feb. 19,4 1,908 y 906,588 IFrance May 22, 1945y