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Publication numberUS3050072 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 21, 1962
Filing dateAug 28, 1959
Priority dateAug 28, 1959
Publication numberUS 3050072 A, US 3050072A, US-A-3050072, US3050072 A, US3050072A
InventorsDiener Jack
Original AssigneeDiener Jack
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tooth cleaning device
US 3050072 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 21, 1962 J. DIENER TOOTH CLEANING DEVICE Filed Aug. 28, 1959 Jack INVENTOR Diener i LOCKS BY KARL ATTORNEY 3,05a072 TQOTH CLEANIYG DEVICE Jack Diener, 4545 Connecticut Ave., Washington, D.C. Filed Aug. 28, 1959, SenNo'. 836,708 2 Claims. (Cl. 13293) The present invention relates to a tooth cleaning device and more particularly to a tooth cleaning device comprise ing a handle and an interdental element in which the apex of the interdental element is in the effective median plane of the handle and in which an aperture for receiving a shank of the interdental element has parallel grooves communicating therewith.

It has been known that the usual type of toothbrush does not satisfactorily clean the spaces between the teeth, particularly at the gum line. To overcome this deficiency in the ordinary toothbrush, there have been provided in the prior art several diiferent devices comprising interdental elements. These interdental elements were usually in the form of a pointed rubber tip, or conical rubber tip, and it was proposed that these tips be inserted into the interdental spaces in order to remove debris, deposits, etc. therefrom. There were provided three types of these devices, which comprised a handle portion and'the aforesaid conical interdental element.

In a first of these types, the handle was curved at its end and the conical interdental element provided a generally tangential extension for the curved end of the handle. The apex of the conical tip of this device was distant from the median plane of the handle. Because of this relationship, the person using this device was subjected to some discomfort, this being principally due to gagging when the upper or lower front teeth (incisors) were to be cleaned from the rear or tongue side. Also, because of this relationship it was most diflicult and in some cases practically impossible to insert the interdental element in the spaces between the more remote molars, such as between the second and third molars. Where the interdentalelement of this device could be inserted in the inter-proximal spaces, effective cleaning of these spaces was not obtained because of the inability of the interdental element to be properly inserted thereinto.

In a second type of device, therewas provided a flat, straight handle with an aperture extending therethrough near its end, and an interdental element having a conical tip, a connecting shank and an enlarged head was positioned with the shank extending through the aperture and with the tip and head on either side of the handle. In this device, the axis of the conical tip was perpendicular to the straight handle, so that the apex ofthe conical tip was remote from the median plane of the handle by a distance slightly greater than the height of the conicaltip.

In this device, also, because of the noted relationship, it was difiicult to insert the interdental elementinto the more remote interproximal spaces, or to insert it properly thereinto.

in the third type of device, the handle had a terminal portion that formed an obtuse angle therewith on the lower side thereof, and the tip extended from the'underside of the terminal portion. This type sufiered from the disadvantages of the first two types, as above discussed, and as a consequence discomfort and gagging resulted. In this type in particular the ability to clean the interproximal spaces between incisors from the tongue or lingual side necessitated the excessively wide opening of the mouth, with attendant'inducement of gagging.

In the two types mentioned last above, it was contemplated that the interdental element was removably positioned in the aperture in the handle, so that it could be removed therefrom and reinserted into the aperture, in the opposite direction. While this alternative positioning of the interdental element,- particularly in the third type 3,050,072 Patented Aug. 21, 196 2 P we of device, somewhat facilitated the cleaning ofthe'interproximal spaces, it has'been found that this feature of these devices was not readily resorted to because of'the' difiiculty of withdrawing and reinserting the interdental element. This was because the interdental element was usually made of rubber or rubber-like substance, and required considerable distortion in the withdrawal and in-. sertion thereof in order to securely hold during the clean ing movements. The relative shapes and tolerances of the two interfitting parts in these devices achieved either stability of the tip base or ease of withdrawal and reinsertion, but did not achieve both of these advantages'in one structure.

An object of the present invention is to provide a tooth cleaning device having a handle and interdental element wherein the handle i-s'shaped to provide superior comfort during the use thereof.

Another object of the present invention is the pro vision of a tooth cleaning device having an interdental element that will enable the interdental element to readily, effectively and properly penetrate into interproxi-mal spaces. J

. A further object of the present invention is to provide a tooth cleaning device having a handle and an interden-tal element in which the interdental element may penetrate into all interproximal spaces. "A still further object of the present invention. is the provision of a superior tooth cleaning'device comprising a handle and an interdental element supported thereby which permits ready removal and reinsertion of the iriterdental element and which will also hold the interdental element securely.

Other objects and thenature and' advantages of the instant invention will be apparent from the following description taken in conjunction withwthe accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a tooth cleaning device in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a crossasectional view of a brush-like implement on the handle of the device of the present inven tion.

FIG. 3 is across-sectional view taken on the line 33ofFIG.2. h

r FIG. 4 is a plan view of the head portion of the handle of the tooth-cleaning device of the present invention. V

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line 55 of FIG. 4, and showing the interdental element in place. p -FIG.' 6 is an elevational'view, with parts iri's'ection, showing the interdental element of the toothcleaning device of the present invention in reverse position.

FIG; 7 is a side view showing the cleaning of interproximal spaces at the front of the mouth. 7 FIG. 8 is a view, with parts removed, showing the cleaning of intenproximal spaces at the rear of the mouth.

FIG; 9 is a view illustratingthe geometrical relationship of'parts of the presentinvention.

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals'are used to designate like or conrespondingparts throughout the several viewsjther-e is shown in FIG; 1 a tooth cleaning device 16 comprising a. handle 20 and'an interdental element 30- supp-orted thereon; Also support ed on the handle 20, at the end thereof rem-ote'from the interdental elementfili, is a brush-like implement 40. The handle 20 has a gradually curved main portion 21 having the top surface 22 thereof convex and a. head portion 23 extending from the end of main portion 21. 'The'qto-p surface 22 of the handle main portion 21 and the top surface 24 of the head portion 23 form anobtuse angle.

Referringnow to FIG. 3, it may be seen thatithe hanextension. 26 is'curved so that when the implement 49 j is placed on-the extension 26 with the teeth 42 thereof in'jthe direction 'shown, the ends of the teeth 42 lie in substantially a single plane. I On' the other hand, the

'connection'tbe'tween'the implement 40 and the handle 29, due to the shapeo'f extension 26' and head 27', permits the implement 40 to be turned on the extension 26 so that-the 't'eeth 4-2. thereof extend in the opposite direction! This is shown in FIG. 2, and it may be seen therefrom tliat'due to the curvature of extension 26 I the ends of the teeth 42 lie inlan arc in this-position of a the implement 40. I 3

Referring now to FIG. 4, it may be seen that the head portion 23 of handle 'has a cylindrical aperture 26 extend through head portion 23, and are parallel to the axis of aperture 26. The grooves 27 communicate with the aperture 26 throughout their length, and there is thus In FIG. 5, the interdental element30 is shown in position in the opening through head portion 23. The element 30 has a conical tip 31, a truncated conical shank 32 having its larger base adjacent the base of the tip 31. Due to the difference in diameters of the larger base of shank 32 and the base of tip 31, there is provided a shoulder 33 on the tip 31. The element 30 further comprises an enlarged head 34 having the underside 35 thereof larger than the small base of the shank 32. The underside 35 of the enlarged head 34 may be seen to be intermediate in size between thediameter of aperture 26 and the outer boundary of the grooves 27. On the other hand, the diameter'of the shoulder 33 of conical tip 31 is substantially as large as the outer boundaries of the grooves 27. I V

The element 30 is made from a rubber-like material, and hence is deformable but so resilient that it will tend to return to its original shape. Due to the relative shape of the element 30 and the above described aperture 26 and grooves 27, it is relatively easy to force the head 34 through the opening thus provided in the head portion 23 of handle 20. This is due in part to the fact that the head 34 may expand somewhat into the grooves 27. Once the element 30 has been positioned on the head portion 23, as may be seen from FIG. 5, the'base of conical tip 31 is firmly supported. over a relatively large area because it extends outwardly substantially to the outer boundaries of grooves 27. Thus, it has a relatively large area of the head portion 23 that it engages. On the other hand, suflicient support is given to the underside 35 of the head 34 of element 30 due to the engagement thereof with the projections 29. Hence, the head 34 of element 30 hassufiicient area of the handle 20 that it engages to securely hold the element'30 onto the handle 20.

The element 30 is relatively easy to withdraw from its position on the head portion 23 of handle 20, and to reinsert either in the same position'or in the reverse position thereof. The reverse position-is shown in FIG. 6,

and it will be noted therefrom that the various parts of the element 30 and head portion 23 engage in substantially the same manner as when element 30 is in the position showninFIG. 5. I

As is clearly shown in FIG. l, a median plane P passing through the center of the handle main portion 21 at the two ends thereof also contains the apex A of the conical tip 31. This provides for great comfort in using the present device, and enables thesuperior cleaning of the interproximal spaces, as will be shown hereinbelow.

- tending therethrough'. A plurality of grooves 27 also 'ex- 7 In FIG. 7 there may be seen the use of the tooth cleaning device 10 in removing deposits and debris from the interproximal space'between the upper incisors. Due to the configuration of handle 20, as above described, it is not necessary that the mouth be opened wide, as the device 10 may effectively perform its function when the mouth is only partially opened, as shown.

In FIG. 8, there may be seen the utilization of the tooth cleaning device 10 in the cleaning of the interproximal spaces between second and third molars on both the leftiand right sides of the mouth. The head portion 23 may be seen to be inserted into a mouth, and to there disturb the natural positions of the tongue and teeth to a relatively small degree. Due to the shape of these parts, and with the element30 in the reverse position shown in H6. 6,. effective cleaning is realized: this is accomplished while presenting head portion 23 at the proper angle for supporting the element 30. Thus, discomfort due to the use of the device 10 of the presentinvention is greatly reduced, and in fact is practically eliminated, and there is no inducement to gagging with the device of the present invention.

The superior effectiveness of the present invention in cleaning all interproximal spaces results from the particular and critical angle between the median plane P passing through thecenter of the handle main portion 21 and the axis of the conical tip 31, in addition to the aforementioned positioning of the apex A of the-conical tip 31 on this plane P. As is best seen in FIG. 9, the critical angle is designated Z, and is 60. It will be observed that this angle is the same whether the element 30 is in the FIG. 5 position or in the FIG. 6 position.

The tooth cleaning device of the present invention may thus be seen to provide superior comfort during use, and is so shaped that the interdental element thereof is prop erly positioned for penetration in remote inter-proximal spaces. In addition, the tooth cleaning device 10 provides a construciton' enabling the interdental element 30 to penetrate into all of the interproximal spaces and to be properly positioned with relation thereto. Further, the interdental element 300i the present invention is readily removable and reinserted into the handle 30, and when the element 30 is in position on the handle 20, it is securely held thereby to provide a firm base for the conical tip 31. a

It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention and therefore the invention is not limited to what is shown'in the drawings and described in the specification but only as indicated in the appended claims.

What is claimed is: 1..In combination, an elongate handle and an interdental element thereon, said handle comprising a gradually curved mainportion having the top surface thereof convex, and a head portion extending at an angle from an end of said main portion, the top of said head portion and the top of said main portion forming an obtuse angle, said head portion having a cylindrical aperture extending therethrough, a plurality of grooves extending through said head portion parallel to the axis of said aperture and communicating throughout" their length with said aperture, said element comprising a conical tip, a truncated conical shank having the largerbase thereof adjacent the base of'said tip to thereby provide a'shoulder on said conical tip, and an enlarged head having an underside larger than the small base of said shank and intermediate in size between the diameter of said aperture and the outer boundaries of said grooves, the diameter of the shoulder-of said conical tip being substantially as large as the outer boundaries of said grooves, the center of said handle main portion at the two ends thereof and the apex of said conical tip occupying substantially a common plane, the angle between a median plane passing through i the center of the handle main portion and the axis of the interdental element being 60.

2. In combination, an elongate handle and an interdental element thereon, said handle comprising a main portion and a head portion, said head portion extending at an angle from a plane passing through said main portion, said interdental element extending from said head portion at an angle thereo toward the plane passing through said main portion, said interdental element being of a length so that its extremity lies in the same plane as said plane passing through said handle main portion, said head portion being apertured, the aperture in said head portion having an irregular outline so as to have a relatively large perimeter as compared to a circular aperture of equal area, said interdental element having an end adapted to be associated with said head portion, said end including a truncated cone portion, enlarged shoulders adjacent the top and bottom of said truncated portion, said interdental element being removably positionable in said aperture in said head portion with the longitudinal axis thereof normal to said head portion and with the tip of said interdental element extending in either one direction or the opposite direction at equal angles from a plane perpendicular to said plane passing through said main portion, the irregular outline of said aperture facilitating the passage therethrough of one enlarged shoulder portion of said interdental element particularly in cooperation with the truncated portion of the end of the interdental element.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,639,880 Butler Aug. 23, 192.7 1,996,205 Jackson Apr. 2, 1935 2,600,136 Staunt June 10, 1952 2,745,159 Jones May 15, 1956

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Referenced by
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US4041962 *Feb 26, 1975Aug 16, 1977Erik Gunnar JohanssonImplement to facilitate removing bacterial coating from the interstitial areas of adjacent teeth and cleaning the crevices therebetween
US4280518 *Apr 9, 1979Jul 28, 1981Gambaro Susan MTooth cleaning implement
US4449934 *Nov 4, 1981May 22, 1984Unisplay, S.A.Plaque remover
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U.S. Classification132/321, 433/146, 15/110, D04/104, 132/309
International ClassificationA61C15/02, A61C17/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/02, A61C17/00
European ClassificationA61C15/02, A61C17/00