US 3082765 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 26, 1963 N. D. HELMER PROTECTOR FOR THE LIPS AND TEETH Filed Jan. 15, 1962 INVENTOR. NORMAN DONAL D HEL MER BY MQ-W ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,082,765 PROTECTOR FOR THE LIPS AND TEETH Norman Donald Helmet, 6298 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach 3, Calif. Filed Jan. 15, 1962, Ser. No. 166,044 4 Claims. (Cl. 128-436) The present invention relates generally to the field of sporting goods, and more specifically to an improved protector or guard for the lips and teeth that is particularly adapted for use by football players, paratroopers, and others engaged in like strenuous physical activities. The present invention is an improvement over my protective mouthpiece disclosed and claimed in United States Letters Patent No. 2,847,003, which issued August 12,
Although the mouthpiece disclosed and claimed in the above-identified patent has been found to provide quite satisfactory protection for the teeth of the user, one operational disadvantage thereof is that it affords no protection for the lips. The present invention provides all of the advantages of the device disclosed and claimed in Patent No. 2,847,003, but also serves to protect the lips of the user as well, and allows the user to breathe freely through the mouth during use thereof.
A major object of the present invention is to provide a protector for the lips and teeth which is compact, lightweight, one that at all times-tends to remain in a protective position during-use, permits free breathing when in place in the mouth, and which can be easily and quickly removed from or positioned in the mouth.
Other objects of the invention are to provide a protector for the lips and teeth that in no way restricts the movement of the users tongue, and which permits the user to speak clearly and distinctly while it is in place in the mouth.
A further object of the invention is to furnish a device that can be easily and quickly cleaned, can be fabricated 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 for its particular purpose.
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 the same, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the protector of the present invention shown affixed to the chin strap of a football helmet;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the protector;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the protector taken on line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of the protector showing the manner in which the resilient cushion is engaged by the upper and lower teeth; and
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the protector showing the lower portion thereof.
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawing, it will be seen that a helmet A is positioned on the head B of a user, which is removably held in this protective position by a chin strap C. The protector of the present invention, as can best be seen in FIGURES 2 to 5 inclusive, includes a resilient semi-circular cushion D having a central forward portion E of maximum thickness. Cushion D includes side portions F on each side of the portion E that extend rearwardly therefrom. The cushion D is further defined by an upper surface and lower surface 12 which taper rearwardly and inwardly towards one another. The widths of the central forward portion E and side portions F are such that they will be fully engaged by the upper and lower teeth, but will extend into the mouth a minimum distance therebeyond.
3,082,765 Patented Mar. 26, 1963 "ice The protector also includes a curved, resilient protective member G, as shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 5, which has an inner surface 14 disposed adjacent the lips (not shown). A resilient connector H extends rearwardly from the protective member G from a position intermediate the top edge 16 and lower edge 18 thereof (FIG- URE 5). The rear end of connector H merges into the thickened portion E of the cushion D. The protective member G is provided with a protuberance I of horizontal channel-shaped cross section which projects forwardly from the lower central portion thereof. Protuberance I, as may best be seen in FIGURE 5, is in vertical alignment with the thickened portion E.
The rear interior surface 20 of protuberance I has a number of ribs K projecting therefrom which develop into rib extensions K that project downwardly from the under side of the forward portion E and the under side of the connector H. A reinforcing rib K is preferably provided that extends downwardly from the under side of connector H and forward portion E. Rib K is laterally spaced from rib extensions K.
The ribs K, extensions K, and rib K", together with portions of the protuberance J, connector H and central portion E cooperatively define a number of laterally spaced air passages L that permit the user of the protector to breathe through his mouth when the invention is in'place therein. The top and bottom surfaces 10 and 12 respectively of the resilient cushion D are so formed as to define striated upper and lower surfaces M and N, respectively, to increase the resiliency of the cushion when it is contacted by the upper teeth 0 and lower teeth P, as best seen in FIGURE 4. A first resilient guide Q extends upwardly from the forward edge of the cushion D. A second resilient guide R extends upwardly from the surface M, and is positioned rearwardly and centrally relative to the first guide Q, as may be seen in FIGURE 3.
The protuberance I may have an opening 8 punched or otherwise formed therein, through which a string or cord T can extent to the chin strap C to be affixed thereto. Cord T is easily afiixed to the chin strap by punching or otherwise forming an opening (not shown) therein. When the protector is so supported from the chin strap C, it can be ejected from the mouth at will and permitted to hang in the position shown in phantom line in FIGURE 1. With the protector aifixed to the chin strap C, the possibility that it might become lodged in the users throat should he be knocked unconscious is eliminated. Also the cord T prevents the protector from accidentally falling to the ground should it be knocked from the users mouth during play of such strenuous games as football or the like.
The first and second guides Q and R define a transversely extending space V therebetween (FIGURE 4). When the forward upper teeth 0 are disposed in the space V, the protector is automatically oriented in the mouth whereby the member G is disposed in a protective position over the lips. The guides Q and -R also cooperatively prevent inadvertent displacement of the protector from the users mouth. v
The protective member G of the invention extends completely over the users lips (FIGURE 1) to afford full protection thereof. The upper teeth 0 and the lower teeth P (FIGURE 4) clench the resilient cushion D therebetween. This avoids the possibility that the teeth might be inadvertently brought together with sufiicient impact to cause shattering or chipping thereof. Because the protective member G extends completely over the lips, any blow received by the user during play is distributed over a substantially large area of the users face, and to the extent that the member G and the users lips cushion the shock of the blow transmitted to the teeth 0 and P and avoid damage thereto.
It will be particularly noted that when the protector is properly placed in the mouth, such as shown in FIG- URE l, the air passages L are at all times in communication with the ambient atmosphere and the interiorof the mouth whereby the user can breathe freely without removing the device from his mouth when running during a football game or skating rapidly when playing hockey, or in other physical activities of like nature. Also, due to the shape of the cushion D, no interference is offered to the movement of the users tongue (not shown), and as a result the user may speak distinctly with the device in place in his mouth.
The use of the invention has been previously explained in detail and need not be repeated.
Although the present invention is fully capable of achieving the objects and providing the advantages here- (b) guide means extending upwardly from said cushion for positioning said upper teeth thereon;
(c) a resilient connector extending forwardly from said central portion;
(d) a curved protective member disposed on the forward end of said connector, with said member being of such length and width as to extend fully over the lips of said user, which member has a protuberance formed on a lower forward portion thereof;
(2) a plurality of laterally spaced ribs extending rearwardly from a forward interior surface of said protuberance; and
(f) a plurality of laterally spaced rib extensions depending from the lower surface of said cushion and connector, which rib extensions merge with said ribs, with said ribs and rib extensions cooperatively defining a plurality of elongate spaces therebetween that are at all times in communication with the ambient atmosphere and the interior of said users mouth when said protector is in place therein.
2. A protector as defined in claim 1 wherein the rear surfaces of said ribs are substantially flush with those portions of the rear surface of said protector adjacent thereto.
3. A protector as defined in claim 1 wherein the lower surfaces of said rib extensions are substantially flush with the portions of said lower surface of saidcushion and connector adjacent thereto.
4. A protector as defined in claim 1 wherein the upper and lower surfaces of said cushion are serrated to increase the resiliency thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS