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Publication numberUS3089487 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 14, 1963
Filing dateOct 20, 1960
Priority dateOct 20, 1960
Publication numberUS 3089487 A, US 3089487A, US-A-3089487, US3089487 A, US3089487A
InventorsRocco Angelo A Di, James H Enicks
Original AssigneeEnicks
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Protective mouthpiece
US 3089487 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 14, 1963 J. H. ENICKS ETAL PROTECTIVE MOUTHPIECE Filed 001;. 20, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. JflMfS H. E/V/C/ S g IVG-EAO H. D/Pocca MKZA May 14, 1963 J. H. ENICKS ETAL PROTECTIVE MOUTHPIECE Filed 0012'. 20. 1960 BRUSH ON THIN LAYER OF LATxEX-OVEN DRY I70 F. (I) HOUR BRUSH ON THIN LAYER OF LATEX-OVEN DRY I70 E (I) HOUR APPLY THICK LAYER LATEX WITH '4 INCH NYLON FLOCK ADDED OVEN DRY I70 F.

(I) HOUR BRUSH ON THIN LAYER OF LATEX OVEN OCCLUSAL SURFACE OF ALL POSTERIER TEETH APPLY SYNTHETIC FIBER MAT (ACRYLIC OR NYLON) REINFORCEMENT ON PAINTED AREA BRUSH ON THIN LAYER OF LATEX OVEN FIBER MAT OVEN DRY I70 (I) HOUR BRUSH ON THIN LAYER OF LATEX-OVEN DRY I70 E (I) HOUR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 BRUSH ON THIN LAYER OF LATEX-OVEN DRY I70 E (I) HOUR APPLY IDENTIFICATION BRUSH ON THIN LAYER OF LATEX-OVEN DRY I70 F (I) HOUR PLACE MODELBMOUTHPIECE IN BOILING WATER FOR (IO) MINUTES REMOVE 8| IMMERSE IN COLD WATER TO LOOSEN MOUTHPIECE FROM MODEL TRIM BISMOOTH MOUTHPIECE OF ANY ROUGH AREAS WASH BI RETURN MOUTHPIECE TO MODEL INVENTOR. Lew/5 Ema/rs fl/VGELO f2 DIRoca United States Patent 3,089,487 PROTEQTIVE MGUTHPHEE James H. Enicks and Angelo A. Di Rocco, Greenviile, Ohio; said Di Rocco assignor to said Enicks Filed Oct. 20, 1960, Ser. No. 63,756 3 Claims. (Cl. 123-135) This invention relates to protective mouthpieces, and is particularly concerned with individually fitted protective mouthpieces of a resilient nature which are employed, principally, in connection with sports for protecting the teeth of the participants.

Mouthpieces for the protecting of teeth are known but heretofore have generally taken the form of resilient members shaped to fit about the teeth of the upper jaw, and also U-shaped in cross section so as to fit around the individual teeth on both the inside and outside.

Such protective mouthpieces are adequate for many purposes but we have found that they are lacking in many respects and, particularly, in connection with football, because the mouthpieces tend to be bitten through thus leading to the possibility of tooth damage. Still further, the mouthpieces according to the prior art do not fit very well and this introduces the possibility that they Will become dislodged in use creating a considerable hazard, particularly, if the participant wearing the mouthpiece is momentarily dazed.

With the foregoing in mind it is a particular object of the present invention to provide a mouthpiece of the nature referred to which it is substantially impossible to bite through.

Another object of this invention is the provision of mouthpiece of the nature referred to which will fit substantially perfectly thereby eliminating any possibility that the mouthpiece will accidentially become dislodged during a period of violent action when such dislodgement would be extremely dangerous.

Still another object of this invention is the provision of a mouthpiece of the nature referred to which is provided with localized reinforcing in the regions in which such reinforcing has been found most necessary.

Still another object of this invention is the provision of a method of making a mouthpiece of the nature referred to and in which the mouthpiece is individually fitted to the user in order to provide for the perfect fit necessary for the practice of the present invention.

These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a mouthpiece according to this invention and the model on which the mouthpiece is contructed;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken longitudinally through the model with the mouthpiece mounted thereon;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged longitudinal section through the mouthpiece as indicated by line 3-3 on FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view indicated by line 4-4 on FIGURE 3 showing a region of added reinforcing;

FIGURE 5 is a view looking at the bottom of the mouthpiece;

FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary, somewhat diagrammatic view illustrating one form which the added reinforcing illustrated in FIGURE 4 could take; and

FIGURE 7 is a flow chart representing a preferred method of manufacting the mouthpiece.

Mouthpieces of a protective nature according to the present invention are manufactured so as to have greatly increased utility and perfection by taking an impression of the upper teeth and arch of the user and forming a master model therefrom. This is normally a full impression of the upper arch. The master model is made in the conventional manner with plaster and the model is then completely dried preparatory to being used.

After the master model has been made the protective mouthpiece is built up thereon by multiple applications of latex and, in addition, according to the present invention, reinforcing material is embodied within the mouthpiece in order to make it resistant to bite-through. This is extremely important because this has been one of the principal points of failure of protective mouthpieces according to the prior art.

The added reinforcing material, which is preferably in the form of fibers or flock or textile material, such as knitted or Woven members, not only add great strength against bit-through to the mouthpiece without adding any substantially weight or stifi'ness thereto, but also the perfect fit of the protective mouthpiece on the users teeth and gum structure so distributes the pressures imposed on the mouthpiece when in use that the mouthpiece is not subjected to the extremely high peak pressures that would be encountered if the mouthpiece did not fit perfectly and thus the tendency for bitthrough is greatly reduced.

After the master model has been made and the protective mouthpiece has been built up thereon, the master model and mouthpiece are marked to indicate the individual to which they pertain and thereafter the model can serve as a storage rack on which the mouthpiece can be stored thereby to retain it in good condition.

Referring to the drawings somewhat more particularly, in FIGURE 1, 10 illustrates a master model which is formed of plaster as was referred to above.

The protective mouthpiece that is built up on the model It is indicated at 12 and, since it has been built on the master 10 it forms a perfect fit thereon and, since the master 10 is an exact duplicate of the upper ach and teeth of the user, the mouthpiece accordingly will fit exactly in the users mouth.

The master model can be marked at 14 with the users identification, such as the name, and the protective mouthpiece is similarly marked at 16 so that there is no likelihood that the models or protective mouthpieces will get mixed up.

As will be seen in FIGURE 2, the mouthpiece 12. fits about the teeth '18 and up into the gum region as at 20 in the front and as at 22 along the sides and back of the mouth thus forming full protection for the exposed portions of the teeth and adjacent gum regions and the parts of the teeth disposed within the gums. As will be seen in FIGURE 5 the mouthpiece 12 is arcuate in configuration so as to fit within the mouth.

FIGURE 3 shows an enlarged cross sectional view or the protective mouthpiece and it will be seen, in general, to comprise latex material as at 24 and 26 and latex material as at 28 which contains reinforcing material- This is also illustrated in FIGURE 4 wherein it will be seen that the latex is made up of multiple layers and that the reinforced latex is also made up of multiple layers.

In addition to the reinforcement referred to, in which will be described more in detail hereinafter, there is additional reinforcement, as at 30, in the region of the posterior teeth. This additional reinforcing is provided because the highest pressures are developed on the mouthpiece in that region and it has been found that the additional reinforcement is of definite advantage.

The additional reinforcement referred to, and which is indicated at 30, is textile material which may be in the form of larger fibers than are provided in the reinforced portions 28 or it may consist of a small pad of woven or knitted material. The example illustrated in FIG- -ployed. The

.9 URE 6 is a knitted material of rather open nature and this is found to be a satisfactory sort of reinforcing element.

The reinforcing material that is added in the latex region as indicated at 28 in FIGURES 3 and 4 is any suitable relatively fine fibrous material. We have found that inch long nylon fibers or nylon flock is of a satisfactory nature but it will be evident that other synthetic fibers such as Orlon or Dacron or rayon could be emadded material is preferably resistant to moisture so that it will not deteriorate and should have good mechanical strength and resistant to chemical attack. Most commercial synthetic fibers are suitable for this purpose, although we do not exclude the use of natural fiber.

With regard to the procedure for constructing the protective mouthpiece, this Will be seen on reference 'to FIGURE 7. It is understood that a full impression is first taken of the upper arch and the impression is then poured in plaster to form the master model and the master model is then permitted to dry completely and have any finishing operations performed thereon that may be necessary.

When the mouthpiece is then to be constructed, a first application is made on the master model of a thin layer of liquid latex. This latex is brushed on to cover the 'labial surfaces of all teeth and the gums to Within about 2 millimeters of the reflection. The thin layer of liquid latex also covers the occlusal surfaces of all the teeth, and on the lingual side of the teeth covers all teeth and the pallet to about from to millimeters from the occlusal surfaces of the teeth. After this first application of the latex is made it is dried in an oven at around 170 F. for about one hour.

Following the aforementioned step a second layer of liquid latex is made in the same manner described above, including the drying step.

The layers of liquid latex so far applied make up the region indicated at 24 in FIGURES 3 and 4.

The next application is by spatula and this is a relatively thick application of latex in which the reinforcing fibers referred to are embodied. These reinforcing fibers may, for example, be inch long nylon fibers or nylon flock. This is a. considerably heavier coat, up to about 2 millimeters thick and covers the entire area that was coated in the first two applications.

This third application is also dried in an oven at about 170 F. for about 1 hour.

Following the drying of the flock filled latex layer, a fourth layer is applied which is the same as the third layer, also being applied with a spatula and also comprising latex having fiber or flock reinforcing therein. This third layer is also oven dried at about 170 F. for about one hour.

Following the application of the fourth layer a fifth layer is applied consisting of a thin layer of latex applied,

for example, by brush over the occlusal surfaces of all of the posterior teeth.

Before permitting this fifth application to dry, the added reinforcing, which has been indicated at in FIGURES 3 and 4 is added. As mentioned, this can be in the form of threads or a Woven or knitted pad and is preferably a synthetic fiber. This added reinforcing material or pad is applied for reinforcement on the occlusal surfaces of the posterior teeth. After the reinforcing pad over the posterior teeth is in place, an additional layer of latex is applied thereover as by brush. The mouthpiece is then returned to the oven to be dried at about 170 F. for about one hour.

Following the drying of the mouthpiece after the reinforcing 30 the region of the posterior teeth has been added, there are two more applications of latex which may be brushed on in the same manner described in the steps one and two. Each layer is, of course, oven dried before the next operation is carried out.

At this point the mouthpiece is substantially completed but it is desirable for identification to be applied thereto. This is done by applying a strip bearing the proper indicia or the users name to the mouthpiece, for example, along the side thereof, or by printing the indicia or name on the mouthpiece with a dark ink or dye or the like which will show through the latex and following the application of the identification to the mouthpiece,

a final application of latex is made thereto according to The mouthpiece is F. for

the description of step one above. then given a final oven treatment at about about one hour.

The mouthpiece is now completed with respect to the building up thereon of the latex layers and after the last drying step the model and mouthpiece are placed in boiling water for about 10 minutes and, thereafter, when they are placed in cold water the mouthpiece loosens from the model and can be removed from the model.

The mouthpiece now hasany rough edges smoothed and any flash or the like trimmed therefrom and is ready to be washed and cleaned and is returned to the model until the'mouthpiece is ready to be used by the individual for whom it was made.

It will be evident that a number of modifications can be made in the method described above. For example, the specific temperature of 170 and the specific time of one hour as referred to but the particular temperature, and the particular length of time for drying the mouthpieces will, of course, vary with the particular latex composition.

woven material or the loosely knitted material, as illustrated in FIGURE 6. We have found the knitted material to be quite satisfactory because it is highly flexible and is easy to handle but it is desired to include within scope of this invention the use of woven material or of pre-shaped pads that could be made up without weaving. It is conceivable, for example, that the reinforcing at 30 might consist of preformed extremely tough latex members having a heavy flock contact or threads therein in order to obtain the additional reinforcing in the region of the posterior teeth.

The net result of constructing mouthpieces according to our invention is that the mouthpieces are highly efficient for the protective purposes, and have no tendency to become dislodged in use, even during violent action, and after prolonged and severe tests, show no indication that they will be deformed in normal use.

The mouthpiece, so far as we are able to determine from our field tests, are virtually impossible to bite through.

It will be understood that this invention is susceptible to modification in order to adapte it to diiferent usages and conditions; and, accordingly, it is desired to comprehend such modifications within this invention as may fall within the scope of the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A protective mouthpiece for athletes and which is individually fitted between the upper and lower teeth of the wears mouth and adapted to engage over and about the teeth of the upper jaw, said mouthpiece comprising a flexible arcuate shaped member composed of superimposed layers of latex material with at least one of the layers embodying fibrous material for reinforcing the mouthpiece and preventing severance of the same by the teeth, said mouthpiece member having additional reinforcing structure comprising a thickened latex layer in which is embedded a knitted textile pad, said thickened layer being in position to engage the occlusal surfaces of the posterior teeth of the mouthpiece wearer.

2. A protective mouthpiece for athletes and which is individually fitted between the upper and lower teeth of the wearers mouth and adapted to engage over and about the teeth of the upper jaw, said mouthpiece comprising a flexible arcuate shaped plastic member composed of superimposed layers of latex material having fibrous material consisting of short nylon fibers embedded therein for reinforcing the mouthpiece and preventing severance of the same by the teeth, said mouthpiece member having additional reinforcing structure comprising a thickened latex layer in which is embedded a knitted textile pad, said thickened layer being in position to engage the occlusal surfaces of the posterior teeth of the mouthpiece wearer.

3. A method of making a protective mouthpiece of the character described which comprises; forming an impression of the upper jaw of the wearer of the mouthpiece and which includes the region to be covered by the mouthpiece, making a master model from said impression, applying multiple layers of latex material to said master model and heat curing each layer of latex material before applying a subsequent layer of latex material, embedding reinforcing fibrous mass in at least one of the layers of latex material of said master model, said latex material being applied on both the inside and outside of the said fibrous mass to embed and seal the fibrous mass from moisture, applying a pad of knitted textile material to the protective mouthpiece over the occlusal region of the posterior teeth with the ribs 0f the knitted material in the region of the cusps of the posterior teeth, sealing the said pad by further applications of latex ma terial, removing the mouthpiece from the model, and finishing the mouthpiece by trimming off the rough edges.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,302,004 Brown Apr. 29, 1919 1,902,627 Blbogen Mar. 21, 1933 2,590,118 Oddo Mar. 25, 1952 2,678,043 Stark May 11, 1954 2,771,675 Willis Nov. 27, 1956 2,827,899 Altieri Mar. 25, 1958

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1302004 *Jan 16, 1919Apr 29, 1919Thomas W BrownMouth-protector.
US1902627 *Jul 5, 1932Mar 21, 1933George D KratzMold and method of making the same
US2590118 *Oct 1, 1949Mar 25, 1952Jr Vincent J OddoMouthpiece
US2678043 *Dec 18, 1951May 11, 1954Emanuel StarkMouth appliance
US2771675 *Sep 25, 1953Nov 27, 1956Willis George HRubber dental cushion having lubricant coating
US2827899 *Dec 6, 1954Mar 25, 1958James Altieri DomenicoTooth guard and jaw protector
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3211143 *Apr 30, 1962Oct 12, 1965Grossberg Marc EMouth protector
US3223085 *Dec 2, 1963Dec 14, 1965Gores Kenneth WMouthguard
US3224441 *Apr 24, 1963Dec 21, 1965Richard P MonaghanMethod of forming a teeth protector
US4184255 *Jun 3, 1977Jan 22, 1980Gordon Woodford WApparatus for and method of forming accurate hinge axis tooth positioners
US4196902 *May 1, 1978Apr 8, 1980Maria BorrielloDevice for facial exercising to be applied in the oral cavity
US4448735 *Sep 30, 1982May 15, 1984Professional Positioners, Inc.Tooth positioner with harder areas
US4519386 *Jul 29, 1983May 28, 1985Sullivan Ashley HMouth splint
US4765324 *May 8, 1986Aug 23, 1988Lake Jr John RSports mouthguard with shim
US5031638 *Mar 13, 1990Jul 16, 1991Roll-A-Puck LimitedDirect-formed mouthguard, a blank for use in making the mouthguard and a method of making the mouthguard
US5299936 *Sep 9, 1992Apr 5, 1994Molten CorporationSpacer and mouthpiece for adjusting occulsion
US5513984 *Jan 20, 1995May 7, 1996Molten CorporationSpacer and mouthpiece for adjusting occlusion
US8152518 *Oct 8, 2008Apr 10, 2012Align Technology, Inc.Dental positioning appliance having metallic portion
US8607798 *Jun 2, 2011Dec 17, 2013Shock Doctor, Inc.Custom mouthguard
US8689796May 17, 2011Apr 8, 2014Shock Doctor, Inc.Mouthguard with linear storage configuration
US8944812Mar 27, 2012Feb 3, 2015Align Technology, Inc.Dental positioning appliance having metallic portion
US9345276Mar 13, 2014May 24, 2016Shock Doctor, Inc.Clothing article with protective cup
US9351809 *Jun 6, 2014May 31, 2016Align Technology, Inc.Systems and methods for varying elastic modulus appliances
US20100086890 *Oct 8, 2008Apr 8, 2010Align Technology, Inc.Dental positioning appliance having metallic portion
US20120111343 *Jun 2, 2011May 10, 2012Shock Doctor, Inc.Custom mouthguard
US20140349242 *Jun 6, 2014Nov 27, 2014Align Technology, Inc.Systems and methods for varying elastic modulus appliances
Classifications
U.S. Classification128/861
International ClassificationA63B71/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B71/085, A63B2209/023
European ClassificationA63B71/08M