Tooth cleaning device
US 3124824 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 17, 1964 H. s. LUTZ 3,124,824
TOOTH CLEANING DEVICE Filed March 2, 1962 Fles ATTORNEYS- United States Patent 3,124,824 TOOTH CLEANING DEVICE Herbert Spencer Lutz, New York, N.Y., assignor to International Process & Product Development Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 2, 1962, ser. No. 176,941 1 Claim. (Cl. 15-227) This invention relates to a tooth cleaning means which is adapted to be applied to the linger and utilized by direct application of the finger to the teeth in place of a tooth brush. The device is preferably of a character and low cost such that it may be discarded after a single use. It is also of such nature anti' is packed in such a way that it may be carried in the pocket or handbag and used wherever and whenever opportunity affords and pref erably after each meal.
The tooth cleaning device takes the form of a cot which is of such shape as to be easily slipped over the finger but is so formed that when smoothed into place it will be retained upon the finger during use. This may be accomplished by giving the cot a tapered shape to a rather pointed tip which can be drawn to either a large or small finger closely enough to stay in place, while the open end of the cot is sufficiently wide to permit the finger to be introduced thereinto with ease.
The cot is preferably made of two thin layers of substantially impervious non-toxic plastic. Attached to one side is a third layer consisting of fiexible foam plastic of open cell structure which is filled or impregnated or coated with a tooth cleaning and polishing compound or dentrifice.
Any suitable type of dentrifice or tooth cleaning compound may be employed, which is non-reactive with the plastic used, preferably a compound containing an abrasive such as kaolin, precipitated chalk, fine pumice, iris root powder, magnesium oxides, etc., and a soap or synthetic detergent, preferably of such nature as to produce foaming. Preferably included also are bactericidal, astringent, and flavoring and coloring agents as desired. The soap or detergent used should be water soluble, and the cleaning instrumentality after being applied to the finger may be wetted as by dipping in water, or the saliva of the mouth may be relied upon to cause the softening or saponiiication of the soap or other ingredients of the dentrifice.
One example of a dentrifice composition which may be used consists of the following ingredients: glycerin, water, sodium benzoate, gum, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate and flavor agents.
Of course the foregoing composition is merely illustrative and any other suitable composition may be substituted.
The cot is preferably packed in such a way as to be protected from contamination until the moment of use. For example, it may be enclosed in an envelope or protective covering of plastic film, cellophane or cellulosic sheet, which may be sealed by heat or otherwise and which may be stripped off just before use.
The physical qualities of the foam can be controlled to produce abrasive characteristics for cleaning of the teeth without injury to the gums. The porous plastic not only carries an adequate supply of dentrifice but it is also very effective as an applicator to the teeth and as a means for cleaning crevices between the teeth, for removing stains from the teeth and as a means for massaging the gums.
In the accompanying drawings, one preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated. Obviously, changes in form may be made within the scope of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the tooth cleaning device,
will preferably be assembled and secured together prior to attachment to the rear film element, a part of the foam element being broken away to show the film element thereunder;
FIG. 5 is an elevation of the rear film element before the front film element and foam element have been secured thereto.
Referring to the drawings in detail:
The cot 10 is formed of a size to fit over the finger. It is formed of three layers 12, 14 and 16. Layers 14 and 16 are cut to the same shape and are joined by application of high frequency electric current. The layer 12 is provided with a tab 18 which extends down from the cot so as to form a fiap or tab for engagement by the fingers of the other hand for pulling the cot onto the finger. Layers 12 and 14 are formed of a preferably substantially water-proof plastic, while the layer 16 is formed of a foam plastic of open cell structure to be described. The cot preferably has a tapered or pointed tip 20 and this tapered form is preferably achieved by making one side 22 of the cot substantially straight and curving the other side Z4 of the cot away from the side 2t) in a diverging manner so as to leave it operi wide enough at the mouth for a normally large finger. This shape of cot can be applied to a finger of almost any size, as a smaller finger will press more closely into the pointed tip of the cot and the cot will adhere to a small finger as Well as to a large finger.
The front film element 14 and the foam element 16 are preferably cut along their lower edges so as to leave a downwardly projecting lobe indicated at 26 which may be held by the thumb when the first finger is projected into the cot. In this way the cot may be firmly held upon the finger during use. At the same time, the tab 18 of the member 12 is exposed so as to enable the cot to be readily opened and drawn over the finger by the other hand.
A very convenient and economical method of manufacturing the device consists of cutting out the outer film layer 14 and the foam layer 16 by single die operation as these pieces are made the same shape, the die being provided with means by which a high frequency current may be applied around the entire margin of the two pieces so as to seal them together. The piece 12 is then cut with its own die and the joined pieces 14 and 16 applied thereto and sealed by application of high frequency current along the sides of the cot, the bottom of the cot being of course left unsealed so that the finger may be applied between the layers 14 and 16.
The plastic materials used in the construction of the device must be flexible, insoluble in water and not reactive with the dentrifice used. They must also be nontoxic. Any plastic known to meet these specifications or which may become available in the future may be used but the materials which I have found most suitable and satisfactory are vinyl chloride or its cot-polymers. The two layers forming the cot proper are of this material in film form and preferably water-proof (to keep the finger clean) while the foam layer is preferably of the same or similar chemical composition. The specific material which I prefer to use is a polyvinyl chloride, for instance, the material known commercially as Geon No. 121 made by the B. F. Goodrich Co. Included with this material are preferably a vinyl plasticizer, for instance dioctylphthalate and a vinyl stabilizer such as calcium stearate. The foam for the third layer is produced by any suitable foaming process such as introducing an inert gas, for example, nitrogen.
The foam should be of relatively line grain so as to receive and hold the dentrice effectively. Foam having a density of tive or six pounds per cubic foot I have found suitable. A foam of the character described will retain up to 50% or more of dentrice.
The dentrice may be applied to the foam sheets by Spraying, dipping or otherwise before the sheets are cut and sealed, or if desired, the dentrice may be applied to the same after the cot has been completed.
The vinyl plastics have the advantage that the different layers may be assembled by the application of high frequency current which breaks down the molecular structure to a suiiicient extent to cause a rm adherence between the layers without the use of any cement which might possibly have toxic qualities.
A tooth cleaning instrumentality formed of two layers of thin plastic lm heat sealed along their longitudinal edges to form a cot, one layer being substantially longer than the other so as to project at the bottom of the cot to form a tab which may be grasped by the fingers of one hand for pulling the cot onto a linger of the other hand, the shorter layer of film having secured thereto a layer of plastic foam of substantially the same shape as said film layer, said shorter film layer and foam layer having a lobe-like formation at the bottom thereof of smaller size than the extension tab on the longer plastic layer so as to leave a part of the extension tab exposed for grasping while still forming an area which may be overlapped by the thumb adjacent to the finger on which the cot is applied.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,018,903 Stevens Oct. 29, 1935 2,075,681 Welker Mar. 30, 1937 2,621,784 Boytham Dec. 16, 1952 2,763,885 Lyons Sept. 25, 1956 2,915,767 Vaughan Dec. 8, 1959