US 3203417 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 31, 1965 N. D. HELMER MOUTH GUARD STRUCTURE Filed Jan. 18, 1963 FIG. 3
INVENTOR NORMAN D. HELMER ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,203,417 MOUTH GUARD STRUCTURE Norman D. Helmer, 6298 E. Ucean Blvd, Long Beach, Calif. Filed Jan. 18, 1963, Ser. No. 252,380 8 Claims. (Cl. 128--136) This application is a continuation-in-part of my colpending application Serial No. 166,044, filed January 15, 1962, now Patent No. 3,082,765, granted March 26, 1 963, and entitled Protector for the Lips and Teeth.
This invention relates generally to sporting goods, and more particularly to a mouth guard .for the protection of the wearers teeth and lips.
A major object of the present invention is to provide a mouth guard that protects both the teeth and lips of the wearer, is compact, lightweight, and is extremely simple structurally whereby it is adapted to be molded or otherwise fabricated more economically than the mouth guard shown in said copending application.
A further object of the invention is to supply a mouth guard to protect either the teeth or lips of the wearer which can be readily cleansed and maintained in a sanitary condition, and due to the simple structure thereof, can be retailed at a sufficiently low price as to be within the financial reach of all those having need for such a device.
Another object of the invention is to provide a twopiece guard that may be easily molded and assembled, and one that can be disassembled for cleansing purposes.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred form and alternate forms thereof, and from the accompanying drawings illustrating the same in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the preferred form of the mouth guard shown held in the wearers mouth in a position to protect his teeth as well as his lips;
(FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of device;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view of the mouth guard taken on line -33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a rear end elevational view of the device taken on line 4-4 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the elongate sheet of resilent material, which when folded upon itself forms a teeth-engaging cushion that is so formed as to permit forward insertion thereof through the protective shell forming a part of the mouth guard in the manner shown in FIGURE 3.
Referring to FIGURES l-S inclusive of the drawings for the general arrangement of the preferred form of the present invention, in FIGURES 2-3 it will be seen to include a curved, elongate resilient shield A which is sufficiently long and wide to cover and protect the lips (not shown) of a wearer B in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 1. An elongate sheet C of resilient material, such as rubber or the like, is provided (FIGURE 5) that may be doubled over upon itself to provide a resilient cushion which the wearer may grip by his teeth. The doubled-over sheet C projects through an elongate slot D which extends longitudinally across the center of the resilient shield A.
The resilient sheet C is preferably rectangular, and two pairs of longitudinally spaced notches and 12 are formed in the side portions thereof, as best shown in FIGURE 5. The notches 10 and 12 serve to divide the resilient sheet C into a central portion 14, a first end portion 16 and a second end portion 18. A number of transversely spaced, longitudinally extending ribs 20 project from one side of end portion 16. The width of the sheet C is substantially greater than the length of the slot D in shield A and the transverse spacing of the inner extremities of the pairs of notches 10 and 12 is substantially the same as the length of the slot D in shield A.
The resilient sheet C is capable of being folded transversely along a folding line 22 and when so folded, the ribs 20 are in abutting contact with the upper surface of the second end portion 1 8 as may best be seen in FIGURE 4. The ribs 20 cooperate with the adjacent sunfiaces of the end portions 16 and 18 when the sheet C is in the folded configuration as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 to provide a number of longitudinally extending air passages 24. The doubled-over central portion 14 is then pressed forwardly through the slot D to assume the position shown in FIGURE 3, where portion 14 defines a transversely extending air passage 26 which is in communication with passages 24. The forward and rear end edges of the pains of notches 10 and .1 2 engage forward and rear end surface portions of the shield A adjacent the ends of slot D and serve to removably hold the folded-over sheet C in a fixed position relative to the shield.
The ribs 20 may be either molded as an integral part of sheet C or comprise separate strips of resilient material bonded to the sheet by conventional means. One particular advantage of the preferred form of the invention is that the resilient sheet C is easily removed from the shield A, and when disposed in the position shown in FIGURE 5, is easily cleansed. Should it be desired, after sheet C has been folded over (FIGURE 3) the upper surface of the ribs 20 shown in FIGURE 5 can be bonded to the upper surface of the end portion 18 to pro vide an integrally formed cushion for the teeth that may be removably inserted in the shell as previously described. Bonding of the ribs 20 to sheet C, as well as bonding of the end portion 18 to the upper surface of the ribs may be effected by any one of the various commercially available adhesives, such as an epoxy resin, ideally adapted for this purpose.
While the mouth guard of the present invention is of simple construction, its special advantage resides in the fact that it permits the wearer to breathe freely while his teeth are tightly clenched on the relatively thin resilient cushion thereof. Shield A preferably has an opening 28 formed in the lower portion thereof which is removably engaged by a piece of string or cord 30 that is also attached to the chin guard 32 (FIGURE 1) to prevent loss of the mouth guard when in use.
The use and operation of the preferred form of the mouth guard are quite simple. The sheet C is folded into the configuration shown in FIGURE 3, and caused to removably engage shield A as previously described in detail. When the portions 16 and 18 are gripped between the teeth (not shown) of the user, the shield A is in the lip protecting position shown in FIGURE 1. With the device so disposed in the users mouth it is possible for him to breathe through the air passages 24 and 26 shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. The shield A is removed from the sheet C of the mouth guard to facilitate cleansing thereof.
Although the present invention is fully capable of achieving the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore mentioned, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment thereof and I do not means to be limited to the details of construction herein shown and described, other than as defined in the appended claims.
1. A two-piece protective guard for the lips and upper and lower teeth of a person including:
(a) a longitudinally curved, resilient shield adapted to extend over said lips of the user thereof, which shield has a longitudinally extending, centrally disposed slot formed therein;
(b) an elongate sheet of a resilient material substantially wider than the length of said slot, said sheet having first and second pairs of notches formed in the longitudinal sides thereof, with the width of said sheet between the inner extremities of each pair of said notches being substantially the same as the length of said slot, which notches divide said sheet into a central portion and first and second end portions; and
(c) a plurality of transversely spaced, longitudinally extending ribs projecting from one side of said first end portion, with said ribs when said sheet is transversely folded in said central portion overlying said second end portion and cooperating therewith to define a plurality of longitudinally extending air breathing passages, which central folded-over portion projects forwardly from said shield through said slot, with the forward and rear edges of said notches engaging the portions of said shield adjacent the ends of said slot to prevent inadvertent displacement of said sheet from said shield, and with said folded over central portion cooperating with said shield to define a transverse air passage that is in communication with said air passages defined by said ribs between said first and second end portions.
2. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said ribs are bonded to said first end portion.
3. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein said ribs are integrally formed with said sheet.
4. A device as defined in claim 1 wherein the surfaces of said ribs most adjacent said second portion when said sheet is transversely folded are bonded to said second end portion.
5. A two-piece protective guard for the lips and upper and lower teeth that can be disassembled for cleansing purposes, including:
(a) a longitudinally curved, resilient shield adapted to extend over said lips of the user thereof, which shield has a longitudinally extending slot formed therein;
(b) a doubled-over elongate rectangular sheet of a resilient material which extends through said slot to place the fold of said doubled-over sheet forwardly of said shield;
(c) first means for removably holding said doubledover sheet in said slot; and
(d) second means positioned between said doubledover sheet rearwardly of said shield for defining at least one breathing passage that communicates with a breathing passage formed in said fold forwardly of said shield, with said sheet and said shield being separable for cleansing purposes.
6. A protective guard as defined in claim 5 wherein said sheet is of greater width than said slot, with said first means comprising two pairs of longitudinally spaced notches formed in the sides thereof that divide said sheet into a central portion and first and second end portions, which pairs of notches when in alignment removably engage portions of said shield adjacent the ends of said slot to dispose said central portion in doubled-over form forwardly of said shield, and said first and second end portions rearwardly of said shield.
7. A protective guard as defined in claim 6 wherein said second means comprise a plurality of spaced ribs disposed between said doubled-over sheet rearwardly of said shield which define at least one of said breathing passages therebetween.
8. A protective guard as defined in claim 7 wherein said ribs are an integral part of said sheet.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,674,336 6/28 King 128l36 2,521,039 9/50 Carpenter 128136 2,589,504 3/52 Miller 128136 2,702,032 2/55 Freeland 128136 12,847,003 8/58 Helmer 128l36 3,082,765 3/63 Helmer 128-436 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.