US 3254356 A
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June 7, 1966 KOU. c. YAO E'TAL 3,254,356
COMBINED TOOTHBRUSH, TONGUE SCRAPER AND EAR CLEANER Filed Aug. 51, 1964 20 INVENTOR.
1:0(1 a. YAO NANCY YAO ACI'TORNEY United States Patent M r 3,254,356 COMBINED TOOTI-IBRUSH, TONGUE SCRAPER AND EAR CLEANER Kou C. Yao and Nancy Yao, both of 11841 Wagner St.,
- Culver City, Calif. Filed Aug. 31, 1964, Ser. No. 394,103 1 Claim. (Cl. -111) This invention relates in general to personal hygiene devices, and specifically to a combination of a brush and ear wax removing tool, jointly served by a common handle portion which also serves as a tongue scraper.
Personal hygiene among civilized people is considered to be a necessity. In most countries it is well recognized that teeth are both more attractive and subject to less decay if brushed andcleaned.
The cleaning of wax from ear canals is a subject not often considered, because it is usually the opinion of both the layman and the medical profession that tools should not be inserted into the ear canal because of the danger of infection. It is, nevertheless, a common prac tice for people to use all sorts of instruments in their ears to relieve the itching sensation which occasionally occurs. Sometimes this itching is caused by excess wax. Accordingly, a safe and efficient instrument for keeping excess material removed is to be preferred over a random object used on the spur of the moment. A proper instrument will encourage cleanliness.
Many people consider personal hygiene to include scraping of accumulations from the tongues surface. Dentists often recommend a severe brushing with a toothbrush. One method commonly accepted is a scraping tool used to draw over the surface of the tongue.
It is an object of this invention to provide three personal hygiene instruments in one convenient instrument, each instrument serving a dual function.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a toothbrush having a handle which may serve two further functions.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a tongue scraping instrument having one end which may serve as an ear cleansing function and the other end which may serve as a tooth cleansing function, but both of which serve as handles for the tongue scraping device.
Also, it is an object of this invention to provide an ear cleansing instrument which is devised to prevent damage to the eardrum, while effectively shearing away excess waxy material and accumulating that material within a collecting orifice.
In accordance with these and other objects which will become apparent hereinafter, the best mode contemplated for the present invention is disclosed in the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a combination personal hygiene instrument embodying the three functions of this invention, with the tongue scraping position suggested in phantom outline;
FIGURE 2 is a plan'view from the bristle side of the instrument;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged perspective illustration of the ear cleansing end of the instrument; and
' FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view of the ear cleansing end.
In the drawing, the combination device of this invenr 3,254,356 Patented June 7, 1966 sible for the handle to yield in order to prevent accidental harsh treatment of the ear canal when the' end 12 is inserted into the ear. bending of the handle into a curve in order that the rectangular thin section produces four sharp corner edges along the entire thin section.v This is neither a knife edge or a knife blade, but is nonetheless an effective de' vice to scrape the tongue with maximum safety.
The end 12, as best shown in FIGURE 3, is a blunt, rounded, ball-like knob having an end surface 18 which is semi-spherical and safe to abut even a delicate eardrum. This semi-spherical end surface, if projected, would define substantially a ball structure, although perhaps not completely unform as a true sphere. A true spheremay have a central axis extending in any direction through the center of the sphere. For the purpose of describing the structure of the end 12, two perpendicular central axes of the end will be considered.
First, there is a central axis (Y) of the projected ball structure which extends substantially through the center of the semi-spherical end and this central axis lies substantially alongv the longitudinal axis of the handle portion 14.
Then, a second axis (X) perpendicular to central axis (Y) may be referred to as an axis in perpendicular relationship.
In order to protect the ear and to provide a shielded scraping action, a lateral opening 20 is extended into the end knob from opposite sides between the handle 14 and the semi-spherical forward end 18. The opening 20 has a central axis (A) ofiYset in the direction of the handle 14 from the location of the cross central axis (X) of the projected ball structure.
It may be said that the ear cleansing device is served by a handle in the form of a toothbrush having a flexible tongue scraper section between the brush head portion and the knob 12. V
The combination of this invention may be made of many feasible materials which are available and can be used as desired according to function and price. One of such materials which is acceptable is known as polypropylene and is to be preferred in many instances because it is a material having high fatigue strength under repeated bending stresses. This material will probably outlast the bristles of the toothbrush portion in most instances.
This invention, therefore, provides a safe and sanitary means for performing the operation of removing wax from the ear canal to reduce accumulation and the resultant discomfort.
The rounded ball-like nature of the end provides blunt surfaces which cannot harm the eardrum even if projected deeply into contact with the innermost parts of the ear.
By placing the opening 20 offset to the rear of the center of the ball-like end structure 12, a scraping opening is provided which will function whether the end is rotated or oscillated. In order to best illustrate the function of the rim sunface of the opening 20, one may visualize the edges of two spoons which are joined or positioned back to back. This structure is not to be confused with such devices as prior art scoop or ear pick structures which do not provide the shielded protective structure as set forth in the present invention.
While the instant invention has been shown and described herein in what is conceived to be the best mode contemplated, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention which is, therefore, not to be limited to the details disclosed herein, but is to be afforded the full scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
Also, it thus makes possible the We claim:
A combined cleaning device, comprising:
a blunt, rounded, ball-like knob for cleaning the eat;
a handle attached to said knob, said handle having a longitudinal axis, said handle being in the form of a toothbrush having a flexible tongue scraper section between the brush head portion and said knob;
said knob having a semi-spherical forward end, said end having a sunface which, if projected, would define substantially a ball structure, a first central axis of said projected ball structure extending substantially through the center of said semi-s-pherical end lying substantially along the longitudinal axis of said handle;and
a lateral opening extending into said knob from opposite sides between said handle and said semi-spherical forward end, said lateral opening having a central axis offset in the direction of said handle from the location of a central axis of said projected ball structure extended substantially perpendicular to the said first central axis.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/1919 Gardner 15-l67 1,893,524 1/1933 'Shanley l28304 2,049,956 8/1936 Greenberg 151ll X 10 3,085,272 4/1963 Weichselbaum 15-187 X FOREIGN PATENTS 734,846 8/ 1932 France.
13,341 7/1894 Great Britain. 15 381,843 10/1932 Great Britain. 711,017 6/1954 Great Britain.
DANIEL BLUM, Primary Examiner.