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Publication numberUS3312218 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 4, 1967
Filing dateJul 16, 1965
Priority dateJul 16, 1965
Publication numberUS 3312218 A, US 3312218A, US-A-3312218, US3312218 A, US3312218A
InventorsAlfred G Jacobs
Original AssigneeAlfred G Jacobs
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mouth protector
US 3312218 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

A ril 4, 1967 L 'A, G. JACOBS 3,312,213

MOUTH PROTECTOR Filed July 16, 1965 s Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ALFRED G. JACOBS ATTORNEYS April 4, 1967 A. G..IJACOBS 3,312,218

MOUTH PROTECTOR Filed July 16, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 {Hm will INVENTOR. ALFRED e. JACOBS BY #m W? ATTORNEYS April 4, 1967 r v, JACOBS 3,312,218 v MOUTH PROTECTOR Filed July 16, 1965 s Sheets$heet 5 INVENTOR.

ALFRED G. JACOBS ATTORNE'Y United States Patent 3,312,218 MGUTH PRCDTE'CTOR Alfred G. Jacobs, 802 University Bay Drive, Madison, Wis. 53705 Filed July 16, 1965, Ser. No. 477,073

4 Ciaims. (Cl. 128-136) 'will be tough, resilient and shape-retaining at body temperatures.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a protective mouthpiece consisting of a single channel member adapted to receive and retain an impression of the teeth and soft tissue of a persons mouth. It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a quick and effective method for molding a protective mouthpiece to conform to the wearer's teeth and gums.

Another object of the present invention is to provide novel and improved means for handling a mouth protector of the type described and for attaching the same to a helmet or other protective device worn by a player.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein the invention is shown by way of illustration and not by way of limitation.

In the drawings:

FIG. l-is a perspective view of my mouthpiece as it appears before it is fitted to a persons teeth;

FIG. 2 is a top view of my mouthpiece;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are, respectively, front and rear view of the mouthpiece in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are perspective views of a first alternate form of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a side view of a second alternate form of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a view showing the invention of FIGS. 5 and i I 6 as used by a football player in conjunction with his helmet;

FIG. 9 is a view, partially in section, taken along the line 99 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 10 is a side view showing my mouthpiece being clipped in a container of boiling water;

FIG. 11 is a side view of a third alternate form of the invention; and

FIG. 12 is a front view of the mouthpiece shown in FIG. 11. 7

My protective mouthpiece 10 consists of a single U- shaped channel member 11 made from a material which may be molded at a temperature higher than body temperature but lower than that which will burn mouth tissues, to conform to the wearers teeth and surrounding soft gum tissue, and which, after cooling, is tough, resilient, durable and shape-retaining at body temperature. It is of particular importance that the mouthpiece material should not soften'or otherwise lose any of its resilmember 11 to the desired level.

ient properties at body temperatures, since the mouthpiece Wil be substantially at body temperature during all periods of use. The material should also be adapted to receive a new impression of the teeth and gum tissue upon being reheated to a temperature above body temperature. One such prefrered material is a vinyl resin comprising an ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, which is sold by Du Pont under the trade name Elvax. In particular, the material identified by Du Pont as Elvax #250 has been found to be especially well suited for my invention.

My channel member 11 has a substantially flat, U- shaped tree base portion 12 from which extends an inner wall 13 and an outer wall 14. The channel 11 is of sufficient size to slip snugly around the wearers upper teeth. The inner wall 13 and the outer wall 14 are shaped to comfortably correspond to the outline of a persons mouth, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. If desired, the chan- 11 may also be adapted for protection of the lower teeth. My mouthpiece can be molded according to my preferred method to receive an impression conforming to the shape of the teeth and surrounding gum tissue of the wearer in the matter of seconds. My method is easily employed by the wearer of the mouthpiece, and no special training is required to secure a good fit. The first step of my method is to heat the channel member 11 to a temperature higher than body temperature and sufiicient to cause the channel material to soften and become moldable under moderate pressure. For my preferred material identified above, the minimum temperature at which the channel may be readily molded is approximately F. Heating of the channel member 11 is most efiiciently accomplished by placing it in boiling water for a length of time sufiicient to raise the temperature of the channel The length of time that the channel member is in the boiling water may typically range from about 5 to 60 seconds, seven seconds normally being sufficient to raise the temperature of the channel 'member to between approximately 125 F. and F.,

the optimum temperature range for molding the mouthpiece in the mouth. While a channel member of my preferred material may be readily molded at temperatures up to 200 B, it should not be heated to a temperature so high that it will burn the soft tissue of the mouth when inserted therein, if it is to be molded within the mouth according to my preferred method. If the temperature of the channel member 11 exceeds 150 F. at the time it is placed 'in the mouth, discomfort or possible burning may result. The presence of a liquid film on the surface of the channel member 11 when it is removed from the boiling water will cool the surface slightly by evaporation, and there will be less discomfort to the mouth tissue than if the channel member is heated by dry air to the same temperature.

After it has been immersed in the boiling water a sulficient length of time to raise its temperature to the desired ievel, the channel member 11 is removed from the boiling water, preferably with tongs, tweezers, or other suitable means, and placed immediately in the mouth around the upper or lower teeth as preferred. If the channel member has. been overheated, it should be allowed to cool slightly until it can be placed in the mouth without causing discomfort or burning. The tongue should then be instantly pressed against the outside surface 15 of the channel inner wall 13 to force the inner wall 13 against the teeth. While pressing the channel member 11 firmly in this position, all of the air and water is sucked out of the channel member to draw it tightly against the teeth to thereby impress the outline of the teeth and surrounding gum tissue into the channel member 11. The mouthpiece 10 may then be removed and cooled, preferably by placing in cold water or under a cold water tap, to harden the mouthpiece so that it will retain the impression. The mouthpiece 10 will then be custom fit to the mouth of the wearer. The inner surface 16 of the outer wall 14, the inner surface 17 of the inner wall 13, and the inner surface 18 of the flat U-shaped base portion 12 will all bear a distinct impression of the wearers teeth and surrounding gum tissue. This impression will last indefinitely during usage until the mouth-piece is again heated to a temperature above body temperature at which time it is easily molded. If, through faulty technique, a tight fit is not obtained, or the fit becomes loose after extended usage, the mouthpiece 10 may be re-fit to the wearers teeth. This is done by simply repeating the procedure involved in making the first impression. The entire procedure takes only seconds to complete.

My invention features a simple structure of sufficient strength to provide a durable mouthpiece which protects the teeth from loosening or chipping, and protects the adjacent lips and soft tissue from inner cuts and bruises. The mouthpiece 10 has sufficient body to hold and retain any impression made in it, and to absorb the force of any jarring blows to the mouth. The channel member 11 is adapted to receive the impression directly, and no messy, difiicult to manage and/ or expensive filler material is required. Furthermore, the making of the impression requires no special skill. Anyone may easily and safely make a satisfactory impression of his teeth. An additional advantage lies in the fact that my improved mouthiece 10 may be cleaned with soap and water or any other cleaning agent which is not harmful to mouth tissues.

FIGS. 5-10 illustrate alternate forms of my invention wherein the placing of the mouthpiece in boiling water is facilitated and the need for tongs, tweezers and other means for handling the mouthpiece is dispensed with.

Referring to FIGS. 5, 6, 8 and 9, a first alternate form of the invention, designated in its entirety by the reference character 20, consists of a channel member 21 having a substantially fiat, U-shaped base portion 22 from which extends an inner wall 23 and an outer wall 24. A forwardly extending flexible elongated tie member 25 is formed integral with the front lower surface of Wall 24 and protrudes from the occlusal surface of the upper teeth a distance sufiicient to bend around the face guard of a helmet, as shown in FIG. 8. The tie member 25 is preferably formed integral with the mouthpiece 20 but it may be attached separately thereto if desired. It may be formed of vinyl or other suitable material and is equipped with a slot 26 adjacent its end which receives a pin 27 to form a bight at its end.

A second alternate form of my invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 10 wherein a mouthpiece 30, similar in its general construction to mouthpieces 10 and 20, is shown as being equipped with a relatively short forwardly eX- tending lip 31 which protrudes from the occlusal surface of the mouthpiece. The lip 31 is characterized by a flat body having a hole 32 adjacent its forward edge. A :short flexible cord 34 extends through the hole 32 and is tied to the lip 31 to provide a handle for dipping the mouthpiece into boiling water, as shown in FIG. 10.

A third alternative form of the invention is set forth in FIGS. 11 and 12, wherein a mouthpiece 40, similar :to mouthpieces 20 and 30, 'is shown having a T-shaped slot 42 cut into the front end thereof just above its occlusal surface. A flexible cord 44 is inserted into the slot 42, which can be opened by squeezing the mouthpiece, and the slot 42 closes about the cord 44 to provide a convenient means for immersing the mouthpiece in water without tongs, tweezers, etc., substantially in the manner illustrated in FIG. 10.

It is understood that the present invention is not confined I 1115 Particular w lst uction herein i'.lustrated and described, but embraces all such modifications and alterations thereof as may come within the scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. The method of conforming a protective mouthpiece having a base portion and an inner and an outer wall to the outline of the teeth which comprises:

(a) heating the mouthpiece to a temperature higher than body temperature but lower than that which will burn the soft tissue of the mouth, until it is readily mold-able under moderate pressure;

(b) placing the mouthpiece in the mouth and holding the mouthipece around the teeth to be protected;

(0) instantly sucking substantially all air and water out of the mouthpiece to draw said mouthpiece tightly against the teeth and thereby impress the outline of the teeth and gum tissue into the base portion and the inner and outer wall of the mouthpiece;

(d) cooling the mouthpiece to retain the dental impression.

2. The method of conforming a protective mouthpiece having a base :portion and an inner and outer Wall to the outline of the teeth which comprises:

(a) placing the mouthpiece in boiling water until it is readily moldable under moderate pressure;

(b) removing the mouthpiece from the boiling water and placing it in the mouth around the teeth to be protected; (0) instantly pressing the tongue against the mouthpiece to force it against the back of the teeth;

(d) while holding the mouthpiece firmly in this position sucking substantially all air and water out of the mouthpiece to draw said mouthpiece tightly against the teeth and thereby impress the outline of the teeth and gum tissue-into the base portion and the inner and outer wall of the mouthpiece;

(e) removing the mouthpiece from the mouth and placing it in cold water to retain the dental impression.

3. A protective mouthpiece for absorbing the force of 4 0 blows transmitted to the mouth of a person wearing a helmet having a face guard attached thereto, said mouthpiece comprising:

(a) a substantially U-shaped channel member adapted to fit snugly around the wearers teeth and surround ing gum tissue,

(b) said U-shaped channel being made from a material which when heated to a temperature in excess of body temperature may be molded to receive an impression of the wearers teeth and surrounding gum tissue, and which, when cooled to body temperature is tough, resilient, durable and shape retaining,

(c) a forwardly extending flexible tie member formed integral with said channel member, said tie member extending from the front of said channel member at approximately the occlusal surface of the upper teeth of the wearer of said mouthpiece a distance sufficient to the bend around the face guard of the helmet, and

(d) an enlarged head on said tie member and an aperture therein to receive said head for attaching said tie member back on itself for securing said tie member to said face guard.

4. A protective mouthpiece for absorbing the force of blows transmited to the mouth of a person wearing a helmet having a face guard attached thereto, said mouthpiece comprising:

(a) a substantially U-shaped channel member having a base portion and an inner and an outer wall adapted to fit snugly around the wearers teeth and surrounding gum tissue, 70 (b) said U-shaped channel being made from a material which when heated to a temperature in excess of body temperature may be molded to receive an impression of the wearers teeth and surrounding gum tissue, and which, when cooled to body temperature 7 is tough, resilient, durable and shape retaining,

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Buhse 128172.1

Miller 128-136 Cathcart et a1 128-136 Grossberg 128136 Owens 128-136 Monaghan 128-136 10 ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification128/862, D24/176, 2/9, 433/37
International ClassificationA63B71/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2071/088, A63B71/085
European ClassificationA63B71/08M