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Publication numberUS3397687 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 20, 1968
Filing dateFeb 1, 1965
Priority dateFeb 1, 1965
Publication numberUS 3397687 A, US 3397687A, US-A-3397687, US3397687 A, US3397687A
InventorsHerman Kirchdoerfer
Original AssigneeHerman Kirchdoerfer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tongue depressor
US 3397687 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug- 20 1968 H. KlRcHnor-:RFER 3,397,687

\ TONGUE DEPRESSOR Filed Feb. l, 1965 i N QQ-3- Mmm lllllllllfmlllllll 7 A, im

' ATTlQ/VEY United States Patent O 3,397,687 TONGUE DEPRESSOR Herman Kirchdoerfer, San Marino, Calif. (1121 E. Green St., Pasadena, Calif. 91101) Filed Feb. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 429,565 Claims. (Cl. 12S- 15) ABSTRAC'I` OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to an element for depressing the tongue and having .ancillary purposes, as a teething stick and a pacier. The element is formed of suitable material, as wood, plastic or other composition which may have moderate ilexibility, said member being at and having a longitudinal part or blade and two transverse parts that are spaced longitudinally, of which one has a width readily insertable into the oral cavity and yet wide enough to engage and keep the tongue flat, and the other substantially wider, so as to be difficult of insertion into the oral cavity. The latter transverse part, due to its greater width, serves as a visual gauge that readily indicates whether or not the narrower part is in atwise tongue engagement, as desired. The entire device may be dipped in any liavor and sweetener material or medicine, or at least the part thereof that resides in the mouth in use.

An object of the invention is to provide a tongue depressor that has minimum length and width dimensions that preclude accidental swallowing.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device, as above characterized, that provides a transverse portion incapable of insertion, or at least diicult to insert, into the oral opening, and which serves as visual means to gauge the transverse tilt or lack thereof of the device when serving as a tongue depressor.

A further object of the invention is to provide a device, as mentioned, that is dipped or otherwise treated with material to alleviate teething pains, or ilavoring or sweetening of various sorts.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a tongue depressor with a transversely disposed portion for engaging the tongue across its full width, thereby preventing curling of the tongue around the depressor.

A more general object of the invention is to provide a tongue depressor that incorporates means that aids a physician to control the patients tongue during treatment of the oral cavity, as well as the mucous membranes of the throat. Treatment contemplates surgery of parts accessible through the oral cavity.

This invention also has for its objects to provide such means that are positive in operation, convenient in use, easily placed in a working position, economical of manufacture, relatively simple, and of general superiority and serviceability.

The invention also comprises novel details of construction and novel combinations and arrangements of parts, which will more fully appear in the course of the following description and which is based on the accompanying drawing. However, said drawing merely shows, and the following description merely describes, one embodiment of the present invention, which is given by way of illustration or example only.

In the drawing, like reference characters designate similar parts in the several views.

FIG. 1 is a side edge view of a tongue depressor according to the present invention, and shown in operative position in an oral cavity.

FIG. 2 is a plan view thereof.

FIG. 3 is an end edge view.

The present tongue depressor may be die-cut, molded,

3,397,687 Patented Aug. 20, 1968 ICC or fabricated of soft or hard wood, of plastic that is rigid or of limited elasticity, or of compositions of wood or other cellulosic materials. Since the same is provided for use in the oral cavity, all corners thereof should be suitably rounded and all surfaces smoothened, to obviate abrasion of the tongue and membranes of the mouth. Also, the present device, while provided for use in the mouths of children and adults, the use thereof by and for children to relieve the pains and discomforts of teething, as a pacitier, and as a tongue depressor, is rendered more eifective by lessening child resistance to use thereof. Such resistance may be largely overcome by applying lto or irnpregnating the device with oil of cloves or the like, for relief of teething pains. Natural or chemical sweeteners, or avorings such as peppermint, licorice, spearmint, maple and fruit flavors of various sorts, will provide increased acceptability of the device by children.

The expense of applying sweetening or flavoring material may be lessened by application thereof to but one side of the device. When used as a tongue depressor, such saving of expense may be resorted to. Such a coating may be colored differently from vthe color of the device, to guide its application in the mouth.

The tongue depressor that is illustrated comprises a flat longitudinal part or blade 5, preferably with rounded ends 6 and 7, a at, relatively short transverse part 8, also with round ends and adjacent the end 6 of the blade 5, and a flat, relatively longer transverse part 9 with round ends and adjacent the end 7 of the blade 5, said parts 8 and 9 being coplanar with the blade.

The length of the blade 5 may vary, but a length between about four and one-half and six and one-half inches is preferred, to enable use thereof as a tongue depressor for both children and adults.

The transverse length of the part 8 may 'approximate one and one-half to two and one-half inches, so that the same, in use, will surely engage and hold flat the full width of the tongue T, as suggested in FIG. 2. The tendency of the tongue to curl around the edges of the blade 5 is thereby obviated, and a physician is enabled to retain a clear and unobstructed passage to the mucous membranes of the throat, the tonsils, or masses of hypertrophied mucous membranes in the pharynx, for `treatment or excision thereof.

The part 9 is longitudinally spaced from the part 8 a distance of about one and one-half to two and one-half inches, so that this part 9 will remain outside the mouth when the part 8 is engaged with the tongue. The length of part 9 should be great enough to prevent its transverse insertion into the mouth. A length of three and one-half or more inches will provide suitably adequate difficulty so that a child cannot force the same into the mouth. Due to its length, the part '9 constitutes a visual gauge that advises that the part 8 is in a flatwise disposition. A physician absorbed in a surgical procedure can more readily become aware of an improper position of the tongueilattening portion of the device and take steps to correct the same. Also, because the part 9 may be located as to have a position limited by engagement with the outside of either the lips or the teeth, the tongue-depressing part 8 is easily retained in proper position on the tongue.

While the foregoing has illustrated and described what is now contemplated to be the best mode of carrying out the invention, the construction is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is not desi-red to restrict the invention to the particular form of construction illustrated and described, but to cover all modifications that may fall within the scope of the appended claims.

It is believed clear without further illustration .that since the transverse parts 8 and 9 are in the same plane, the parts 8 will be at or ycorrespondingly tipped within the mouth, exactly as the parts 9 are tiat or tipped outside the mouth. For instance, if it is desired to expose the right tonsil, the right hand part 9 outside the mouth would be tipped downward to the right. Due to the coplanar positions of the parts 8 and 9, this downward tipping of the right hand part 9 would cause the right hand part 8 within the oral cavity to depress downward the right side of the tongue a corresponding amount.

Having thus described this invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A tongue depressor comprising a ilat, elongated blade having a pair of coplanar, at transverse members projecting laterally from opposite sides of the blade for engaging a childs tongue transversely substantially the normal width thereof, and having a second coplanar, flat pair of transverse members projecting laterally from 0pposite sides of the blade and spaced along the blade from the rst pair of transverse members, the second pair of transverse members together being too long for their likely insertion into the mouth of a child, the said second pair of members by reason of the coplanar and parallel relationship of the two sets of transverse members indicating outside the human mouth any tilt of the first pair of transverse members within the human mouth and exaggerating such tilt by reason of the larger size of the second pair of transverse members than the rst.

2. A tongue depressor according to claim 1, in which the second pair of transverse members is spaced inwardly from the outer end of the blade to provide a handle for manipulation of the instrument.

3. A tongue depressor according to Claim 1, in which the second pair of transverse members is parallel with the first pair of coplanar, transverse members.

4. A tongue depressor according to `claim 1 in which at least one side of the depressor is provided with flavormg.

5. A tongue depressor `according to claim 1 in which at least one side of the depressor is provided with material for easing the discomfort attending teething.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,187,079 6/1916 Miller et al 128-15 2,026,065 12/1935 Rohr 128-16 X 2,425,945 8/ 1947 Leach 128--15 2,566,595 9/1951 Cameron 128-359 2,857,908 10/1958 Corneld 128-15 FOREIGN PATENTS 196,552 4/ 1923 Great Britain. 713,598 8/ 1954 Great Britain.

DALTON L. TRULUCK, Prima/y Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1187079 *Jun 15, 1915Jun 13, 1916Ephraim R MillerTongue-depressor.
US2026065 *Feb 8, 1933Dec 31, 1935Rohr Carl PDental apparatus
US2425945 *May 2, 1946Aug 19, 1947Leach John MConfection tongue depressor
US2566595 *Sep 28, 1949Sep 4, 1951Cameron Peter CTeething aid
US2857908 *Apr 26, 1957Oct 28, 1958Cornfield Leslie SCandy coated tongue depressor
GB196552A * Title not available
GB713598A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5993383 *May 27, 1999Nov 30, 1999Haase; Brian J.Laryngoscope blade with tongue controlling wing sections
US6059723 *Jan 14, 1998May 9, 2000Davis; James M.Fiberoptically illuminated tongue depressor
US6176824Apr 10, 1997Jan 23, 2001James M. DavisFiberoptically illuminated appliances
US6224547 *Nov 26, 1999May 1, 2001Donald E. DoyleTongue depressor for use on oral examinations
US20050064362 *Sep 17, 2004Mar 24, 2005Marcia LoftDental inspection mirror
US20070269761 *May 8, 2007Nov 22, 2007Masaru MiyamaAssisting device for practicing lateral movement of lower jaw
U.S. Classification600/240, D24/136
International ClassificationA61B13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61B13/00
European ClassificationA61B13/00