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Publication numberUS3421528 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1969
Filing dateOct 21, 1964
Priority dateOct 21, 1964
Publication numberUS 3421528 A, US 3421528A, US-A-3421528, US3421528 A, US3421528A
InventorsForster James Neil, Gomez Ludgero S A
Original AssigneeForster James Neil, Gomez Ludgero S A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Denture cleaning device
US 3421528 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1969 L. s. A. GOMEZ ETAL 3,421,528

DENTURE CLEANING DEVICE Sheet Filed Oct. 21, 1964 FIG. 2

INVENTORS S. A.

GOMEZ LUDGERO BY JAMES NEIL FORSTER ATTORNEYS 1.. s. A. com-:2 ETAL 3,421,528

DENTURE CLEANING DEVICE Jan. 14, 1969 Sheet 2/ of 2 Filed Oct. 21, 1964 FIG. 3

V 'INVENTOR. LUDGER'O S. A. GOMEZ BY JAMES NEIL FORSTER ATTORNEYS United States Patent 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A denture cleaning device including a cleaning unit and a driving unit, the cleaning unit having a container for a cleaning solution and a basket therein for holding dentures with the floor of the basket being perforated. The solution is agitated by a rotor disposed of at least in part between the floor of the basket and the floor of the container, the rotor including a magnet driven by magnetic coupling by the driving unit. The rotor may extend upwardly through an opening in the floor of the basket. The rotor is placed off center to inhibit the formation of a vortex in the cleaning solution, and to permit the circulation of the solution about the dentures in a gentle brushing action.

Our invention relates to a cleaning device for small articles and particularly to a device for cleaning an artificial denture which has been removed from the mouth of the wearer.

Many people wear either complete or partial upper and lower artificial dentures. These dentures usually represent a substantial investment for the individual. Artificial dentures are commonly removed from the wearers month before retiring for the night for cleaning or sterilizing. One method employed is to place the denture in a glass containing water and a commercial cleaner and permit the denture to soak therein. This method is not wholly satisfactory since without agitation, the cleaner loses its effectiveness and sedimentation of the mucous and food particles occurs. Another method is to hold the denture in the hand and to brush the denture and rinse the denture under a faucet of running water. Vigorous brushing often causes abrasion and loss of surface contour that is aesthetically pleasing where visible, and sometimes necessary for a secure fit when in contact with the palate. This method is also not completely acceptable since it exposes the denture to the possibility of falling into the sink and being damaged. It is therefore apparent that there exists a need for a safe and efficient device to properly clean artificial dentures.

It is therefore an object of our invention to provide a denture cleaning device adapted to overcome many of the foregoing difficulties associated with the proper cleaning of an artificial denture.

Another object of our invention is to provide a low cost denture cleaning device suitable for use in the bathroom, which device prevents injury to a denture yet promotes efiicient cleaning of the denture by a self-contained integral rotor encased within the cleaning container.

A further object of our invention is to provide a separable denture cleaning device particularly adapted to clean fully upper and lower artificial dentures with low power requirements and without danger of denture damage.

Also, an object of our invention is to provide a device for cleaning a denture, and by which the cleaned denture is easily removed from the device within a perforated carrier for safe rinsing under a faucet of running water or in a sterilizing solution.

Other objects will become apparent to those persons skilled in the art from the following more detailed de- Patented Jan. 14, 1969 scription of our device taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a partial perspective and cross-sectional vertical view of a denture cleaning device of our invention having an off-center rotor agitator;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective top view of our denture cleaning device of FIGURE 1 absent the top lid of the container;

FIGURE 3 is a partial perspective and cross-sectional vertical view of another embodiment of a denture cleaning device of our invention having a self-contained and centered agitator; and

FIGURE 4 is a top view of the magnetic rotor of the device of FIGURE 3.

FIGURES 1 and 2 show a denture cleaning device generally illustrated as 10, comprising an upper detachable driven cleaning assembly and lower driving assembly. The driving assembly includes a housing 12, having a base plate 14 and a depressed upper plate 16 shaped so that corresponding bottom of the cleaning assembly will fit securely and snugly within the shaped area. The base is fabricated from a hard rigid plastic with at least the upper plate constructed of non-magnetic material. A motor 18 such as a volt permanent pole induction motor is secured to base plate 14 and electrically connected through an electrical toggle switch 20 to an appliance cord 22 capable of being plugged into a household socket. The switch 20 may be a single pole, single throw switch or may additionally and optionally include a timer or timing element. For example, bimetallic elements may be incorporated whereby the warming up of the motor will automatically switch ofr the current after a predetermined period of time such as ten minutes. An upright drive shaft 24 on the motor has a collar 26 to which is secured a single flat permanent type bar magnet rotor 28 adapted for rotation with the collar 26 and shaft 24 but in a horizontal plane. The bar magnet rotor 28 is placed in close proximity to the under side of the upper plate 16 of the base. The field strength of the bar magnet, its position and the upper plate thickness and material are all selected so that rotation of the magnet bar 28 will provide sufficient magnet forces within the depressed space of the upper plate 16 to drive the rotor of the cleaning assembly. The shaft 24, collar 26 and the center of the magnet bar rotor 28 are located off centre from the geometric center of the cleaning assembly.

The cleaning assembly includes an elongated container or bowl 30 of sufiicient shape and length to permit dentures to be therein fiat. The container has a removable fitted cover 32 with a projecting center handle 34. The bowl 30 is characterized by a lower projecting base portion 36 shaped to fit into the depressed upper plate portion 16 of the driving assembly. Within the bowl 30 is a close fit open mesh type basket 38 having a projecting handle 40 at the one end extending from a slot in the Wall of the bowl 30 beneath the cover 32. This arrangement permits the cover 32 to be removed with one hand grasping the handle 34 and the mesh basket 38 to be lifted out of the bowl 30 with the other hand. The basket 38 is characterized by circumferential projections on the sides to separate spatially the basket 38 from the sides of the bowl 30 with the perforated base 42 extending beyond and resting on the shoulders of the shaped base projection 36. The basket 38 has an off center circular opening in the perforated base circumferentially surrounded by a slightly upraised ridge 44. A rnultivane tapered rotor 46 extends upwardly through the opening and is spatially separated from the ridge 44. The rotor 46 includes a metal center shaft 48 which extends into an opening in the bottom of the bowl 30. This pin 48 acts as a shaft for the rotor 46. The rotor 46 is fabricated from a plastic or other light, easily molded or cast material in the base of which is encapsulated or embedded a pair of aligned bar magnets 50 horizontally disposed and parallel to the rotor 28 of the driving assembly. The bar magnets 50 are disposed close to the bottom of the bowl 30 with a minimum clearance provided so that rotation of the bar magnet rotor 28 imparts a magnetic driving force to the opposing poles of the rotor 46. The metal pin 48 is aligned with and off center like the motor shaft 24. The bowl 30 contains a denture cleaning solution 40 of water and a cleaner, while a lower, horse-shoe type denture 54 is placed dentures up on the flat surface of the basket 38 with the open end of the dentures facing the rotor 46. An upper denture is similarly placed on the other side of the basket having the perforated greater surface area. The basket 38 should be constructed of material of less hardness than the dentures such as of plastic like polypropylene or polyethylene or similar material to prevent injury to the dentures.

In operation the bowl 30 is removed from the base 12 of the driving assembly and filled to a prescribed depth with water such as sufficient water to cover the top of the tapered rotor 46 and a cleaning compound added. The filled bowl is then placed and fitted on the upper plate 16 of the base 12 with the projecting portion 36 of the cleaning assembly packed into a snug and close fit as shown in FIGURE 1. The mesh basket 38 is removed by the use of handle 40 and the dentures 54 and 56 placed in a proper cleaning position on the mesh or perforated floor of the basket 38. The device is designed so that the lower bridge or denture 54 fits only with the open end of the horseshoe partially about the tapered rotor 46. The dentures are preferably placed with the teeth up so that the agitated cleaning solution can efiiciently reach the gum contacting areas and so that food debris and mucous will easily, after agitation is stopped, drop from the dentures through the mesh opening and into the shaped base of this cleaning assembly.

The described arrangement of the off center rotor 46 and the flat bottom of the basket 38 permits efiicient use of space and the efiicient cleaning action of the solution against the dentures. The basket 38 is then returned to the bowl 30, the bowl cover 32 placed in position and switch 20 actuated either manually or automatically. The rotation of bar magnet 28 by rotor 18 magnetically drives the self-contained rotor 46 in the cleaning solution causing agitation of the solution and cleaning of the dentures. The dentures are cleaned by the chemical action, e.g. oxidation, of the compounds and by physical agitation and removal of food particles. An excellent agitation action without the accompanying dangers of injury to the dentures is provided by having the rotor 46 off center. Center rotors of the type described are efficient agitators, but tend at high speeds to create a center vortex in the cleaning solution which inhibits an eflicient cleaning action, often results in wasted energy and may at high speed lift or move the dentures into contact with each other or the container damaging the dentures. The off center rotor 46 inhibits the formation of a vortex and promotes a circular liquid motion in a horizontal plane about the dentures. The off center rotor 46 provides a gentle, but firm continuous brushing or sweeping action of the liquid against the dentures. After the dentures have been cleaned, the switch is again activated to stop agitation whereby the food particles and other debris are permitted to descend and settle by gravity through the open mesh of the basket floor 38 and to reston the floor of the bowl 30. The dentures may be permitted to rest within the mesh basket 38 for a longer period of time such as over night to permit the chemical cleaning action to continue or the basket with the clean dentures removed as before and the dentures rinsed under a faucet of running water before removal and insertion in the mouth of the wearer. The bowl 30 without the inset basket 38 may then be emptied and cleaned for the next use.

In another embodiment of our invention, FIGURES 3 and 4 illustrate another self-contained magnetic rotor in a separable cleaning assembly on a driving assembly base.

FIGURES 3 and 4 show a driving assembly comprising a housing 50, a base plate 52, and a circular top plate 54 with an upwardly extending slightly raised external ridge 56 on the plate 54. A motor 58 is secured to the base plate 52 and electrically connected through an electrical switch 60 to an appliance cord 62 which is adapted for connection to a power supply (not shown). An upright drive shaft 65 on the motor is located beneath the geometric center of the circular area prescribed by the ridge 56. A collar 64 secures a horizontal bar magnet 68 for rotation in a horizontal plane. The bar magnet is of a permanent type and located as close as possible to the bottom of the top plate 54 with a minimum clearance.

The cleaning assembly comprises a bowl-shaped container 70, with a detachable top cover 71, and a downwardly extending wall 72 on the base of the container 70. The wall 72 is shaped to fit snugly within the ridge 56 of the driving assembly. Within the internal space in the container 70 formed by the circular wall 72 are located two fiat rectangular permanent type bar magnets 74 embedded in plastic or other light similar material 75 to form a bar rotor 76. The magnets are joined by a soft magnetic material 77 such as steel which facilitates the drilling of a center hole which is difficult with permanent magnetic material. The motor contains a metal center pin 78 in an axially centered hole which pin acts as a shaft for the rotor 76. The pin 78 is fixed and secured into the bottom of the container 70 by epoxy cement or other sealing material. The rotor 76 with the bar magnets 74 is located parallel to and in close spatial relationship with the bottom of the container 30 and the rotor 68.

A smaller contoured basket 80 is disposed with the container 70, the basket characterized by straight solid circumferential walls for added strength and a flat perforated bottom, and an upwardly extending center element 84 with a handle for ease in removing the basket 80 from the container. This element may be a simple rod or even a mesh type divider to form an upper and lower denture compartment within the basket 80. The flat bottom of the basket 80 rests on the outer shoulders of the bowlshaped container 70, so that the rotor 76 rotates completely below the perforated bottom. The container is filled to a prescribed depth with a cleaning solution 86, and is shown with an upper 88 and lower 90 bridge in the solution.

This device is compact and provides a different, but effective fluid flow pattern than the other preferred embodiment.

The self-contained rotor 76 upon rotation moves the liquid cleaning solution upwardly through the bottom openings. The dentures are lodged in a cleaning position so that the tendency to be raised or lifted by the movement of the liquid is considerably reduced. The type of rotor is also such to reduce any tendency to form a vortex in the solution, while the position of the dentures also tends to break up the vortex. The operation of this device is similar to that for the hexagonal device, that is, the container 30 is filled with a cleaning solution, the dentures 88 and 90 placed in the basket 80 and the switch 60 activated for a predetermined period of time.

We have therefore described a compact, efiicient device having a self-contained magnetic rotor in the cleaning assembly which device is efiicient and effective in the cleaning of dentures. Our device is easily cleaned, portable and considerably reduces the danger of damage to dentures while promoting effective cleaning thereof.

What we claim is:

1. A denture cleaning device comprising in combination: a driving unit and a cleaning unit, the cleaning unit including a first housing adapted to contain a body of cleaning solution; a basket shaped to fit within the first housing, the floor of the basket resting on inwardly spaced shoulders of the first housing, the floor characterized by a plurality of openings for the circulation of the solution and a large opening surrounded with a short upright circumferential ridge about the large opening; and a rotor assembly including a tapered multivane rotor extending upwardly through the large opening in the floor of the basket and a first permanent bar magnet in the base of the rotor disposed in the space between the floor of the first housing and the basket, the rotor assembly adapted for rotation to agitate the solution and the driving unit including a second housing, a motor having an upright driven shaft, a switch to activate the motor, a second permanent bar magnet secured to the shaft and adapted for rotation therewith, the second bar magnet disposed to drive the first bar magnet by magnetic means through the top wall portion of the second housing.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the first housing is an elongated non-circular housing adapted to permit the dentures to lay flat on the floor of the basket.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the rotor assembly and large opening is disposed off center from the geometric center of the housing.

4. The device of claim 1 which includes a cover for the first housing and the basket includes a projecting tab from the side thereof whereby the basket may be easily removed from the first'housing.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the first housing is an elongated housing of sufiicient size and shape to permit the dentures to lie flat on the perforated floor of the basket.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein the rotor includes at least a pair of axially aligned permanent bar magnets joined together by a soft magnetic metal, the soft metal characterized by an aperture for the insertion of a shaft as an axis of rotation, the bar magnets and metal embedded in a plastic material.

7. A cleaning assembly which comprises in combination: a separable assembly of a driving unit and a cleaning unit, the cleaning unit including a first housing adapted to contain a body of cleaning solution; a cover; a basket shaped to fit within the first housing, the floor of the basket resting on inwardly spaced shoulders of the first housing, the floor characterized by a plurality of openings for the circulation of the solution and a large opening surrounded with a short upright circumferential ridge about the large opening; and a rotor assembly including a tapered multivane rotor extending upwardly through the large opening in the fioor of the basket and the first permanent bar magnet in the base of the rotor disposed in the space between the fioor of the first housing and the basket, the rotor assembly adapted to agitate the solution and the driving unit including a second housing, a

motor having an upright driven shaft, a switch to activate the motor, a second permanent bar magnet secured to the shaft and adapted for rotation therewith, the second bar magnet disposed to drive the first bar magnet by magnetic means through the top wall portion of the second housing, whereby upon the cleaning assembly being placed in a magnetic inductive coupling relationship with a driving unit, a rotation of the rotor assembly and cleaning of the dentures is accomplished.

8. A denture cleaning device comprising: a cleaning unit and a driving unit, the cleaning unit including a first housing adapted to contain a body of cleaning solution; a basket shaped to fit within the housing and adapted to contain dentures to be cleaned, the floor of the basket spaced apart from the floor of the first housing and characterized by a plurality of openings for the circulation of said solution and by a rotor opening in the floor with an upright circumferential ridge about the opening and wherein the rotor includes an upright multivane tapered rotor projecting upwardly through the rotor opening; and a rotor including a magnet, the rotor adapted for rotation and agitation of the solution and disposed for rotation between the floor of the housing and the basket; the rotor having an axis of rotation disposed off center from the geometric center of the first housing whereby on rotation the formation of a vortex in said solution is inhibited and circulation of the solution about the dentures in a horizontal plane is formated; and the driving unit including a second housing, motive means to drive the rotor with the motive means which includes a magnet disposed to rotate the rotor by magnetic coupling.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,596,969 8/1926 Hedstrom 134-188 1,718,613 6/1929 Treffinger 134187 2,549,121 4/ 1951 Osterheld. 2,655,011 10/1953 Ihle et al. 2,828,950 4/1958 Stilwell. 3,132,657 5/1964 Ciccone 134-188 3,265,369 8/1966 Harrison 134188 X 2,282,866 5/1942 Hagen 259-108 CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner.

ROBERT L. BLEUTGE, Assistant Examiner.

U.S. C1.X.R. 259-108

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Classifications
U.S. Classification134/188, 366/274
International ClassificationB08B3/10, A61C17/02, A61C17/00
Cooperative ClassificationB08B3/104, A61C17/036
European ClassificationA61C17/036, B08B3/10B2