US 3522805 A
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United States Patent Inventor: Melvin Wallshein 8645 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11214 Application No.: 710,090
Filed: March 4, 1968 Patented: Aug. 4, 1970 DENTAL APPLIANCES FOR INHIBITING TONGUE-THRUSTING AND THUMB-SUCKING 10 Claims, 11 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl. 128/136,
32/19 Int. Cl. A611 5/56 Field of Search 128/ 1 36,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,669,988 2/1954 Carpenter 128/136 3,107,667 10/1963 Moore 128/136 3,219,033 11/1965 Wallshein 128/136 3,339,547 9/1967 Drabkowski 12,8/260 Primary Examiner- Adele M. Eager Att0rney M.D. Nissenbaum Patented Aug. 4, 1970 3,522,805
JNyENTOR, Melvin WoHshem,
US. PATENT 3,522,805 DENTAL APPLIANCES FOR INHIBITING TONGUE- THRUSTING AND THUMB-SUCKING SPECIFICATION The present invention relates to devices to deter a child from tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking, and more particularly to the type that is carried on the teeth.
An object of this invention is to provide novel and improved devices of this character which cause the wearer some inconvenience which can be neutralized by manipulations of the tongue into positions, which when assumed by the tongue because of the human tendency to attempt to mitigate any hampering of a normal function, will so busy the tongue that there can be no thrusting thereof or sny sucking thereby, or the inconvenience is permitted to persist, in which event sucking action by the tongue is prevented.
A further object thereof is to provide novel and improved inhibiting devices for children having either or both of said objectionable habits, affording simple constructions which are reasonable in cost to make, are tolerable in use, and which are efficient in carrying out the functions for which they are designed.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent as this disclosure proceeds.
Essentially, all of these devices make the mouth communicative with the atmosphere, between the lips, so the lips are held from closing tightly to form a seal required for thumbsucking action, or as is necessary for easy swallowing. The human swallows involuntarily and voluntarily at an appreciable frequency. The lips need be sealed, to swallow with ease. If the lips are not closed to form a seal, swallowing is possible, but with some discomforture, though tolerable, yet is a nuisance. All embodiments, except one, as shown herein, do allow the tongue to be manipulated to valve the air inlet and so are useful to deter one or both of said bad habits. Where no valving is possible, the device serves to deter thumb-sucking.
In the accompanying drawing forming part of this specification, similar characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in all the views.
FIG. I is a fragmentary perspective view showing a device embodying teachings of this invention, attached to the upper teeth ofa childs open mouth, as viewed looking upward at the palate. Seen, is the bottom view ofthe device.
FIG. 2. is a pictorial view showing a child fitted with any of the devices herein illustrated.
FIG. 3 is an upright pictorial view of the device of FIG. I, of slightly modified construction.
FIG. 4 is a section taken at line 4-4 in FIG. 1
FIG. 5 is a section taken at line 5-5 in FIG. 3
FIG. 6 is a section taken at line 6-6 in FIG. 3.
FIG. 7 shows the device of FIG. I in section as in FIG. 4, in use within a mouth. This view may be deemed a section taken at line 7-7 in FIG. 2, showing the tongue acting as shut-off.
FIG. 8 is a bottom pictorial view of another embodiment of a device embodying teachings of this invention.
FIG. 9 is an upright pictorial view ofa device in accordance with teachings of this invention, of a construction which the tongue cannot valve. This embodiment serves to inhibit thumb-sucking.
FIG. 10 is a section taken at line 10-10 in FIG. 9.
FIG. I l is a view like FIG. 7 showing an embodiment of another device taught herein, which is worn by the lower teeth ofthe patient.
In the drawing, the device of FIG. 1 indicated generally by the numeral 15, includes a plate 16, preferably of plastic, as acrylic for instance, which may be made from a cast taken of the palate of the child patient 17. Through the forward portion of the plate which extends downwardly along the lingual faces of the upper incisors, are the plastic tubes 18 and 19, in airtight juncture therewith, and extend substantially horizontally in divergent relation forwardly thereof. The tube 19 which is relatively short, but sufficiently long to extend from between the lips, terminates at the inner surface of said plate 16; the inner opening of such tube being adapted to be closed by the tip of the tongue 20. The longer tube 18, extends rearwardly along substantially the center line of said plates lower surface, and has a closed inner end, but is provided with an aperture H in its lower surface, which opening is adapted to be closed by the hump 20' of the tongue; the said hump being present when the tongue is wholly within the mouth. The plate is preferably releasably mounted by hooks 21, 22, 23 therefrom for engagement with selected upper teeth, in the manner of suspending a denture.
The device of FIG. 3 denoted generally by the numeral 15 is like the item 15, but its long air passage structure is afforded by a short tube 24, which extends in air-tight juncture through the plate, and its inner opening 25, is at the upper surface of said plate which is numbered 16' where it is communicative with a channel 46 along the center line of and in the upper surface of the plate, to tongue hump region, where the floor of said channel is provided with an aperture H. The short air passage is provided by the tube 26 which is akin to the tube l9 of the device 15. The manner of closing the passges with the tongue, is the same for the items 15 and 15. It may be noted, that the palate-fitting plate when worn by the patient, makes a tubular duct ofthe channel.
The embodiment 15" of FIG. 8, differs from 15, in that the air passages into the mouth are provided by the short tubes 27, 28, the inner ends of which are close enough to each other, so they are adapted to be closed simultaneously by the tip of the tongue.
In the embodiment indicated as 15" of FIG. 9 the plate 29 is provided with a downward well 30, and preferably a plurality of channels 44 in its top surface, radially from said well and communicative therewith; the floors of said well and channels having perforations, and the plate itself may be perforated. The numerals 33 and 34 designate tubes in air-tight junction through the plate 29, extending in a direction forwardly therefrom, and extending rearwardly to said well 30, with which they are communicative. The numerals 35, 36 and 37 indicate perforations. The numerals 38 and 39, denote the inner end openings of the tubes 33 and 34 respectively, which discharge into the well 30. p
In the embodiment designated generally as 15" which is shown in FIG. 1 l, the short tubes 40, 41 are communicatively associated with a thin hollow saddle 42, set over the front lower teeth in the manner of a lower denture, which is releasably attached by hook means 43 therefrom, to selected lower teeth. In this instance, the air through the tubes enters the mouth below the tongue 20' All tubing elements 18, 19, 24, 26, 27, 28, 33, and 34 are preferably of flexible plastic, as polyethylene for example, all of them are ofa forward length so they protrude from between the lips when these dental devices are worn. In the items 15", 15", and 15"" the inclusion of only one tube is sufficient for proper working, but two are preferred since use of said devices by the child while in bed, precludes shutting off the air into the mouth should he lie on his side, whereby, one tube end may be against a pillow.
It is evident that when the tip of the tongue is positioned by the patient to close the inner end of any of the tubes 19, 26, 27, 28 or the hole H there can be no tongue thrusting out of the mouth while the tongue is so busied. The devices I5" and 15 are therefore for use by tongue thrusters. Since it is impossible for the thumb to shut all of the perforations simultaneously, in the device 15" ofFIG. 9, because their spread exceeds that of the thumb, thumb-sucking is impossible when this device is in use. It is also evident that when in the devices 15 and 15', the holes H and H are closed by the arching ofthe tongue, while the tongue's tip closes the inner ends of the short tubes 19 and 26 respectively, that both tongue thrusting and thumb sucking are impossible. Hence, these devices 15, 15' are for use by patients having both of said bad habits. By omitting the short tubes 19, 26 in said devices 15, 15' respectively, they are for inhibiting only tongue thrusting, in which events the holes H,H' can be closed by arching the tongue as in FIG. 7, or by curling the tongue, not shown, so the tip thereof closes said holes respectively.
When the tongue is so positioned as mentioned, that all air intake into the mouth through the lips is cut off, as is possible with the devices l5, 15', 15' and 15"", all swallowing occuring as reflex actions, will be normal. Though such total air cutoff into the mouth is impossible with the device 15" whereupon swallowing is possible, but uncomfortable, such discomfort is tolerable though annoying. Best of course, is to make use of the embodiments which afford normal swallowing. But for very young patients who suck their thumbs, the appliance 15' is most practical, because it may be premature for them to exert any conscious effort to try to mitigate the inconvemenee.
Upon installation of any of the devices herein taught, the patient immediately experiences difficulty in swallowing, such swallowing being of the reflex kind. Such deviation from normal, sets up sympathetic reflexes, and the nervous system brings every part of the body and the mind into relationship with every other part and tends to make these relationships favorable for the survival of the organism. There occurs a sort of sympathetic cooperation and creates conditions compelling to bring into play voluntary acts to set things right when organs are having difficulty in doing their work. With the item 15" the patient cannot help himself. But with the others, he can be taught or he may naturally soon discover that certain tongue manipulations will give him relief. It is this human tendency that brings about the operation of these devices l5, l5, l5" and by tongue manipulation.
This invention is capable of numerous forms without departing from the essential features herein disclosed. It is therefore intended and desired that the embodiments shown and described herein shall be deemed merely illustrative and not restrictive and that the patent shall cover all patentable novelty herein set forth; reference being had to the following claims rather than to the specific showings and description herein, to indicate the scope of this invention.
l. A device to deter a child from at least one of the habits of tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking, comprising air passage structure having first and second openings, adapted to be positioned between the lips of a persons mouth so that the first opening to said passage is at the front of the lips and the second opening to said passage is at the rear of the lips when the mouth is closed, and means extending from said structure adapted to fit into the mouth for releasably engaging a selected part of only one jaw.
2. A device as defined in Claim 1, wherein the second opening is in position to be closed by moving the tongue thereto in a direction other than to pass between the upper and lower teeth when the device is mounted, so no air can enter the mouth through said passage.
3. A device as defined in Claim 2, wherein the second opening is forward of the tip of the tongue at the lingual surface of an incisor when the mouth is closed, and can be closed by moving the tip to it.
4. A device as defined in Claim 2, wherein said means is for attachement to upper tooth structure and the second opening is opposite that region of the tongue which is forced into a hump when the tongue is wholly within the mouth; said second opening being adapted to be closed by moving-the tongue so that its humped region bears against said second opening.
5. A device as defined in Claim 2, wherein said means includes a plate adapted to set against the palate and hooks extending from said plate, adapted to mounting onto upper tooth structure; the forward portion of said plate, extending downwardly along the lingual surface of the upper incisors when the device is mounted in the mouth; said second opening being adjacent the lingual face of said portion, and adapted to be closed by the tip of the tongue when the mouth is closed and the tongue tip moved to it; said air passage structure,
being tubular. I
6. A device as defined in Claim 5, including a second airpassage structure carried by said plate, having third and fourth openings; said second structure being positioned between the lips so the third opening is forward of the lips and the fourth opening is opposite that region of the tongue which is formed into a hump when the tongue is wholly within the mouth; said fourth opening being adapted to be closed by moving the tongue so that its humped region bears against said fourth opening and at the same time the tip of the tongue will close the second and third openings.
7. A device as defined in Claim 1, wherein the second opening is opposite that portion of the tongue which is humped when the tongue is wholly within the mouth; said second opening being adapted to be closed by movement of the tongue so that said portion is against such opening.
8. A device as defined in Claim 7, wherein the air-passage structure is offered by a duct extending rearwardly along the upper surface of a plate against the palate; said plate being carried by said attachment means, and when mounted in the mouth, said duct and palate forming a tubular passage; the forward portion of the air-passage structure being a tubular piece communicative with said duct.
9. A device as defined in Claim 1, wherein the air-passages second opening is unclosable by the thumb.
10. A device as defined in Claim 9, wherein the second opening comprises a plurality of openings in said air passage structure; the thumb being incapable of closing all of said plurality of openings simultaneously.