Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3696809 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 10, 1972
Filing dateAug 12, 1969
Priority dateAug 16, 1968
Also published asDE1936604A1, DE1936604B2
Publication numberUS 3696809 A, US 3696809A, US-A-3696809, US3696809 A, US3696809A
InventorsMoret Michel A
Original AssigneeInst Rech Diffusion Ind
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for oral hygiene
US 3696809 A
Abstract
A method and apparatus for cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums are described in which a pulsating jet of liquid is pressure modulated, the modulation frequency being substantially lower than the frequency of the pulsations, and the modulated pulsating jet is directed against the surfaces to be treated. The pulsation frequency may be in the range of 600-6000 pulses per minute, and advantageously above about 3000, to clean the teeth effectively. The modulation frequency may be in the range of 70-600 cycles per minute, and advantageously less than about 300, to massage the gums effectively.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent n51 3,696,809 Moret [4 1 Oct. 10, 1972 [5 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ORAL 3,227,158 l/ 1966 Mattingly ..128/66 HYGIENE 3,401,690 9/1968 Martin ..l28/62 UX [72] Inventor: {Vlicjhel A. Moret, Geneva, Switzer- FOREIGN TE O APPLICATIONS an 1,225,547 2/1960 France ..l28/62 A [73] Assrgnee: Instrtut De Recherche .Et De Diffusion lndustrielle P.G.E. Wood, Primary E i er L. W. Trapp Geneva, swltlerland Attorney-Pennie, Edmonds, Morton, Taylor & 22 Filed: Aug. 12, 1969 Adams I [211 Appl. No.: 849,464 [57] ABSTRACT A method and apparatus for cleaning the teeth and [30] For lgn App i ati n Priority Data massaging the gums are described in which a pulsating jetof liquid is pressure modulated, the modulation Aug. 16, 1968 Switzerland ..l2400/68 frequency being Substantially lower than the frequem cy of the pulsations, and the modulated pulsating jet is E directed against the surfaces to be treated. The p [58] Field of search' 66 224 tion frequency may be in the range of 600-6000 pul- 1 ses per minute, and advantageously above about 3000, I to clean the teeth effectively. The modulation frequency may be in the range of 70-600 cycles per [56] References Cited minute, and advantageously less than about 300, to

, UNITED STATES PATENTS massage the gums effectively- 3,547,110 12/1970 Balamuth ..l28/62 A 11 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures ill ill

wil

will

PATENTEDflcI 10 I972 SHEET 1 BF 3 FIG. 1

FIG. 2

INVENTOR Michel A. Morer 1! v ATTORNEYS PATENTEDncr 10 I972 SHEET 2 BF 3 FIG. 5

FIG. 4

FIG. 7

FIG. 6

INVENTOR M iche'l A. Morer BY 5M ATTORNEYS PATENTEDOEHOIHYZ sumanra FIG. 8

INVENTOR Michel A; More? wh /gkfi ATTORNEYS 7 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ORAL HYGIENE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION necessitated the use of two different tools, namely, the

toothbrush for cleaning the teeth, and various tools for massaging the gums. However, the human being, for various psychological reasons, devotes very little time to the practice of oral hygiene, using for the most part I only one tool (the toothbrush) and thus neglecting the gingival massage. So it has appeared highly desirable to provide the human being with a single tobl capableof performing both functions. Thus devices'using the kinetic energy of water have been developed and made available for home use.

I These a ate; can be classified in as ea'' aasz' (55 Q devices using a continuous jet of water, and (b) devices using a pulsating jet of water.

Devices using a continuous jet of water do not provide a very satisfactory solution because of: (l) the necessity of using a high water pressure for satisfactory cleaning, which may exceed the threshold of pain in the teeth and gums, these being very sensitive to high pressures, and (2) the lack of massaging efficiency, which can be defined as an intermittent action of compression and release which cannot be realized by a continuous mechanical effect.

Devices using a pulsating jet of water will perform both cleaning and massaging to a degree, but encounter a problem of frequency. Effective cleaning requires high frequency pulsation so as to allow the elimination of food residues with relatively low pressures which will not exceed the threshold of pain. On the other hand, proper massage of the gums can be effected only with low frequencies which allow the rebound of the gum tissue, this being the only valid physiological method which assures the elimination of veinous stasis and the circulation of the arterial blood.

The gum, contrary to other surfaces of the body where a massage can stimulate the circulatory function, is a tissue with very little elasticity because of its anatomical and histological structure involving lack of subjacent muscular tissue, terminal circulation, loose attachment which renders it easily infectable, rigid attachment which reduces its elasticity, and its position directly on very hard organs (teeth and bone). Those anatomical factors do not allow, consequently, the use of high frequencies for massage such as can be used on other surfaces of the body. The criterion for an effective massage of the gums is the rebound which becomes obvious by the intermittent change of its color, alternately changing from pink to white and vice versa.

The well-know devices using pulsating jets of water,

operating at a single frequency, do not offer the possibility of realizing efficientlythe two desired operations. Since they commonly have high frequencies between 800 and 3,000 pulsations per minute, they allow more or less good cleaning and a certain amount of massage by reflex action. However, the high frequency does not allow complete rebound of the tissues and consequently the full value of the massage is not obtained.

The present invention eliminates this incompatibility.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention a pulsating jet of liquid is employed, and pressure of the pulsating jet is modulated at a substantially lower frequency than that of the pulsations. The pulsation frequency can be relatively high in order to clean the teeth effectively. The modulation frequency is relatively low in order to allow full rebound of the gum tissue and therefore effective massage. Thus, with independent choice of the two frequencies, both good cleaning and effective massage may be obtained.

The actual frequencies employed may be selected to yield the most satisfactory cleaning and massaging under conditions expected to be encountered in use. Generally speaking, pulsating frequencies in the range of 600-6000 pulsations per minute may be used, and it is presently preferred to use frequencies of about 3000 per minute or more. Modulating frequencies may be in the range of -600 cycles per minute, and it is presently preferred to use frequencies between 200 and 300 cycles per minute. It will be understood that the lower limit for pulsations and'the upper limit for modulation frequency are marginal, and would not be used simultaneously since the modulation frequency should be substantially lower than that of the pulsations. and in a ratio of about 1: l0.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1-3, pump 1 is driven by motor 2 through a coupling mechanism 3 at an adequate speed for the frequency of the jet pulsations. Pump 1 contains a reciprocating piston such as shown in FIG. 9, and mechanism 3 may be an eccentric pin and slot mechanism of conventional construction. Cleaning liquid, usually water, is supplied to the pump in any desired manner, here indicated as a reservoir 4. Water from the reservoir is supplied to inlet chamber 5 (FIG. 2) of the pump. Outlet chamber 6 connects through fitting 7 with flexible tube 8, at the end of which is nozzle 9. A check valve 1 1 is slidably mounted in a support 12 in the outlet chamber 6, and is biased by spring 13 toward a closed position which restricts liquid flow through passage 14 from the outlet chamber to the inlet chamber.

As so far described, the pump operates in a conventional manner. The reciprocating piston (not shown in detail) communicates with the outlet chamber 6. On its downward or suction stroke the check valve 11 opens (moves to the right) and water is drawn from inlet chamber through passage 14 into outlet chamber 6. On the upward or compression stroke, check valve 11.

moves to the left and a pulse of liquid under pressure is delivered to the outlet tube 8 and thence to nozzle 9. The operation repeats to supply a pulsating streamof water to nozzle 9.

Motor 2 also drives a reduction gear mechanism generally designated as 15, and selected to furnish the desired modulation frequency. A link 16 is driven by an eccentric pin 17 on the last gear of the reduction mechanism. The other end of link 16 is pivotally connected to a crank arm 20'attached to control rod 18. Consequently the reduction mechanism and link 16 causes crank arm20 .to oscillate, thereby angularly oscillating control rod 18. Rod 18 is threaded at 19 so that the angular oscillation causes rod 18 to move axially back and forth a small distance. A pin 21 mounted at the end of rod 18 engages the check valve 11, thereby controlling closure of the check valve.

Assuming that the check valve 11 is fully closed when rod 18 and its attached pin 21 is in its left most position, pulses of maximum pressure are delivered to the outlet tube 8. As rod 18 and pin 21 move toward the right, the check valve 11 is prevented from fully closing, thereby producing a by-pass or leak from outlet chamber 6" to inlet chamber 5 and reducing the pulse pressure. As the control rod 18 oscillates, the closure of check valve 11 cyclically varies to modulate the pressure of the pulses delivered to output tube 8-and nozzle 9.

Manual control of the overall pressure level is obtained by a control rod 23 threaded into fitting 24. The inner end of rod 23 is adjacent an aperture 25 between inlet and outlet chambers. This establishes a by-pass or leak from the outlet chamber 6 to the inlet chamber 5 under the control of rod 23.

FIG. 4 shows an unmodulated train of pulsations which would be produced in the outlet tube 8 if the modulation mechanism were not present. FIG. 6 shows the same pulses on an expanded time scale. In general they risefrom a near zero pressure to a maximum pressure set by control rod 23.

FIG. 5 shows the modulated jet. Here the pulsations vary from a maximum value at 27 to a minimum value at 28 in a cyclical manner. It will be noted that they minimum at 28 is substantially less than one-half the maximum at 27. The degree of modulation may be determined by appropriate design of the modulating mechanism. FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 5, except that the overall pressure level has been reduced by adjustment of rod 23.

Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, a second embodiment of the invention is shown. I-Iere motor 31 directly drives piston 32 through an eccentric pin and slot mechanism 33. A second piston 34 is driven by the motor through areduction gear 35 and pin and slot mechanism 36. Consequently piston 32 is reciprocated at the frequency of the pulsations and piston 34 is driven at the lower modulation frequency. Associated with piston 32 is an inlet chamber 37 and an outlet chamber 38 with ;a checkvalve 39 therebetween. The

arrangement for piston 34 is similar and includes check I is the combination of the action of the two pumps,

namely, an addition or a subtraction of the pressure and the individual discharge rates. Consequently the output to. tube 42 is a modulated pulsating stream of water similar to that produced by the apparatus of FIGS. 1-3. By properly selecting the diameters of the pistons the degree of modulation may be predetermined. Thus the modulation may be 100 percent if the individual discharge rates and the pressures of the pumps are the same.

Manual control of the overall pressure level is obtained by means of control rod 43 which controls flow through the by-pass aperture 44 between inlet and outlet tubes.

The apparatus described enables an efficient washing and massaging to be. obtained.;The washing function uses the kinetic energy of the jet pulsations to take away the food residues wedged into the interdental spaces, as well as for the cleaning of the subgingival marginsand the other generally unreachable tissues. The jet can be pulsated at different overall pressure levels so as to comply with .treatment requirements. The pulsating frequency is advantageously high, for example 3,000 pulsations per minute. Insofar as massage is concerned, the lower modulation frequency allows rebound of the gum tissues between successive maximum pressure peaks, thereby stimulating blood circulation in the gum tissues.

From an examination of the graphs, it is easily understandable that because of the weak elasticity of the tissues, the pulsations which are represented in FIG. 4 will behave like a continuous jet on these tissues,.while in FIG. 5 the modulating period at a lower frequency allows the rebound of the tissues. In addition, the sensa tion is more agreeable. Pressure peaks very close to each other (high frequencies) produce a sensation of uneasiness and tickling, which on a neurological plane produce an effect of irritation. Pressure peaks of greater spacing (low frequencies) do not produce such an irritation, but are agreeable to the user and hence assure more regular use.

The modulation frequency to obtain a massage by rebound is still more efficient if it is nearly the same as the heart-stroke or one of its multiples. Accordingly, the frequency may be selected as a multiple of the heart-stroke frequency: 210 280 350 420 490 5 60 etc., cycles/min.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for oral hygiene which comprises a pump unit, a jet nozzle, and a conduit connecting said pump unit with said jet nozzle, said pump unit including means for supplying a stream of spaced liquid pressure stream of liquid to said nozzle, a check valve between said chambers biased toward a closed position which restricts liquid flow from outlet to inlet chambers, a reciprocating piston for receiving liquid from said inlet chamber through said check valve and producing pulsations in said outlet chamber, and means for cyclically varying the closure of said check valve to thereby vary the pressure of the pulsations in said outlet chamber.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said pump unit includes a pair of reciprocating pistons and respective inlet and outlet chambers therefor, a pair of check valves between said inlet and outlet chambers respectfully, means for connecting said inlet chambers in common to a liquid supply, means for connecting said outlet chambers in common to said nozzle, and means for reciprocating said pistons at substantially different frequencies.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said pump unit is designed and adapted to cyclically reduce said peak pressures of the spaced liquid pressure pulses to a minimum pressure which is less than one-half the maximum pressure thereof.

5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 4 in which the frequency of said spaced liquid pressure pulses is in the range of about 600 6,000 pulses per minute and the frequency of said cyclical reduction in the peak pressures thereof is less than about 300 cycles per minute,

6. Apparatus in accordance with claim 4 in which the frequency of said spaced liquid pressure pulses is in the range of about 3,000 6,000 pulses per minute and the frequency of said cyclical reduction in the peak pressures thereof is less than about 600 cycles per minute.

7. In oral hygiene, the method of cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums which comprises forming a pressure-modulating pulsating jet of spaced liquid pressure pulses which rise and fall between a low pressure and respective peak pressures and in which said peak pressures are cyclically reduced at a frequency substantially lower than the frequency of the pulses, and directing said pressure-modulated pulsating jet against the surfaces to be treated.

8. A method according to claim 7 in which the peak pressures of the pulses of said pulsating jet are cyclically reduced to a minimum pressure which is less than one-half the maximum pressure thereof.

9. A method according to claim 8 in which the frequency of said pulses is in the range of about 600 6,000 pulses per minute and the frequency of said cyclical reduction in the peak pressures thereof is less than about 300 cycles per minute.

10. A method according to claim 8 in which the frequency of said pulses is in the range of about 3,000 6,000 pulses per minute and the frequency of said cyclical reduction in the peak pressures thereof is less th abo t600c cl s er minute.

i i. A methoni a c rding to claim 8 in which the

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3227158 *May 8, 1961Jan 4, 1966Aquatec CorpMethod and apparatus for oral hygiene
US3401690 *Apr 20, 1966Sep 17, 1968Leonard G. MartinUltrasonic dental cleaning and treatment device
US3547110 *Apr 18, 1968Dec 15, 1970Ultrasonic SystemsMethod and apparatus for maintaining tooth and gingival structures with ultrasonic energy
FR1225547A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5882319 *Aug 21, 1996Mar 16, 1999Bristol-Myers Squibb CompanyLavage instrument
US8187574 *Dec 3, 2004May 29, 2012Dazio CorporationRepeated spray at specified ratio to produce massage effect on the skin; deodorants, sun blocks, cleansers, pharmaceuticals
US8769753Dec 9, 2009Jul 8, 2014Koninklijke Philips N.V.Ultrasonic teeth cleaning appliance having spatial, temporal and/or frequency variations
US20050100512 *Dec 3, 2004May 12, 2005Daizo CorporationRepeated spray at specified ratio to produce massage effect on the skin; deodorants, sun blocks, cleansers, pharmaceuticals
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/162
International ClassificationA61C1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C1/0092
European ClassificationA61C1/00S6P