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Publication numberUS3779256 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 18, 1973
Filing dateOct 20, 1971
Priority dateOct 20, 1971
Publication numberUS 3779256 A, US 3779256A, US-A-3779256, US3779256 A, US3779256A
InventorsMaloney A, Maloney H
Original AssigneeMaloney A, Maloney H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Oral hygienic device
US 3779256 A
Abstract
An oral hygienic device comprising an elongated member having a tapered rounded end capable of being inserted within the spaces between a user's teeth, with a hook at the opposite end thereof having sufficient space for receiving a length of dental floss. The tapered end has a blade or reduced edge for scraping food debris, bacterial plaque and residue from a user's teeth. The intermediate section of the device is relieved with stippling or cross-hatching on either or both sides to provide a roughened portion capable of gently abrading extraneous material on and between a user's teeth.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Maloney et al.

[ 51 Dec. 18, 1973 ORAL HYGIENIC DEVICE 22 Filed: Oct.20, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 190,925

[52] US. Cl. 132/93 [51] Int. Cl. A6lc 15/00 [58] Field of Search 32/40, 63; 132/89, 132/90, 91, 93

[56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 516,409 3/1894 Southwell 132/93 714,901 12/1902 Hills 132/93 817,978 4/1906 Lickman... 132/93 1,451,380 4/1923 Thum 132/93 1,746,591 2/1930 Hcymann et al 132/93 2,008,206 7/1935 Grant 132/93 3,552,022 l/l97l Axelsson... 32/58 3,563,253 2/1971 Barman 132/89 Primary Examiner- Robert Peshock Atlorney-George F. Bethel et al.

[57] ABSTRACT An oral hygienic device comprising an elongated member having a tapered rounded end capable of being inserted within the spaces between a users teeth, with a hook at the opposite end thereof having sufficient space for receiving a length of dental floss. The tapered end has a blade or reduced edge for scraping food debris, bacterial plaque and residue from a user's teeth. The intermediate section of the device is relieved with stippling or cross-hatching on either or both sides to provide a roughened portion capable of gently abrading extraneous material on and between a users teeth.

A second embodiment comprises an elongated device having a pointed end and a tapered portion internally bevelled or curved to provide a hollow terminating in an edge, with a handle at the distal end thereof having a relieved portion for gripping ease. The second embodiment also has stippling along the blade which serves to remove food debris, bacterial plaque and residue from a user's teeth.

11 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENIEDnEc 18 1915 3,779,256 SHEET 1 (1F 2 INVENTORS ALBERT L. MALONEY BY HOLLY H. MALONEY GEORGE F. BETHEL ATTORNEY ORAL IIYGIENIC DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION stantially overcome by this invention.

Toothpicks have been used to remove certain extraneous deposits between teeth, but have not effectively caused a cleaning action when driven between two adjacent teeth. Furthermore, toothpicks of the prior art are generally made of wood or improperly formed plastic which causes the gums to bleed. Additionally, they have not been of sufficient strength to provide a continued cleaning action once placed between the teeth.

In addition to the foregoing deficiencies of toothpicks, a main deficiency revolves around the fact that the picks do not scrub the residue or extraneous buildup from the teeth nor effectively scrape material therefrom. This invention has substantially overcome such deficiencies and provides an improved oral hygenic device which serves to remove extraneous material.

In addition to the foregoing advantages of this invention, the oral hygenic device can incorporate a hook. The hook in one embodiment of this oral hygenic device enables one to lead a length of dental floss through the space between a bridge and the gum. Furthermore, it allows the threading of dental floss to other areas which enables one to clean those areas with the floss once it it threaded therethrough. In prior art devices, small holes were sometimes provided for receiving floss, as in a needle, or no means at all was provided. This made the threading of floss between a bridge tooth and gum quite difficult, causing one to thread the floss in whatever manner he could.

It is common for food debris and bacterial plaque to build up on teeth after an extended period of time if the teeth are not scraped. This invention incorporates a relieved scraping means not known in the art for scraping such residue from the teeth.

This invention substantially overcomes most of the prior art drawbacks by providing a superior oral hygenic device for preventive dentistry purposes. Furthermore, the oral hygenic device hereof provides many features to enhance the use of care for ones teeth and maintain them in an improved state of healthmess.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In summation, this invention provides an improved oral hygenic device.

Specifically, the oral hygenic device hereof enables one to thread dental floss in a substantially easier manner than in the past. Furthermore, the device is shaped in such a design as to allow placement thereof within the teeth in a non-irritating manner. Also, the oral hygenic device incorporates relieved portions which scrub food debris and bacterial plaque from the teeth in a non-irritating manner to prevent substantial buildup thereof.

This invention bridges the gap between existing oral hygenic devices so as to enable one to systematically utilize a toothbrush, dental floss and the oral hygenic device hereof to provide a well-rounded cleaning and preventive dentistry program for one's mouth.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I shows a user with an oral hygiene device of this invention inserted within a space between two adjacent teeth;

FIG. 2 shows an oral hygiene device of this invention utilized with a length of dental floss;

FIG. 3 shows an oral hygiene device of this invention which is generally in the form of a pick;

FIG. 4 shows a sectional view of the pick of FIG. 3 along line 5-5 thereof;

FIG. 5 shows a sectional view of the pick of FIG. 3 along line 55 thereof;

FIG. 6 shows a plan view of the pick looking along line 6-6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 shows the opposite side of the pick shown in FIG. 3 in the direction of line 77 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 shows an oral hygiene device of this invention which can be characterized by its bridge cleaning capability;

FIG. 9 shows the bridge cleaner along line 99 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 shows an alternative embodiment of the bridge cleaner incorporating stippling on both sides thereof;

FIG. 11 shows the bridge cleaner along line l1ll of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 shows a sectional view of the bridge cleaner along line 1212 of FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 shows the bridge cleanerof FIG. 8 along line I3--13 thereof;

FIG. 14 shows the bridge cleaner of FIG. 8 along line 14-14 thereof;

FIG. 15 shows a cross sectional embodiment of the bridge cleaner shown in FIGS. 10 and 11 along line 15-15 of FIG. 11; and,

FIG. 16 shows an enlarged detailed view of the bridge cleaner along line 16-16 of FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS One can use the oral hygienic device of this invention generally shown by 10 in FIG. 1 by emplacing it between two adjacent teeth 12 and 14 and gripping the device with ones hand 16. FIG. 2 specifically shows a bridge cleaner 18 of this invention with a loop of dental floss 20 passing through a space 22. The space 22 lies between a gum 24 and a false bridge tooth 26 bridged between two adjacent teeth 28 and 30. The dental floss 20 serves to clean the space 22 between the bridge tooth 26 and the gum 24 in a gentle yet firm and effective manner.

It should be appreciated that inasmuch as the bridge tooth 26 is supported by the teeth 28 and 30 ,that an interface 32 and 34 between the respective teeth will not permit the passage of dental floss 20 therebetween. This is because clasps, or cement is used to emplace the tooth 26 between the teeth 28 and 30. Thus, the only way to clean the space 22 is to actually thread a piece of dental floss or a bridge cleaner as generally shown by the numeral 18 through the space 22 and work one or both within the space 22.

The bridge cleaner 18 which is shown in greater detail in FIGS. 8 through comprises an elongated body portion 38 tapering to a thin rounded end 40, with a hooked end 42 in distal relationship therefrom. The hooked end 42 has a hook 44 which forms a space 46 opening outwardly in part at an opening 48. The hook 44 receives the dental floss as shown in FIG. 2 by merely sliding the dental floss in a looped manner along the raised surface 50 of the oral hygienic device and allowing it to be caught in the opening 46. This effec tively creates a fast and fascile means for retaining the dental floss within the opening 46 of the hook 44. The raised surface is specifically raised above the level of the hook 44 so that the hook will not snag a user when the device is passed through the space 22. Preferably the hook 44 should not extend above the level or elevation of said surface 50 when it is under tension from floss placed therein. This avoids pulling of the users gum.

The oral hygienic device shown in FIGS. 8, 9, 13 and 14 specifically incorporates a cross hatched section 54. The cross hatched section 54 is formed from contiguous X-shaped lines which are analagous to those of a file. The foregoing cross-lined configuration 54 is such that the cross hatching comprises raised lines 56 which are criss-crossed, leaving spaces 58. FIG. 13 shows the crossover point 60 and the extremeties of lines 62 which comprise the filing portions and form a space 64. As can be appreciated, the abrading file action is effective for helping to remove bacterial plaque, food debris and residue which tends to build up on ones teeth.

The relieved portion 54 can be made up of cross hatched lines either impressed within the oral hygienic device or raised therefrom. However, any suitable relieved configuration will work if it provides the desired end result of a filing or gentle abrading action.

The round tapered end 40 of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8, 9, l3 and 14 incorporates a narrowed portion which tapers inwardly from the full width of the elongated member 38 at approximately point 72. The oral hygienic device is provided with a blade having a hollowed or curved portion 74 which curves concavely into a reduced edge 76 for scraping purposes. Thus, when the initial rounded end 40 is inserted within the space between ones teeth, the entire oral hygienic device can be rotated to cause the reduced portion 76 or knifelike blade to scrape adjoining areas.

The foregoing knifelike edge 76 can be hollowed as shown by the curved portion 74 or may be tapered in any suitable manner as long as it provides the reduced knifelike edge 76. As will be described, alternative embodiments can utilize a tapered edge of any suitable configuration. Regardless of the configuration, the end result should be that the tapered edge or blade of this invention scrapes bacterial plaque or food debris from the teeth.

A second alternative embodiment generally shown in the drawings of this invention incorporates the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10, 1 1, l2 and 15. In this embodiment the hook 44 is utilized with its opening 48 leading to the space 46 for holding a length of dental floss 20 therein. The hook end 42 may be generally utilized in the manner shown in FIG. 2 as previously described. However, it should be noted that the embodiment of this invention incorporates stippling 80 which is of a raised character having a substantial number of individual protuberances 82 along the surface thereof. In

other words, the intermediate section of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10, 11, 12 and 15 incorporates a series of raised protuberances which may be of any suitable shape as long as they effectively provide spaces 84. For example, the protuberances 82 should act as a scrubbing or abrasive means.

Although the raised protuberances have been defined, it should be noted that any relieved surface can be used so long as it provides gently abrading action.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10, ll, 12 and 15, the rounded portion 40 tapers backwardly toward the stippling or protuberances 82 to form a bilaterally symetrical curvilinear portion 86 on both sides of an end segment 88. The end segment 88 is suitably formed so that the taper has an inwardly formed arcuate portion 86 and 87 on either side of the member 88. However, the base or lower section 90 of the member is curved upwardly to a reduced edge configuration 92 which can be utilized to scrape bacterial plaque or food debris from or between a users teeth.

Specifically, the device can be implaced at the reduced end 40 between the users teeth to a sufficient degree to allow rotation of the device so that the reduced edge 92 removes bacterial plaque. As the device is inserted further, the protuberances 82 can be utilized to gently abrade and remove bacterial plaque or residue which has been partially scraped and is ina loosened condition.

The foregoing two specific embodiments provide a knifelike scraping for generally loosening and scraping bacterial plaque as well as a substantially improved scrubbing or gentle abrading action by the relieved portions of the protuberances or stippling.

Another alternative embodiment of this invention incorporates the oral hygienic device shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. The device shown therein is formed generally with an elongated portion incorporating a mid-section 102, a distal rounded end 104 and a handle end 106. The handle end 106 is reduced by inwardly curving portions forming the concave rounds 108 and is provided with raised stippling 110 having spaces 112 therebetween. The handle end 106 is shaped in a manner whereby it can be implaced in the sulcus or furrow between a users teeth. In this manner, the handle end 106 can be used to force food debris from ones teeth. Furthermore, the stippling 110 helps to remove bacterial plaque.

The oral hygienic device has a bladelike reduced edge portion 114 which terminates in a rounded end 104. The blade portion 114 has an upper reduced blade edge 1 l6 and a lower expanded portion 1 18. The blade is provided with stippling having spaces 122 therebetween. The stippling '120 is such that it serves to scrape the residue from a users teeth. The reduced or bladelike portion 116 is placed into a space between a users teeth at a sufficient point to be rotated. This causes the reduced section 116 to scrape any adjacent bacterial plaque or other residue on the teeth.

The foregoing combined features make this device substantially unique over the prior art. Not only is the stippling of a substantially improved type, but the reduced bladelike portion 116 serves to effectively scrape any residue or plaque on the teeth.

Altemative embodiments and features may be incorporated which fallwithin the teachings of this invention. Thus, this invention is only to be construed and read in the light of the following claims which define the scope and breadth of the invention.

We claim:

1. An oral hygiene device comprising:

a flexible plastic curved elongated tapered member having a relieved abrading section along its length for removal of extraneous material from a users teeth;

a first rounded reduced end at which said tapered member terminates for inserting at least a portion of the relieved section of said tapered member between a users teeth; and,

a second substantially rounded end distal from said first end having a greater surface area than said first end and a lesser cross sectional area than the intermediate portion adjacent thereto, and which is relieved to provide an adrading function.

2. The device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said device further comprises:

a reduced blade section along at least a portion of at least one elongated side for purposes of scraping extraneous mateial from a users teeth.

3. The device as claimed in claim 2 wherein:

said blade portion is formed with an interiorly curved hollowed segment.

4. The device as claimed in claim 3 wherein:

said blade portion has stippling thereon.

5. The device as claimed in claim 1 wherein:

said relieved portion is formed as a cross-hatched section intermediate the ends thereof.

6. An oral hygiene device comprising:

a curved elongated member having a reduced end for insertion between a users teeth; a second end distal from said first end having a hool formed as an extension which is in overlying relationship with respect to a space for holding a length of dental floss in the space, and wherein,

the portion of said elongated member adjacent to the opening of said hook end is equal to or raised above the elevation of said hook end when said hook is not stressed so as to place the end of the hook at an elevation equal to or less than the portion adjacent to the opening of said elongated member; and

a relieved abrading section along the length of said member.

7. The device as claimed in claim 7 wherein:

said device has a reduced cross section along at least one edge forming a knifelike edge for removing residue from ones teeth.

8. The device as claimed in claim 8 wherein:

said knifelike edge is formed as a bilaterally symetrical tapered portion expanding away from the reduced end of said device.

9. The device as claimed in claim 9 wherein:

said relieved portion is cross-hatched.

10. The device as claimed in claim 9 wherein:

the relieved portion is a series of protuberances, on

either side of said device.

11. The device as claimed in claim 8 wherein:

said knifelike edge is formed with a reduced curved portion along one edge.

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Referenced by
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US3929144 *Jun 19, 1972Dec 30, 1975Butler John O CoDevice for inserting dental floss through interproximal areas and method of using same
US4011658 *Oct 20, 1975Mar 15, 1977John O. Butler CompanyDevice for inserting dental floss through interproximal areas and method of using same
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US4312370 *May 13, 1980Jan 26, 1982George HingeToothpick
US4878508 *Mar 28, 1988Nov 7, 1989Durbin Douglas DDental device for cleaning teeth
US5050625 *Oct 16, 1990Sep 24, 1991Plastisonics, Inc.Dental floss threading device
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US6158444 *Sep 18, 1997Dec 12, 2000Coronet-Werke GmbhInterdental cleaner and manufacturing process
US7997287 *Feb 6, 2007Aug 16, 2011Dentek Oral Care, Inc.Dental flosser with tongue cleaner
US8663520Jul 28, 2009Mar 4, 2014Sunstar Americas, Inc.Interdental cleaners and methods for making same
US9089383 *Jan 6, 2014Jul 28, 2015Clifford John Van PuttenDental shaping strip
US9237938 *Feb 1, 2013Jan 19, 2016Clifford John Van PuttenDental shaping strip
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US20110197914 *Jan 24, 2009Aug 18, 2011Jeung Joon ChoiToothpick
US20140220506 *Feb 1, 2013Aug 7, 2014Clifford John Van PuttenDental shaping strip
US20140220507 *Jan 6, 2014Aug 7, 2014Clifford John Van PuttenDental shaping strip
USD743565Jun 17, 2013Nov 17, 2015Ranir, LlcNasal dilator
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Classifications
U.S. Classification132/329
International ClassificationA61C15/02, A61C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/02
European ClassificationA61C15/02