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 numberUS3837351 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1974
Filing dateFeb 15, 1973
Priority dateFeb 15, 1973
Publication numberUS 3837351 A, US 3837351A, US-A-3837351, US3837351 A, US3837351A
InventorsThornton T
Original AssigneeThornton T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interdental tooth cleaner and method for making same
US 3837351 A
Abstract
A continuous length of interdental tooth cleaner consisting of textured yarn that is composed of deformed filaments that are covered with a hardened resin to stiffen them and in which the yarn is processed to increase its normal bulkiness.
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ited States Patent [191 Thornton Sept. 24, 1974 [54] INTERDENTAL TOOTH CLEANER AND 2,821,202 I/ 1958 Davis 132/93 METHOD U MAKING SAME 3,247,857 4/ 1966 Kanbar 132/93 Primary ExaminerG. E. McNeil] Assistant Examiner-Gregory E. McNeill Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ernest M. Junkins 5 7 ABSTRACT A continuous length of interdental tooth cleaner consisting of textured yarn that is composed of deformed filaments that are covered with a hardened resin to stiffen them and in which the yarn is processed to increase its normal bulkiness.

8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures INTERDENTAL TOOTH CLEANER AND METHOD FOR MAKING SAME The present invention relates to a length of yarn which is used like dental floss for insertion into crevises formed between adjacent teeth to clean the crevices. In most instances the adjacent crowns of the teeth forming the crevice are quite close together, if not touching, and the cleaner to be effective must pass through the adjacent crowns into the crevice. However, as most crevices are wider than the crowns, the cleaner, if small enough to be capable of passing past the crown, is not large enough to essentially fill the crevice to enable effective cleaning action by the removal of particles therein and the scrubbing of the crevice forming surfaces of the adjacent teeth, while if large enough to effectively clean the teeth, will not pass through the crowns.

In my co-pending application Ser. No. 138,501, filed Aug. 21, 1971, now abandoned, there is also disclosed a teeth cleaner having a bulky portion and a reduced diameter string portion. While such a cleaner has been found to be completely satisfactory, it was not capable of being processed as a continuous length cleaner so that the user may sever from a supply the length of the bulky portion which was desired to be used.

It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide an interdental tooth cleaner which may be made in a continuous length and yet be effective in removing particles and cleaning the crevices between adjacent teeth.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a teeth cleaner which may be easily inserted into the crevice past theclose crowns by having its thickness decreased, but yet revert to an enlarged bulky state in the crevice to substantially fill the crevice so as to engage the surfaces of the teeth forming the crevice.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a method for making a continuous length dental cleaner from a length of textured yarn which achieves the above objects and in which the bulkiness of the cleaner is increased over that which the yarn originally possessed.

In carrying out the present invention, the interdental cleaner consists of a continuous length of textured yarn that has been coated with a hardened resin to increase its stiffness and memory. One form of yarn which may be utilized in a 600 denier textured yarn formed of nylon filaments in which the filaments have been processed to be permanently crinkled or otherwise deformed from their normal straight condition. The yarn filaments are covered with a hardened covering, such as nylon resin.

The process of making the cleaner not only involves providing the hardened covering but also includes the step of increasing the bulkiness of the yarn. This is achieved by exerting an elongating force on the yarn that tensions the yarn and causes the filaments to become somewhat less entangled after a removal of the tension so that the normal and inherent bulkiness of the yarn is increased. The covering may be applied as a liquid during the tensioning or after and then hardened with the hardening occurring while substantially no tension is exerted on the yarn and thus the covering serves to maintain the increased bulkiness thereof.

In use, a desired length of cleaner is severed from a continuous supply thereof and the user stretches, by tensioning, a short portion between his fingers which minimizes the thickness of the cleaner. This stretched portion is passed through the contact points at the crowns of adjacent teeth defining the crevice and into the crevice. The tension is then released which enables the cleaner to assume its normal bulky state wherein it substantially fills the crevice. One end of the cleaner is then pulled, to draw the clenaer through the crevice and in so doing, cause dislodgement of particles therein while also tending to scrub the surfaces of the teeth defining the cavity.

Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.

In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic representation of the method of forming a continuous length of interdental tooth cleaner of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a representation of a length thereof.

FIG. 3 is a view showing the applying of an elongating force to reduce the diameter of the cleaner for insertion past the crowns.

FIG. 4 is a view of a further embodiment of the method of making the cleaner.

Referring to the drawing, the continuous length of interdental tooth cleaner of the present invention is generally indicated by the reference numeral 10 and is wound as a continuous length on a spool 11 after being formed by the process that includes the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIG. 1, a strand of continuous length 600 denier textured yarn is drawn from a spool 12 through a squeeze block 13 by a set of rollers 14. The yarn between the squeeze block 13 and the rollers 14 is stretched by a tension of perhaps 3 pounds. The yarn is then sprayed by a sprayer 15 with nylon resin that is dissolved in a solvent such as alcohol so that the filaments of the yarn become covered with the liquid. The solvent is evaporated by use of a heat dryer 16 which by eliminating the solvent causes the nylon resin to form a hardened covering on the filaments. A pair of feed rollers 17 draws the yarn through the sprayer l5 and the dryer 16 after which it is subsequently wound on the spool 11 as the continuous length interdental teeth cleaner.

The rollers 14 and 17 are preferably mechanically interconnected with the rollers 17 being driven at a slightly lesser rate than the rollers 14. The lesser rate is such as to exert substantially no tension on the yarn between the rollers which enables the yarn to contract to a shorter length than it had when withdrawn from the spool 12. However, its bulkiness is greater. The spool 11 winds the cleaner 10 without any substantial tension thereon so that the cleaner on the spool 11 is at its normal bulky state.

In use, a user cuts the desired length of the cleaner 11) from the spool 11 and places a portion thereof, such as a portion 18, between the fingersand exerts a pulling force thereon as shown in FIG. 3, which substantially reduces the thickness of the yarn by basically straightening the filaments to eliminate the deformities of the filaments that cause the yarn to be textured. The portion 18 is then easily inserted through the contact point at the crowns of the teeth in the same manner as normal straight filament dental floss. The user thereupon releases the tension and the cleaner assumes its normal bulky condition as shown by the portions thereof that are not under tension. A slight pull on the end of the cleaner draws it through the crevice and as it is in its normal bulky condition, it substantially fills the crevice to dislodge any particles of food while also exerting a cleaning action on the surfaces of the teeth defining the crevice.

It has been found that where a continuous filament strand of textured nylon yarn of about 600 denier is used, it will stretch approximately twice its length with a small pull of perhaps two or three pounds. In addition, as shown by the portion 18, the pulling shrinks the diameter from approximately Va to about 1/48 inch so that the tensioned diameter is perhaps l/6 of the normal or relaxed diameter. While one specific size of yarn has been disclosed, it is contemplated that other sizes may also be employed.

Shown in FIG. 4 is another embodiment of the present invention in which the liquid resin is contained within a bath 19 located between the rollers 14 and the squeeze roll block 13. The yarn is immersed in the bath 19 to have its filaments coated. It may then be either passed beneath the sprayer 15 for additional contact with the liquid resin or not and then passed through to the dryer 16 to cause evaporation of the solvent. In either event, the tension on the yarn at the dryer is less than the tension between the rollers 14 and the squeeze block 13 and preferably essentially no tension exists so that the yarn, while having its nylon coating hardened, will be in a relaxed state and thus will have an increased bulkiness over that which the yarn has when drawn from the spool 12. The bulkiness is caused by the filaments becoming somewhat less entangled after being stretched and the hardened covering maintains this state of a larger diameter or bulkier cleaner 10. However, the hardened covering still enables a tension to produce a small diameter straight portion, such as the portion 18 for easy insertion into the crevice.

lt accordingly will be appreciated there has been disclosed an interdental tooth cleaner which may be formed as a continuous length of textured yarn that has had its filaments covered with a hardened covering. The user severs a desired length of the cleaner from a supply and any portion of the cleaner may have its bulkiness substantially reduced merely by exerting a small tension thereon so that the reduced diameter portion may pass into a crevice between the points of contacts of the crowns of adjacent teeth. Within the crevice, the cleaner returns to its normal bulky condition to substantially fill the crevice and enable the filaments of the yarn with their hardened covering to be pulled through the cavity to dislodge particles therein and also to rub against the tooth surfaces.

Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims and portions of the improvements may be used without others.

I claim:

1. An interdental tooth cleaner comprising a length of textured yarn formed of a plurality of filaments that have been individually permanently deformed and crinkled throughout the length of the cleaner and a covering of hardened material on the filaments to increase their stiffness and memory, said length normally being bulky by the filaments being maintained deformed and crinkled but becoming essentially straightened by an elongating force that decreases its bulkiness and in which said length returns to being bulky upon removal of the elongating force.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1 in which the filaments of the yarn are somewhat disentangled to increase the bulkiness of the cleaner.

3. The invention as defined in claim 1 in which the filaments are formed of plastic material and in which the covering material is also a plastic material.

4. The method of making a continuous length of interdental tooth cleaner comprising the steps of supplying a continuous length of textured yarn formed of a plurality of individually deformed and crinkled filaments, increasing the bulkiness of the yarn by somewhat disentangling the filaments and forming a hardened coating on the somewhat disentangled filaments.

5. The invention as defined in claim 4 in which the step of increasing the bulkiness includes the step of exerting a stretching force on the yarn and then decreasing the stretching force.

6. The invention as defined in claim 5 in which the forming of a hardened coating includes the step of applying a liquid resin to the filaments and in which there is the step of hardening the coating while the filaments have the decreased stretching force applied thereto.

7. The invention as defined in claim 6 in which the liquid resin is applied while the stretching force is applied to the filaments.

8. The invention as defined in claim 6 in which the step of applying the liquid resin occurs after the stretching force has been applied to the filaments and then decreased.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1149376 *Jan 31, 1914Aug 10, 1915William A LeonardMaterial for cleaning teeth.
US2821202 *Jun 20, 1955Jan 28, 1958Jerome DavisDental cord
US3247857 *Jun 23, 1965Apr 26, 1966Kanbar Maurice SDental floss
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3943949 *Nov 26, 1974Mar 16, 1976Johnson & JohnsonFlavored dental articles
US4142538 *Jan 17, 1977Mar 6, 1979Thornton Thomas FDifferent stiffness continuous length teeth cleaner
US4171001 *Nov 21, 1977Oct 16, 1979Monsanto CompanyMethod for making a weft and a wig made from the same
US4265258 *Aug 28, 1979May 5, 1981Eaton Melvin H IiDental floss
US4592375 *Jan 27, 1984Jun 3, 1986Beier John KHair curling roller
US4648414 *Aug 16, 1984Mar 10, 1987Cel Co., Inc.Bendable lightweight article for personal grooming and method of making
US4974614 *Aug 18, 1988Dec 4, 1990Frank SelkerDental floss
US5038805 *Mar 19, 1990Aug 13, 1991Lee Lawrence LDevice for cleaning teeth
US5063948 *Apr 11, 1990Nov 12, 1991Lloyd O H PerryBristled dental floss
US5094255 *Feb 8, 1989Mar 10, 1992Ringle Larry LAcrylic dental floss and method for manufacture
US5209251 *Jul 11, 1991May 11, 1993Colgate-Palmolive CompanyDental floss
US5226435 *Dec 17, 1991Jul 13, 1993Gillette Canada Inc.Flavored dental floss and method
US5284169 *May 15, 1992Feb 8, 1994Gillette Canada, Inc.Method of producing a thin brush dental floss
US5311889 *Feb 1, 1993May 17, 1994Csm Patents, Inc.Dental floss & pre-threaded leader
US5311890 *Mar 5, 1993May 17, 1994Thornton Thomas FTeeth cleaning element
US5316028 *Jun 24, 1993May 31, 1994Flemming Patricia SDental floss and a device for dispensing
US5353820 *Feb 6, 1992Oct 11, 1994Gillette Canada Inc.Flavored dental cleaning article and method
US5357990 *Mar 10, 1993Oct 25, 1994Gillette Canada Inc.Flavored dental floss and process
US5501734 *May 26, 1994Mar 26, 1996Gillette Canada, Inc.Yarn coating assembly and applicator
US5505216 *Feb 24, 1995Apr 9, 1996Gillette Canada Inc.Thin floss brush
US5526831 *May 26, 1994Jun 18, 1996Gillette Canada, Inc.Dental floss manufacturing process and product
US5558901 *May 26, 1994Sep 24, 1996Gillette Canada, Inc.Floss yarn bulking assembly and method
US5680876 *Jun 1, 1995Oct 28, 1997Gillette Canada Inc.Floss brush manufacture and product
US5692530 *Sep 21, 1995Dec 2, 1997Anchor Advance Products, Inc.Braided dental floss
US5755243 *Jun 27, 1996May 26, 1998Gillette Canada, Inc.Dental floss with thermoplastic coating
US5780099 *Jul 9, 1996Jul 14, 1998Gillette Canada, Inc.Floss yarn bulking assembly and method
US5819767 *Nov 27, 1996Oct 13, 1998Dix; SeanSterile dental floss segments
US5842489 *May 15, 1996Dec 1, 1998Colgate-Palmolive CompanyTexturized dental floss and method of making
US5845652 *Jun 6, 1995Dec 8, 1998Tseng; Mingchih M.Dental floss
US5875792 *Apr 18, 1997Mar 2, 1999Plastic Technology, Inc.Bendable foam covered rod-like article and method and apparatus for making same
US5904152 *Apr 8, 1997May 18, 1999Gillette Canada Inc.Dental floss
US6027592 *Apr 8, 1997Feb 22, 2000Gillette Canada Inc.Dental floss
US6039054 *Sep 23, 1998Mar 21, 2000Gillette Canada CompanyDental floss
US6293287Sep 13, 1996Sep 25, 2001Gillette Canada Inc.UV-cured resin-coated dental floss
US6604534Aug 23, 2001Aug 12, 2003International Tape Partners, LlcPhysical improvements in coated monofilament dental tapes
US7017591Dec 30, 2002Mar 28, 2006International Tape Partners LlcParticulate coated monofilament devices
US7152611Dec 30, 2002Dec 26, 2006International Tape Partners, LlcCoated multifilament dental devices overcoated with imbedded particulate
US8439049 *Jun 20, 2011May 14, 2013Zoya LavrovaBraided dental floss
US8443817Dec 21, 2010May 21, 2013Sunstar Americas, Inc.Floss dispensing unit
US8578949Jan 16, 2009Nov 12, 2013Sunstar Americas, Inc.Multi-texture floss and methods of manufacturing multi-texture floss
US8662092Dec 30, 2011Mar 4, 2014Sunstar Americas, Inc.Dispenser for multi-texture floss
US8800574Dec 3, 2012Aug 12, 2014Linda A. HanrahanFluffy floss kit
US9084654May 2, 2011Jul 21, 2015Lg Household & Health Care Ltd.Interdental cleaning member and manufacturing method thereof
US20030200983 *Dec 30, 2002Oct 30, 2003Brown Dale G.Particulate coated monofilament devices
US20040123877 *Dec 30, 2002Jul 1, 2004Brown Dale G.Coated multifilament dental devices overcoated with imbedded particulate
US20060112968 *Jan 13, 2006Jun 1, 2006Brown Dale GParticulate coated monofilament devices
US20090194132 *Feb 2, 2009Aug 6, 2009Kalbfeld Russell GDental flosser having multi-texture floss
US20090194134 *Jan 16, 2009Aug 6, 2009Kalbfeld Russell GMulti-texture floss and methods of manufacturing multi-texture floss
US20110088717 *Dec 21, 2010Apr 21, 2011Kalbfeld Russell GApparatus and methods for manufacturing multi-texture floss
US20110277783 *Nov 17, 2011Zoya LavrovaMultifilament braided dental floss
CN102869314B *May 2, 2011Nov 25, 2015Lg生活健康株式会社齿间清洁元件及其制造方法
DE2520054A1 *May 6, 1975Nov 18, 1976Thomas Floyd ThorntonNylon floss for cleaning teeth - has short section with disarranged fibres which acts as brush
EP0613665A2 *Mar 4, 1994Sep 7, 1994Thomas F. ThorntonTeeth cleaning element
WO1993015686A1 *Feb 5, 1993Aug 19, 1993Gillette CanadaImproved flavored dental cleaning article and method
WO1995032685A1 *May 26, 1995Dec 7, 1995Hill David MackenzieKnitted dental floss
WO1997042907A1 *May 14, 1997Nov 20, 1997Kolynos Do Brasil LtdaTexturized dental floss
WO2002015814A1 *Aug 23, 2001Feb 28, 2002Ira D HillPhysical improvements in coated monofilament dental tapes
WO2011136626A2 *May 2, 2011Nov 3, 2011Lg Household & Health Care Ltd.Interdental cleaning member and method for manufacturing same
WO2011136626A3 *May 2, 2011Mar 8, 2012Lg Household & Health Care Ltd.Interdental cleaning member and method for manufacturing same
WO2013147714A1 *Nov 15, 2012Oct 3, 2013The Foundation Of Promotion Of Supplementry Occupations And Related Technique Of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit Of ThailandSilk dental floss machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification132/321
International ClassificationA61C15/04, A61C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/041
European ClassificationA61C15/04B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 17, 1987AS01Change of name
Owner name: COOPER CARE, INC.,
Owner name: ORAL-B LABORATORIES, INC.
Effective date: 19840530
Aug 17, 1987AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: GILLETTE CANADA INC., 5450 COTE DE LIESSE RD., MON
Owner name: ORAL-B LABORATORIES INC.
Effective date: 19870812
Aug 17, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: GILLETTE CANADA INC., 5450 COTE DE LIESSE RD., MON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:ORAL-B LABORATORIES INC.;REEL/FRAME:004758/0064
Effective date: 19870812
Owner name: ORAL-B LABORATORIES, INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:COOPER CARE, INC.,;REEL/FRAME:004758/0066
Effective date: 19840530
Nov 1, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: COOPER CARE, INC., 3145 PORTER DRIVE, PALO ALTO, C
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:EDUCATIONAL HEALTH PRODUCTS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004196/0443
Effective date: 19831006
Nov 1, 1983AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: COOPER CARE, INC., 3145 PORTER DRIVE, PALO ALTO, C
Owner name: EDUCATIONAL HEALTH PRODUCTS, INC.
Effective date: 19831006