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Publication numberUS3892040 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 1, 1975
Filing dateMar 26, 1973
Priority dateMar 26, 1973
Also published asCA1020380A1
Publication numberUS 3892040 A, US 3892040A, US-A-3892040, US3892040 A, US3892040A
InventorsMarquis John C
Original AssigneeMarquis John C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toothpick holder
US 3892040 A
Abstract
A device for holding a toothpick to facilitate cleaning between the teeth includes a thin elongated handle with an axial extension from at least one end having a transverse passage with converging sides between which a toothpick or the like can be wedged and an axially movable collar adapted to urge the toothpick into wedging engagement with the converging sides. The collar has a raised forward edge which embeds in the toothpick to grip the toothpick and to positively lock it against movement.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Marquis 1 TOOTHPICK HOLDER [76] Inventor: John C. Marquis, 13796 E. Dakota Ave, Aurora, Colo. 80012 [22] Filed: Mar. 26, 1973 [21] Appl. No: 344,588

[52] US. Cl 32/40 R [51] Int. Cl. A6lc 3/00 [58] Field of Search 132/90, 91, 92, 93', 32/40,

{56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 451,293 4/l89l Naylor l45/65 Usher 132/90 1 1 July 1,1975

Adams 30/1649 Boone 32/40 R Primary ExaminerRobert Peshock [57} ABSTRACT A device for holding a toothpick to facilitate cleaning between the teeth includes a thin elongated handle with an axial extension from at least one end having a transverse passage with converging sides between which a toothpick or the like can be wedged and an axially movable collar adapted to urge the toothpick into wedging engagement with the converging sides. The collar has a raised forward edge which embeds in the toothpick to grip the toothpick and to positively lock it against movement.

5 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures TOOTHPICK HOLDER dental appliances for oral hygiene and more particularly concerns a new and improved toothpick holder to facilitate cleaning in the interproximal spaces between the teeth.

In recent years the importance of oral hygiene has been increasingly realized and appreciated. Accordingly, numerous devices have been devised for cleaning in the interproximal spaces between the teeth and also in the sulcus surrounding the teeth. In spite of the numerous devices now available for these purposes, the old and commonly used toothpick is probably still the most widely used means for cleaning in the interproximal spaces between the teeth. However, it has always been awkward and difficult to manipulate the tooth pick in the mouth. Therefore, implements have evolved for holding a toothpick or other cleaning element in a manner such that it is more convenient to clean between the teeth and easier to manipulate and handle the toothpick.

It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved dental appliance for positively retaining a toothpick or the like to facilitate cleaning between the teeth. i

It is another object of the present invention to provide a dental appliance having improved means for positively but releasably securing a toothpick or the like to the appliance.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a dental appliance including a handle and an extension from one end of the handle with a transverse passage therethrough having converging sides between which a toothpick can be wedged to secure the toothpick to the device.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a dental device having a handle with an extension from at least one end thereof and wherein said extension has a transverse passage therethrough with a wedge-shaped recess in which a toothpick can be wedged; and further, wherein a collar is movable along the extension with a raised edge adapted to grippingly engage the toothpick while urging it into the recess in such a way as to positively but releasably secure the toothpick to the device.

These and other objects of the present invention are obtained with a dental appliance having a handle with means for retaining a cleaning element, such as a toothpick, by wedging the cleaning element between converging sides of the device and retaining the cleaning element in the wedged condition with releasable gripping means. It will be more fully appreciated from the detailed description hereinafter that the dental appliance of the present invention reliably immobilizes the cleaning element relative to the handle in a positive manner such that the cleaning element can be carefully and accurately manipulated between the mouth to clean particles from between theteeth.

More particularly. the dental appliance of the present invention includes a thin elongated body having a handle with a longitudinal extension from at least one end thereof which has retention means for positively securing a toothpick or similar cleaning element to the body in a manner such that the cleaning element can be easily manipulated within the users mouth to clean be tween the teeth. In a preferred embodiment, the retention means on the longitudinal extension includes a passage extending transversely through the extension portion having converging sides defining a recess within which the toothpick or other cleaning element can be wedged and thereby retained in a position substantially perpendicular to the handle. To retain the cleaning 'element between the converging sides and otherwise positively secure it to the body, a collar is disposed on the extension for selected longitudinal movement against the cleaning element to wedge the cleaning element between the converging sides and positively retain the cleaning element in position relative to the body. The collar is adapted to positively grip the cleaning element and thereby more reliably anchor it to the body by use ofa raised edge which embeds in the cleaning elements thereby to grip the element and prevent relative movement between the element and the body when the element is forced into the interproximal spaces between the teeth.

Other objects, advantages and capabilities of the present invention will become more apparent as the description proceeds taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

.FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a preferred embodiment of the dental device of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the dental device of FIG. 1.

i FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the forward end of the dental device as shown in FIG. 2 with a toothpick retained therein.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation of the forward end of the dental device as shown in FIG. 1 with a toothpick retained therein.

FIG. Sis a fragmentary vertical section through the forward end of the dental device as seen in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged front end view of the dental device as shown in FIG. I.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the forward end of the dental device as shwon in FIG. 2 with the gripping collar removed.

FIG. 8 is a side. elevation of a second embodiment of the dental device of the present invention with parts removed for clarity; and

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the dental device of FIG. 8.

Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, the dental device or toothpick holder 10 of the present invention can be seen to comprise a thin elongated body 12 having a f lattened handle 13 of substantially rectangular transverse cross-section with a relatively wide rearward, handengaging portion 14 having forwardly convergent curved sides 14' terminating in a forward portion 15 of reduced size. An extemallythreaded forward cylindrical extension 16 protrudes from the forward portion 15 of the handle [3 so as to form an obtuse angle with the handle and is of reduced size with respect to the portion 15. The forward extension 16 is provided with retention means I8 for positively securing a cleaning element, such as, a toothpick, to the device, and the for ward end 20 of the extension is hemispherical or rounded in configuration so as not to irritate or otherwise cause damage within the mouth when the holder is being used.

The retention means 18 includes a passage 22 passing radially or transversely through the extension 16 ad jacent the hemispherical forward end 20 thereof and a gripping collar 24 axially movable along the extension. Thepassage 22, which is best shown in FIG. 7, is seen to be generally pear-shaped in transverse cross-section with a rearward semi-cylindrical portion 26 and relatively flat forwardly convergent sides 28 extending from opposite sides of the semi-cylindrical rearward portion 26 to opposite sides of a relatively small diameter forward semi-cylindrical portion 30. The forwardly convergent sides 28 and the forward semi-cylindrical portion 30 deine a substantially wedge-shaped recess in the passage 22 in which a toothpick T or other similar cleaning element can be wedged. The rearward semicylindrical portion 26 of the passage is dimensioned so as to slidably receive a conventional toothpick or similarly sized cleaning element so that it extends normally away from the extension, and the forwardly converging sides 28 which reduce the width of the passage 22 serve to grip the toothpick T when it is urged forwardly from the rearward semi-cylindrical portion.

The gripping collar 24 comprises a cylindrical element with internal threads adapted to mate with the external threads on the forward extension l6 as seen in FIG. 5. The gripping collar 24 is thereby selectively movable axially along the forward extension 16 and serves to urge the toothpick T forwardly in the passage 22 so that it becomes wedged between the forwardly convergent sides 28 and is held in this position. To more positively grip the toothpick, the forward and rearward edges 32 and 34 respectively of the collar have raised circular bead-like protrusions 36 and 38 respectively of semi-circular transverse cross-section which are individually adapted to be embedded in the softer toothpick T when the collar is advanced forwardly pressing the toothpick between the forwardly convergent sides 28. It can, therefore, be appreciated that the toothpick is immobilized relative to the body 12 of the holder both by the forwardly convergent sides 28 of the passage 22 between which it is wedged and the gripping collar 24 which is not only embedded in the toothpick in the wedge-shaped recess in the passage. As is best seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, the outer cylindrical surface 40 of the gripping collar 24 is provided with circumferentially spaced axially extending grooves 42 so that it is easily gripped with the fingers as it is advanced against or moved away from a toothpick T, in the passage 22.

Of course, when it is desirable to replace a used toothpick with an unused toothpick, the collar 24 is merely rotated to move rearwardly along the extension 16 thereby releasing the toothpick T from the grip of the collar and allowing it to be moved rearwardly in the passage 22 into the rearward semi-cylindrical portion 28 thereof wherefrom it can be easily slid out of the passage. The raised bead-like protrusion 38 on the rear edge 34 of the collar is merely provided so that the collar can be positioned on the forward extension 16 in either direction and still be adapted to be embedded in the toothpick to positively grip the toothpick. The angular relationship of the forward extension 16 with the handle 14 of the holder has been found to facilitate desired positioning of the toothpick within the mouth for best removal of particles located in the interproximal spaces between the teeth.

A second embodiment 44 of the dental device or toothpick holder of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 to be similar to the first described embodiment with like parts having been given like reference numerals. In the second embodiment, reduced cylindrical externally threaded extensions 16' are provided at both ends of an intermediate flattened handle 46 and each extension 16' is provided with retention means [8 indentical to the retention means 18 utilized on the first described embodiment. In other words, a transverse passage 22' of generally pear-shpaed transverse cross-section is provided through each extension 16' and a gripping collar 24' is threadingly received on the associated extension 16' to urge a toothpick or other cleaning element into the wedge-shaped recess of the passage 22' so that it is wedged therein and gripped by the collar in a positive manner. Both extensions l6 form an obtuse angle with the handle 46 of the device and are adapted to releasably retain a toothpick or other similar cleaning element in a manner such that it extends normally away from the extension so that the element can be conveniently and desirably positioned and manipulated within the mouth to remove food particles and the like from between the teeth. Of course, when using the embodiment of H03. 8 and 9, a toothpick would not have to be exchanged each time it became unsuitable for use since the opposite end of the device would be carrying an unused toothpick and could alternately be inserted into the mouth.

Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of ex ample and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.

What is claimed is:

l. A dental appliance for releasably holding a toothpick and the like for cleaning between the teeth, said dental appliance comprising:

an elongated body having a handle portion and a solid, generally cylindrical forward extension adjacent to one end of the body, said forward extension including a transverse passage therein, said passage being wedge-shaped in cross-section and tapering outwardly away from said handle, and

gripping collar means including a raised annular edge for wedging a toothpick in the wedge-shaped passage, said gripping collar means being threaded on said forward extension for threaded advancement of said raised annular edge against the toothpick to urge the toothpick into the outwardly tapering portion of said passage whereby the toothpick is positively held in said passage by the raised annular edge of said gripping collar means and the toothpick can be inserted into the mouth for cleaning between the teeth.

2. A dental appliance according to claim 1, said elongated body having a forward extension at the opposite end of said body identical to the forward extension adjacent to the one end of said body, and gripping collar means threaded on said forward extension at the opposite end of said body identical to said gripping collar means threaded on said forward extension at the one end of said body.

3. The dental device of claim 1 wherein the transverse cross-sectional configuration of said wedgeshaped passage is generally pear-shaped having convergent side portions, a first substantially semi-circular portion and a second smaller semi-circular portion at opposite ends of said convergent side portions.

4. The dental device of claim 3 wherein said convergent side portions converge forwardly toward said one end of the body.

5. A dental device for releasably holding a toothpick convergent substantially flat sides terminating at a for cleaning between the teeth comprising: smaller substantially semi-circular portion said an elongated body having a handle portion and a cygripping collar being of generally cylindrical cunlindrical reduced forward extension from one end figuration and having a raised annular edge at its of said handle portion forming an obtuse angle 5 forward end whereby said toothpick can be positherewith. retention means on said cylindrical extively retained between said forwardly convergent tension comprising a radial passage through said sides of said passage by said gripping collar which cylindrical extension and a gripping collar threadis advanced forwardly along said cylindrical extenedly received on said extension for selective axial sion to wedge said toothpick between the forwardly movement thereal0ng,said passage having a gener- 10 convergent sides and grip said toothpick with the ally pear-shaped transverse cross-section with a raised annular edge on the forward end thereof. substantially semi-circular portion and forwardly

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US451293 *Apr 28, 1891 Auger-handle
US1291282 *Oct 13, 1917Jan 14, 1919Francis M C UsherToothpick-holder.
US2805475 *Jul 22, 1955Sep 10, 1957Adams Harold KFine line engraving tool for map making
US3471929 *Oct 28, 1966Oct 14, 1969James Vannes BooneDental instrument
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4229168 *Aug 23, 1978Oct 21, 1980Scholz Jr Howard WContra-angle ultrasonic endodontic instrument
US4367759 *Feb 22, 1982Jan 11, 1983Kline Larry HFlexible teeth-cleaning device
US4484891 *Oct 6, 1982Nov 27, 1984Syntex (U.S.A.) Inc.Vibratory endodontic device
US4564035 *Sep 21, 1984Jan 14, 1986Turner Tomie LToothpick holder
US4571183 *Aug 18, 1983Feb 18, 1986Syntex (U.S.A.) Inc.Vibratory endodontic device
US4580979 *Dec 20, 1984Apr 8, 1986Micro-Mega S.A.Drilling systems by vibrations
US4691404 *Apr 21, 1986Sep 8, 1987John O. Butler CompanyToothbrush
US4780923 *Jan 19, 1988Nov 1, 1988The Gillette CompanyInterproximal brush device having hinged brush retainer cap
US4832750 *Dec 1, 1987May 23, 1989Joseph HadaryToothpick holder
US5074005 *May 18, 1990Dec 24, 1991Stanley MachFloss bundle toothbrush with optional replaceable toothpick feature
US5090080 *Jan 26, 1989Feb 25, 1992Thuresson Lars ErikBrush handle
US5230356 *Aug 20, 1992Jul 27, 1993Villas Hugo JPersonal toothpick
US5283924 *Mar 11, 1993Feb 8, 1994Gillette Canada, Inc.Interdental foam brush and treatment gel combination therewith
Classifications
U.S. Classification433/147, 132/321
International ClassificationA61C15/02, A61C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/02
European ClassificationA61C15/02