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Publication numberUS3897795 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 5, 1975
Filing dateJul 30, 1973
Priority dateJul 30, 1973
Publication numberUS 3897795 A, US 3897795A, US-A-3897795, US3897795 A, US3897795A
InventorsEngel Walter H
Original AssigneeCentrix Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dental floss and method of making same
US 3897795 A
This disclosure is directed to an improved dental floss in which the fibers making up the floss are bonded or coated with a soap or detergent binder in which various therapeutic and/or dental grade polishing agents can be simultaneously bonded or impregnated to the floss fibers.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent En el Au 5 1975 [54] DENTAL FLOSS AND METHOD OF 660,943 lO/l900 Bauermeister 132/89 MAKING SAME 1700.636 1/1955 Ashton 2,748,78l 6/1956 Collat [75] Inventor: Walter H. Engel, Southport, Conn. 3.330332 7/1967 M hl Assigneel Cenrix Fairfield' Conn. 3,699 979 10/1972 Muhler 132/89 Filedi J y 9 1973 Primary ExaminerG. E. McNeil] NOJ AIIOI'HQV Ag'fll, 0r Firm-Arthur Fattibene [52] US. Cl. 132/89 [57] ABSTRACT [5 1] I t, Cl, A61 15/00 This disclosure is directed to an improved dental floss [5 Fi l of Search 32 90 91 92 93; in which the fibers making up the floss are bonded or 424/93 coated with a soap or detergent binder in which various therapeutic and/or dental grade polishing agents |5 1 References cu can be simultaneously bonded or impregnated to the UNITED STATES PATENTS floss fibers- 1741119 3/1876 Clark Jr. 132/89 ll Claims, 2 Drawing Figures 1 DENTAL FLOSS AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME PROBLEM AND PRIOR ART Research has indicated that tooth decay and dental disease is readily attributed to bacterial action resulting from the formation of plaque about the teeth and/or to the entrapment of food particles between the teeth and interstices formed therebetween. Conventional care of teeth by brushing has been found to be an inadequate means for effecting the removal ofentrapped food particles from certain crevices which may exist between teeth in certain instances and/or to effectively remove the plaque by which bacteria adheres to the teeth. To supplement conventional brushing, resort has been frequently made to the use of a dental floss which is rendered more effective than brushing in removing plaque and/or the stubbornly entrapped food particles from crevices which are otherwise inaccessible to ordinary brushing.

Most of the prior known dental flosses comprise essentially of fibers bonded by a wax coating, as for example a beeswax, petroleum wax or the like. However, research has shown that the wax with which such dental flosses have been coated form a media which is generally conducive to bacteria growth and development. While such flosses effectively remove entrapped food particles, portions of the wax coating invariably remain in the crevices to provide the food requirements for bacterial action, and thereby frequently nullify the effectiveness thereof.

With floss coated with natural or synthetic waxes hereto fore known, it was not known to incorporate therein any therapeutically or bacteriologically active matter. This was because the wax coatings generally resisted or repelled water and provided an indifferent binder for solids. For this reason the commercially available flosses were limited in use and function to the removal of food particles by the mechanical action limited solely to the action of the floss fibers on the teeth.

OBJECTS An object of this invention is to provide an improved dental floss having a coating or binder of soap and/or detergent.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved dental floss having a coating or binder of soap and/or detergent by which a polishing agent or other therapeutical material can be bonded to the fibers of the floss and which can be readily released upon use of the floss to effect the additional therapeutical effect on the teeth or the mouth.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing objects and other features and advantages are attained by a dental floss formed ofa plurality of fibers, as for example, nylon or the like, which are coated or bonded by a coating or binder ofa soap and- /or detergent. In accordance with this invention the coating of soap and/or detergent functions as a carrier by which one or more therapeutic ingredients can be bonded to the floss fibers to enhance the removal of plaque and/or entrapped food particles from the interstices or crevices otherwise rendered inaccessible by ordinary brushing. The improved floss can be readily made first by forming a paste of soap or detergent or a mixture thereof into which various therapeutic ingre dients are dispersed. The various therapeutic ingredients which may be incorporated in the paste include various dental grade polishing agents, as for example zirconium silicate, pumice stone. stanous oxide and the like, various dental grade fluorides, essential oils, thymols and phenols, chlorinated phenols and other like substances. The paste can readily be applied to the floss fibers simply by passing the floss fibers through the paste mix and removing the surplus therefrom.

FEATURES A feature of this invention resides in the provision of a dental floss having a coating or binder of soap and/or detergent by which various therapeutic agents can be simultaneously bonded to the floss fiber to enhance oral hygiene.

Another feature of this invention is to provide a dental floss with a polishing agent bonded to the floss fibers by a layer or coating of a soap and/or detergent which when wetted by saliva causes the surface tension of the saliva to be reduced, and permits the polishing agent or therapeutic agent to more effectively remove the plaque and cleans the spaces between the teeth for maximum oral hygiene.

Other features and advantages will become more readily apparent when considered in view of the drawings and specification in which:

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an enlarged view ofa dental floss strand embodying the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION This invention contemplates coating or binding the fibers l0 ofa dental floss with a coating or bonding material l1 incorporating dental grade therapeutically and/or bacteriologically active agents 12 where such agents can be readily releasably bonded to the floss fi bers. The coating material or binder 11 for the floss fibers 10 comprises a soap and/or detergent. As most soaps and detergents are solids they have sufficient tensile strength to bind the therapeutic substances, as will be hereinafter described, to the fibers of the dental floss; and yet impart to the material or fibers 10 a flaccidity to form an acceptable surface, as for example, an essentially uninterrupted sufficiently thin flexible film or coating formed along the fibers. All the soaps and/or detergents, in so far as they are capable of solidifying, can be used. However, the sodium based soaps are preferable to the potassium based soaps. Also a mixture of soap and detergent works most satisfactorily.

The solid detergents may be further defined as a complex organic substance generally consisting of sulphonated fatty alcohols and carbonates, phosphates and silicates. The active molecules exhibit a hydrophy lie and a hydrophobic part, i.e., carboxyl hydroxyl amine and sulphonate groups as well as long chain hydrocarbons of high molecular weight, as hydrophobic example, the sulphonic derivatives of aromatic hydrocarbons with a hydrophobix aliphatic chain.

The therapeutically active ingredients 12 which may be incorporated or impregnated into the coating or binding ll formed of either soap and/or detergent may include the following: pumice stone powder, zirconium silicate, strontium chloride, stanous oxide, dental grade fluorides, essential oils of varying flavors and/or aromas, thymols and phenols, chlorinated phenols and numerous other like substances.

The therapeutic agents 12 can be readily embedded or incorporated in the coating or binding 11 of the floss 10 by dispersing the selective agents in the soap or detergent paste. Depending upon the amount of agents to be incorporated in the binding or coating for the floss fibers, 5 to percent of water is added to the soap and/or detergent to transform the solid binder to a paste or soft paste. The selective agents, which are solid, are added to the paste which, depending upon the amount added, will cause the paste to thicken. Liquid therapeutic agents which are soluble and/or mixable with water will cause the paste to thin out. Thus the amount and type of the respective agents used can vary over a large range depending upon how much of the agent is solid and how much of it is liquid.

To a paste mixture comprising of a small part of soap to a larger part of detergent; as for example, 10 percent sodium soap to 90 percent of a solid detergent, percent by weight of zirconium silicate or pumice stone powder or suitable dental polishing agent may be added thereto. In the event it is further desirable to incorporate a dental grade fluoride for additional therapeutic effect, a 20 percent dental grade fluoride solution may be added to the mixture.

If a flavoring material is desired to be added into the paste mixture for the floss fibers, a predetermined amount of an essential oil may be added to the paste, e.g., 5 to 40 percent depending upon the characteristics of the essential oil; thymols, phenols, chlorinated phenols, hydro carbons, alcohols, aldehydes, esters, terpenes and tars.

Water insoluble liquid material can be readily incorporated in the paste mixture, because the soap and/or detergent will aid to emulsify these materials. Water as needed may be added. Therefore in forming the paste of soap and/or detergent mix in accordance with this invention the various therapeutic ingredients and the polishing agents hereinbefore referred to can be readily added to the paste to formulate a desired paste mixture to include any combination of the ingredients herein described. With the coating or binder paste so formed, the fibers 10 making up the dental floss can be readily pulled through the paste mix whereby the fibers are coated or bonded thereby. The surplus paste is removed from the fibers by passing the coated fibers through squeegees and/or squeegee rollers. [n the event a volatile ingredient has been incorporated in the paste mix, the coated floss will be subjected to a drying atmosphere and preferably one saturated with the volatile matter used in the paste and free of water vapor.

The dental floss formed in the manner herein described exhibits when formed, a smooth film-like surface which is essentially uninterrupted and sufficiently resilient so as to be capable of freely flexing in use. The polishing agent 12 embedded in the coating 11 enhances the removal of the plaque when the dental floss is used.

in operation the saliva or other aqueous liquid present in the mouth tends to dissolve the coating or binder material H and in doing so liberates the therapeutically active matter incorporated therein.

It will be understood that the proportions herean dabove set forth are not intended to be critical and are merely illustrative of a particular formulation. Various ingredients may be used in varying combinations and- /or proportions, the significance residing in that the paste mix can be formed in a manner whereby a soap and/or detergent constitutes a base or carrier whereby selective active ingredients hereinbefore defined can be readily incorporated and formed into the coating of the floss fibers by a single application or pass of the fibers through the paste mix.

While the instant invention has been described with respect to a particular embodiment thereof variations and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A dental floss comprising:

a plurality of fibers,

a readily salvia soluble binder comprising a detergent and a dental hygienic substance dispersed along the fibers and adhered thereto by said detergent binder whereby said binder reduces the surface tension of said salvia to permit said hygienic substance to more effectively act on ones teeth.

2. A dental floss as defined in claim 1 and including a stanous fluoride dispersed in the detergent binder along the fibers.

3. A dental floss defined in claim 1 and including a flavoring essential oil impregnated into the binder.

4. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said dental hygienic substance comprises a polishing agent.

5. The invention as defined in claim 4 wherein said polishing agent is zirconium silicate.

6. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said binder includes a sodium based soap.

7. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said binder includes a potassium based soap.

8. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said binder includes a soap.

9. The invention as defined in claim 1 wherein said detergent comprises sulphonated fatty alcohols and carbonates, phosphates, and silicates.

10. A dental floss comprising a plurality of floss fibers and a binder for said fibers,

said binder comprising a soap,

and a dental grade polishing agent disposed in said soap and bonded to said floss fibers by said detergent binder.

H. The invention as defined in claim 10 and including a dental grade fluoride.

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U.S. Classification132/321
International ClassificationA61C15/04, A61C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/041
European ClassificationA61C15/04B