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Publication numberUS3905113 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 16, 1975
Filing dateFeb 22, 1974
Priority dateFeb 22, 1974
Publication numberUS 3905113 A, US 3905113A, US-A-3905113, US3905113 A, US3905113A
InventorsJacob Joseph
Original AssigneeJacob Joseph
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dental health tool and method of disrupting plaque
US 3905113 A
A dental health tool and method of negating the ability of plaque forming bacteria to build plaque sanctuaries between and around tooth structure. The tool is a means for securing bristles to the skin surface of a finger of the user in order to permit both the finger nerves and gum tissue nerves to guide the use of the tool.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Jacob [111 3,905,113 1 51 Sept. 16, 1975' I DENTAL HEALTH TOOL AND METHOD OF DISRUPTING PLAQUE [76] Inventor: Joseph Jacob, 303l9 Ashton Ln.,

Bay Village, Ohio 44140 22 Filed: Feb. 22, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 444,849

52 US. Cl. 32/40 R; 128/62 A 51 lm. c1. ..A61H 7/00 58 Field of Search 15/227; 132/887, 88.5;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,267,623 8/1966 Block 32/58 3,7l6,065 2/1973 Finamore 132/53 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 175,304 2/1935 Switzerland 128/62 A Primary Examiner--Robert Peshock [57] ABSTRACT A dental health tool and method of negating the ability of plaque forming bacteria to build plaque sanctuaries between and around tooth structure. The tool is a means for securing bristles to the skin surface of a finger of the user in order to permit both the finger nerves and gum tissue nerves to guide the use of the tool.

4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures DENTAL HEALTH TOOL AND METHOD OF DISRUPTING PLAQUE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION One of the objects oftooth brushing" (mouth cleaning is a preferable term) is to interrupt the harmful bacterial activity, break its cycle and thereby prevent the destruction of the Chewing Apparatus." p

To date two of themost influential men in thefield of Preventive Dentistry, Dr. C. C. Bass and Dr. Sumpter Arnim have provided the basis from which most of the present day thoughts and techniques have evolved concerning prevention of dental disease through effective personal oral hygiene. Dr. Robert Barkley has been the impetus to bring this knowledge forth and into a workable, explainable program.

Excerpts taken from one of the many papers written by Sumpter Arnim B.S. D.D.S. P.H.D., Professor Pathology, University of Texas Dental Branch, Houston, Texas are set forth below. These excerpts are taken from a paper written for the Journal of Tennessee State Dental Association, 39-1. Much of this work was done in the 1950s and 1960s but is current in our approach to prevention at this time; An understanding of the problem to be overcome is essential to an understanding of the novel solution provided by this invention.

The microbial masses develop within an enveloping zoogleal gel that forms an invisible but effective semipermeable osmotic barrier between the community and its immediate environment. In addition to the organized adherent colonies, the gel contains a variable polyglot population of free living motile or non-motile bacteria, protozoa, fungi, yeasts, tissue fluids and cellular elements that wend their way in and out of the peripheral fingers of the community. As thecommunities grow in size and the variety of inhabitants increases, living and dying in symbiotic relationships, while separated from the remainder of the mouth by the semipermeable zoogleal barrier, a' little microscopic world comes into being with discernable morphologic attributes and detectable physiologic and pathologic activities. When end products of the proliferating, degenerating, fermenting or putrefying mass affect adjoining tissues they incite a pathologic response. This microbial community with its enveloping gel functions, in its entirety, as a microscopic entity'is called the microcosm.

The Microcosms vary in appearance, location and content and are usually named accordingly, such as: microcosm associated with a carious lesion, gingival microcosm, periodontal microcosms, lingual microcosm, and tonsillar microcosm.

This microcosm (or plaque as it is popularly called) is the substance that, if left in place in its dark, warm, protected areas of the mouth, can cause gum tissue (or periodontal) disease and dental caries.

By repeated, thorough, systematic cleansing of the oral cavity and the teeth, we may far reduce the amountof fermentable substance in the mouth and the number-of fermentable organisms as to materially diminish the production of Acid. s

Reduction in turn will aid in controlling dental decay that once the zoogleal substances cost a tooth, the first organism .to take up a more or less permanent abode are, the Coccoid forms. They are soon followed by the filamenteous bacteria that cling very tenaciously to the tooth and tissue surfaces. Once removed by personal oral hygiene, the filaments will return in 2448 hours. They are accompanied by and interspersed with epithelial cells, white blood cells, red blood cells and many other varieties, of microorganism. If they are left undisturbed by the toothbrush, pick or other mechanical device for several days, this microcosm will be well established and difficult to remove. Depending upon the nature ofthe microbial population, the kind of nutrients available and other environmental factors, the microcosm may mineralize forming calculus on thetooth surface, or it may reverse this process and demineralize the tooth surface creating a carious lesion and/or produce toxic products leading to the inception of periodontal or other disease.

The enamel area covering the teeth is very difficult to clean, particularly between the teeth and in the interior surface of the mouth. This hard enamel generally stops near or at the gum line, i.e., the gingivae, and at this point is extended by material called cementum, which is a soft substance. With the advent of adulthood, and in advancing years, the gum line can recede, even in healthy persons, thus exposing more and more of this soft area of cementum. Vigorous brushing is inclined to scratch this area, causing V-shaped grooves, which are cut in the teeth at the gum line and could require restoring, even though there is no evidence of decay. It would appear that the general tendency has been towards cure-alls in the line of dentifrice improvements, which are to accomplish that which the toothbrush is designed to do.

One particular difficulty that is present in all toothbrushing is the fact that the hand moving through the arm and elbow is used to control a 6 inch toothbrush having several rows of bristles and this must move and cover various very small areas of the mouth. The movement of the arm can accomplish this purpose only with certain distinct limitations. This is because the degree of control in the arm is not adapted to such fine motions required to accomplish the covering of all areas of the teeth without some practice and considerable difficulty. It is because it is difficult to manipulate the arm and elbow of a person to cover all of the surfaces, that one of the principal difficulties has arisen.

THE PURPOSE AND OBJECTS OF THIS INVENTION It is important to control this microcosm so that dental disease can be better controlled. It is proposed to do this in a superior manner by providing the capability of the individual to maintain a tactile sense and thus feel more accurately where he is in the masticatory region.

This invention relates to a tactile sensing finger tool particularly directed to a toothbrush comprised of bristles which may be secured to the finger through a thin and flexible medium so that the inherent dexterity of thefinger and the direct tactile sense of the finger are employed as distinguished from the oral tactile sense alone. This toothbrush and bristles may have impregnated therein a dentifrice and may employ other structural features to more fully accomplish its purpose.

The invention also relates to a tooth cleaning and polishing method wherein the direct tactile sense of the finger is used in directing the cleaning of the teeth, wherein the areas between the teeth and in the vicinity of the gums are more effectively cleaned on all exposed surfaces.

This new toothbrushing tool and method of cleaning the teeth will accomplish the purpose with a minimum of traumatization while permitting easy massage of the gingival tissue. It will also permit better coverage of the cervical portion of the clinical crown besides the interdental embrasures and the other gingival tissue. It also will better cover the proximal surfaces and the occlusal grooves or crevices. These areas are particularly important as they are the prime area of attack of dental caries that are really unnecessary if effective tooth cleaning were being done. Today there are several well known methods of brushing the teeth, including the generally accepted Bass or Arnim technique of disrupting the microcosm with a soft tooth brush and unwaxed dental floss. The extent of use of these methods is unknown, but it is probable that they are not being used as widely as they might.

It is an object of this new invention to provide a convenient way of using the tactile sense in the fingertip, together with a bristle area that could contain dentifrice for polishing the teeth. Good control is obtained because of the careful articulation of the finger. Most all surfaces of the mouth can be covered in this manner. It is well known that certain surfaces are not now easily covered. It is only too apparent that the lingual and palatal surfaces are covered insufficiently by most people. Further it will be seen that certain areas on the users right or left hand side may be covered to a less extent because of righthandedness and lefthandedness in certain people.

It is a feature of this invention that these normally inaccessible areas can now be reached effectively.

It is the purpose of this invention to provide a new finger toothbrush, employing tactile sensing, which may easily reach these critical areas, and because the sensing of the bristle is directly in contact with the nerve centers of the fingertip the exact areas between the teeth and gums can be felt and covered so that very few portions of the mouth remain to be cleaned by other means.

IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of one preferred embodiment of the toothbrush tool.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the toothbrush tool.

FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged section showing the criti- 'cal structure of the preferred embodiment.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a users hand with the tool attached.

FIG. 5 is a view from the finger end, illustrating the directional influence upon the bristles by the finger contour.

FIG. 6 illustrates the tool in use.

THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The structure for carrying out the purposes of the invention can take on many specific forms once the principles and purposes are understood.

This description is intended to instruct the reader in the principles.

A very effective tool has a base strip 10. This strip is not the most critical portion of the tool, but must meet the specification of being very flexible but tough enough to hold installed bristles firmly.

Bristles 12 are conventional, but not all conventional bristles will function to optimum. Preferably, bristles 12 should be about 0.007 inch Nylon (registered trademark Dupont Corporation) with rounded ends.

In this preferred embodiment, the bristles 12 are shown in FIG. 3 as penetrating base 10 in two separate but closely spaced locations. A single bristle is looped on one side of the base 10 around a lock strand 14. Strand 14 aids materially in holding the bristles against loss in use, and makes possible the use of much thinner and less tough base 10.

The primary intent of this invention is to enable the user to direct the bristles most effectively. The gum tissue alone is not sufficient. Hence, this invention is dedicated to the concept of providing a keen sense of control by providing a sense of feel of both ends of the bristle to the brain.

To fulfill this purpose, the tool is adhered to the soft finger flesh which is designed by nature with nerve endings specifically for response to delicate stimulation.

Ideally, the structure of base and bristles alone held on the fingertip would produce the fullest response. Since such objective is unobtainable, it has been found that a very thin and very tenacious adhesive layer will produce optimum response.

Fasson Corporation adhesive 333 DC Polyester S 814 PO No. 320646 Specification 46411 Co No. 79071 is a non-allergenic medically approved adhesive, and is shown in FIG. 3 as coating 16.

Coating 16, although also covering the looped ends of the bristles, will allow pressure on the bristles to be very clearly sensed by the skin nerves to which it is attached. This coating 16 is protected until ready for use by a conventional cover strip, not illustrated. The tool may be reused, but the specified Fasson adhesive must be replaced for a second use because it loses its holding power after use.

The tool is flat in its manufactured form shown in FIGS. 1-3, but when installed on the finger, the natural curvature of the finger will cause the bristle rows to fan out as shown in FIG. 5 to provide bristles for reaching difficult areas. The most effective form of the concept is as shown in FIG. 1. Although a strip brush, or other shape, will be useful, the form of FIG. 1 provides a unique mode of operation and improved result.

The FIG. 1 form is essentially a substantially round body portion 20, with a v" cut 21 at the front along a center axis, and a tab end 22 on the opposite side.

The adhesive is tenacious, and therefore tab 22 is provided without adhesive to afford a grip portion for removal.

When installed, the body portion will wrap around the ball of the finger tip without producing a wrinkle, because of the v cut. See FIG. 5.

Note, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, that the bristles which are essentially parallel in FIGS. 1 and 2, take on a multi-directional attitude when installed on the finger.

It has been found that even a tooth brush on a handle cannot normally reach all areas of tooth surface with the ease and control provided by this configuration. Further, the round body which results in the multidirectional bristle configuration allows cleaning all surfaces with one device installed on one finger.

Research has shown that it would be difficult to pivot the index finger adequately to reach the lingual or palatal surfaces of the teeth and gums with bristles projecting in only one plane from the finger.

Therefore in order to overcome this problem the cleaning bristles have been extended up on the proximal surfaces of the finger in order to effect a sideways motion to bring the bristles in direct contact to the surfaces on both the right and left sides of the mouth to remove the plaque deposits.

Dentifrice is used by most people, and may be applied from conventional sources. However, it is feasible to supply a dry dentifrice installed between the bristles, which may be used with or without extra water. A deposit of such dentifrice is shown at 18 in FIG. 2, but is omitted from all other views.

A new user of the tool may be advised to obtain a supply of plaque disclosing tablets or liquid from the druggist to learn the most effective technique to follow in using this new means for plaque destruction.

' I claim:

1. A dental health tool, comprising: 1

a flexible sheet base member having a top and bottom surface;

a plurality of bristles carried by said base member,

each bristle having a beginning portion substantially at said bottom surface, said bristle extending through said base member and emanating from said top surface in an erect attitude orientated such that pressure applied to said bristle in a direction along its major axis will be transmitted through the base member to said beginning portion; and

an adhesive coating on said bottom side of said base member, said coating being of a film nature in thickness with said beginning portion protruding, and which is pressure sensitive to human skin,

whereby, when the base member is applied to the finger surface it will hold said bristle beginning portion pressed into intimate contact with the finger nerve endings of the user.

2. A dental tool as defined in claim 1, in which each bristle extends through the sheet base and loops back to present two bristle ends, and a lock strand extends through the loop on the bottom side of said base, said loop portion positioned below said bottom side to provide essentially direct contact with the skin of the user separated therefrom only by said adhesive coating.

3. A dental health tool, comprising:

a plurality of bristles each having a base end and an opposite tip end;

a flexible web bonding said bristles into a unitary structure with the web defining a bottom surface substantially coincident with the said bristle base ends, each bristle extending through said web in an erect attitude orientated such that pressure applied to a bristle -in a direction along its major axis will be transmitted through the web to said base end, and;

an adhesive coating on said bottom surface which is adherent to human skin and of film nature in thickness with said base end protruding,

whereby, when the web is applied to the finger surface it will hold said bristle base end pressed into intimate contact with the finger nerve endings of the user.

4. A dental health tool comprising:

a flexible sheet member having a top and bottom surface, with a plan outline which is rounded in a main body configuration, having a notch removed at a front end to permit attachment to a finger surface without wrinkle;

a plurality of bristles carried by said base member emanating from said top surface in an erect attitude; and

an adhesive coating on said bottom which is pressure sensitive to human skin whereby, when the web is applied to the finger surface it will hold said bristle base end pressed into intimate contact with the finger nerve endings of the user.

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U.S. Classification433/216, 601/139, 15/167.1, 401/6
International ClassificationA46B5/04, A61C15/00, A46B5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/00, A46B5/04
European ClassificationA46B5/04, A61C15/00