US 3924621 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Cassimally ORTHODONTIC DEVICE  Inventor: K. A. I. Cassimally, 210 Third St.
West, Roundup, Mont. 59072 22 Filed: May 13,1974
21 Appl. No.2 469,422
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 4,384 1893 United Kingdom 128/252 687,161 2/1953 United Kingdom 128/359 803,425 10/1958 United Kingdom 128/359 [451 Dec. 9, 1975 Primary ExaminerLawrence W. Trapp Attorney, Agent, or FirmWegner, Stellman, McCord, Wiles & Wood  ABSTRACT An orthodontic device includes a baglet, insertable into the mouth of an infant, joined by a plurality of connecting members with a base for preventing further insertion of the device into the infants mouth. The spaced connecting members define therebetween a central aperture which acts as a guide for the infants tongue. When the orthodontic device is formed as an exercizer or pacifier, the base is in the form of a mouth shield or guard which has attached to the rear thereof a ring. When the orthodontic device is formed as a milk delivery nipple, the base comprises a hollow retaining cap having a lip for sealing engagement with the neck of a milk bottle. The plurality of connecting members are hollow and define milk delivery channels for connecting the retaining cap to the baglet, which is hollow and has a milk delivery orifice at the mouth entering end.
12 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 3,924,621
I g I """IIIIII/ ORTHODONTIC DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to orthodontic devices for in- 5 fants, which have an aperture or aperture-like space between a baglet and a base.
Most orthodontic devices for infants are of such great bulk that they produce physical obstacles to the normal function and development of infants who are in the process of establishing life-long habits of muscle function associated with swallowing reflexes, speech and development of jaws, lips, and other facial structures. The bulk of present pacifiers prop open the mandible and the resulting mechanical interference changes developing tooth position, alveolar bone (bone supporting teeth directly), jaw position, and muscle function.
Teeth ordinarily erupt until they meet an opposing force, ordinarily the teeth of the opposite jaw. When a bulk of material is placed between the front teeth, the mandible is effectively propped open, producing a downward and backward swing around the hinge axis or point of rotation of the temperamandibular joint. If a pacifier or orthodontic exercizer is used enough, the posterior teeth will advance into the space created between the upper and lower teeth, until they meet. Teeth ordinarily have more resistance to depression (being pushed into the bone) than extrusion (growing out of the bone), therefore once the posterior teeth grow into the space described, they are less likely to be depressed. This produces a mandible position that is further open than if a pacifier were not used.
To overcome some of these problems, some orthodontic exercisers have an elliptical cross-section for the shank connecting the baglet to the shield, resulting in a longer and flatter shank. This reduces the extent to which the mouth is propped open compared to baglets with cylindrical shanks. Similar structure has been used for nipples in order to better simulate natural breast feeding. While such orthodontic devices are an improvement over the traditional cylindrical nipple, and attempt to more closely simulate natural conditions created during weaning, the flattened configurations still hinder proper development of the infant. Proper recognition has not been given to the fact that pacifiers are artificial devices, in that they are typically in the infants mouth for substantially longer periods of time than would naturally occur during weaning.
Although a tongue thrust dysfunction during speech and swallowing is not entirely attributable to the large bulk or mass of previous orthodontic devices, it is a significant problem. An infant who has a large object in his mouth, which occupies a huge portion of space normally used by the tongue, is much more likely to develop abnormal tongue habits as compared to the situation in which the tongue has close to a normal volume of space in which to function during the early critical months and years of development. Prior orthodontic devices in the form of pacifiers and nipples have not solved this problem. Furthermore, this problem in combination with the propping open of the mandible can create a further complication, namely a dental arch deformation to the point of establishing the habit of thrusting the lower lips inside the upper incisors, thereby perpetuating the protrusion of the upper teeth.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, an improved orthodontic device, adaptable to exercizers or pacifiers and to nipples, overcomes all of the above problems. A baglet is attached to an enlarged base by a plurality of spaced connecting members which define therebetween an aperture. This design greatly reduces the bulk of the connecting shank, eliminating the propping open of the mandible. Equally important, the structure acts as a tongue training device and helps to establish a normal function during the swallowing reflex and during speech.
The central aperture provides an area of direct contact by the infants tongue to the lingual surface of the maxillary incisors (upper front teeth) and the soft tissue immediately behind these teeth. This is the normal area of initial tongue-palate contact as the swallow reflex is begun. A direct tactile sensation is provided because the device acts as a guide for the tongue to follow in order to immediately find a desirable contact of the tongue and palate when the swallow reflex is initiated.
Thus, applicants orthodontic device is designed to improve upon nature, by creating a condition which does not occur in nature, to compensate for the different conditions existing between pacifiers and natural weaning. This improvement is adaptable to milk supplying nipples, and is advantageous to further compensate for the typical extensive use of pacifiers, which result in a greater mass of material being present in an infants mouth, for a longer period of time, than would be the case with natural weaning.
One object of the present invention is the provision of an improved orthodontic device for infants, which device has an aperture to reduce the bulk of the device and to act as a tongue training device.
Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description, and from the drawings. While illustrative embodiments of the invention are shown in the drawings and will be described in detail herein, the invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms and it should be understood that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the novel orthodontic device, in the form of an orthodontic exercizer or pacifier;
FIG. 2 is a cross-section of the pacifier taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top cross-sectional view of the pacifier take along lines 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view, similar to FIG. 2, of an alternate embodiment for the pacifier;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the novel orthodontic device, in the form of a milk delivery nipple;
FIG. 6 is a side cross-sectional view of the nipple, taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a front cross-sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS InFIGS. 13, an orthodontic device in the form of a pacifier or exercizer is illustrated. A hollow baglet for insertion into an infants mouth has integral connecting legs 22, forming the intermediate shank of the device, for attaching the baglet 20 to a broad base member in the form of a mouth shield 24. A finger graspable ring 26 is attached to the opposite side of the shield 24. The hollow baglet 20 is of a flat enterior configuration, and has a hollow interior space 28 which allows the baglet to gently collapse. This may be accomplished by filling the interior space 28 with a foam type material, or by causing the interior space 28 to form an air chamber vented to atmosphere through an air passageway or vent channel 30 located in one of the connecting legs 22, and which connects the interior space 28 to vent aperture 32 located on the ring side of the base shield 24.
The terminating end of the connecting legs 22 forms an enlarged cylindrical lip 34, located on the ring side of the shield, which prevents the mouth inserted portion of the device from being disconnected from the shield 24, which is broad and of an extent to prevent insertion into the infants mouth. A finger gripable ring holder 36, which is forced into the center cylindrical space between the lip 34, has split sections 38, 39 which can be separated to insert the ring 26 into a bearing aperture. The split sections 38, 39 are then placed in abutment, and the holder is urged into the center interior space.
The connecting members 22 define therebetween a center aperture 44 which allows direct tongue contact when the pacifier is in the infants mouth. The rear surfaces 46 of the baglet 20, and the curving inward surfaces of the connecting legs 22, form a tongue guide which allow, when the pacifier is in the infants mouth, direct contact of the tongue with the lingual surface of the maxillary incisors and the soft tissue immediately therebehind. This is the normal area of initial tonguepalate contact as the swallow reflex is begun. The direct tactile sensation provided by the unique design of the intermediate shank of the pacifier acts as a guide for the tongue to follow to immediately find a desirable contact between the tongue and palate when the swallow reflex is initiated. For these reasons, it is preferred that the central aperture 44 be entirely open, as illustrated. While less preferable, it will be understood that a thin membrane could be located across or between the connecting arms, and still provide some of the same advantages as described above.
At the shield side of the tongue guide, the shield 24 has a raised conical or annular surface 50-for mating engagement with a bridging base surface 54 which joins the connecting legs 22 together. The entire pacifier may be formed of plastic material, with the shield 24, ring holder 36, and ring 26 being formed of a relatively rigid plastic, and the baglet 20 and connecting legs 22 being formed of a more resilient plastic material. The strength of the plastic material should be sufficient to ensure, relative to the dimensions of the legs 22, that the baglet 20 cannot be separated from the connecting legs, as by being pulled on or yanked by the infant. The connecting legs may be reinforced, as by a metal or plastic wire, if desired, to ensure that the baglet will not separate from the shield 24.
The shape of the baglet 20 and the shield 24 of FIGS. 13 has been designed so that the pacifier has no top or bottom orientation when in the infants mouth. If desired, the shape of the baglet and shield may be changed to the form illustrated in FIG. 4, in which similar elements have been identified with the same reference numeral. The hollow baglet 20 has a broad curved top 60 which conforms to the palate and arch of the infants mouth. A bottom or concave side 62 is relatively flat for direct contact with the infants tongue. The shield 24 is curved to provide firm contact with the upper lip of the infant, and the angled position of the baglet relative to the lower part of the shield 24 may provide some space for the lower lip, to allow the jaw to work forward and backward. The curved rear surface of the baglet 46 is formed, as previously described, as a tongue guide relative to the connecting legs 22, and the baglet 20 may be collapsed and expanded during sucking.
In FIGS. 57, the improved orthodontic device is illustrated in the form of a milk supplying nipple. A hollow nipple shank or baglet 80, for insertion into an infants mouth, is attached through hollow connecting legs 82 with a broad base, in the form of a retaining cap 84. The baglet has the same general configuration as the baglet 20, and in particular is of relatively flat and elliptical cross-section. At the mouth entering end of the baglet 80, a nozzle or orifice 86 is located to allow the flow of milk from the hollow interior chamber 88 of the baglet 80 into the infants mouth. The milk retaining chamber 88 is in fluid communication with a storage chamber 90 formed within the hollow retaining cap 84, by a pair of fluid channels 92 located in the pair of connecting legs 82.
The retaining cap 84 serves as a broad or bulbous base which serves the same purpose as the shield 24, in that it prevents further insertion of the nipple shank into the infants mouth. Also, the entire perioral area of the infant is able to contact the warm nipple base, which is flexible and conforms to the contours of the infants lips. At the bottom rim of the cap 84, a lip 94 is located for sealing engagement with the neck of a milk bottle. The open neck of the milk bottle is thus in direct communication with the hollow chamber 90, in order to allow the flow of milk through the channels 92 and into the holding chamber 88. If desired, flow regulating means may be associated with the channels 92, to regulate the flow of milk between the storage chamber and the teat portion.
The end of the baglet opposite the nozzle end has a curved surface 96 which forms, relative to the curved connecting legs 82, a tongue guide for guiding the infants tongue toward a central aperture 98 formed between the plurality of spaced connecting legs 92. The purpose of aperture 98 is the same as aperture 44. If desired, thebaglet 80 may have the shape of the baglet 20 illustrated in FIG. 4, for the same reasons. Other changes and modifications will be apparent in view of the above teachings.
1. An orthodontic device for infants comprising:
a baglet with a connected shank for insertion into an infants mouth up to the end of the shank,
a broad base attached to the end of the shank and having an extent greater than the shank to prevent further insertion of the device into the infants mouth, and
the shank which is insertable into the infants mouth comprises a plurality of connecting members for con necting the baglet to the base and defining therebetween an aperture-like space which forms means to allow a portion of the infants tongue to move into the space.
2. The orthodontic device of claim 1 wherein the baglet is generally flat for contact with the infants tongue, and the connecting members form two spaced connecting legs attached to opposing sides of the generally flat baglet for defining a central aperture therebetween which serves as a tongue guide to allow movement of the infants tongue therethrough when the baglet and connected shank is in the infants mouth.
3. The orthondontic device of claim 1 wherein the baglet is hollow and the walls of the baglet define therebetween an interior chamber, and at least one of the connecting legs contains a fluid passageway for fluid communication between the interior chamber and the base.
4. The orthondontic device of claim 3 wherein the orthondontic device is in the form of' a pacifier, the base comprises a shield, and the fluid passageway is vented to atmosphere at the side of the shield opposite the baglet side to allow collapse and expansion of the baglet when in the infants mouth.
5. The orthodontic device of claim 3 wherein the orthondontic device is in the form of a milk delivery nipple, the base comprises a retaining cap for connection to a milk bottle to allow the flow of milk from the retaining cap and through the fluid passageway to the interior chamber of the baglet, and the mouth entering end of the baglet has an orifice for allowing the flow of milk from the interior chamber to the infant.
6. The orthondontic device of claim 5 wherein both of the connecting legs have fluid passageways for fluid communication between the interior chamber of the baglet and the retaining cap.
7. The orthodontic device of claim 1 wherein the plurality of connecting legs are integral with the baglet and formed of the same material, the end of the shank corresponding to the ends of the connecting legs and defining a rim, the base comprises a shield having a central aperture with the connecting legs being located therein and the rim being located on the side of the base opposite the baglet, and a ring holder inserted in the central aperture whereby the rim prevents the integral baglet and connecting legs from being detached from the base when the ring holder is positioned within the central aperture.
8. An orthodontic exercizer comprising:
a baglet with a connected shank for insertion into an infants mouth up to the end of the shank,
a shield having an extent greater than the shank for preventing further insertion of the baglet and shank into the infants mouth and including on a side opposite the baglet and shank a finger holding member, and
the shank which is insertable into the infants mouth includes a pair of connecting legs for attaching the baglet to the shield and defining tongue guide means having therebetween a central void to allow movement of the infants tongue therethrough.
9. The orthondontic exerciser of claim 8 wherein the pair of connecting legs are integral with the baglet and are formed of a resilient material, the pair of connecting legs having a bridging portion associated with the shield for attachment of the integral connecting legs and baglet to the shield.
10; The orthondontic exerciser of claim 8 wherein the baglet is hollow and defines a generally enclosed air space, and at least one of the pair of connecting legs contains an air passageway for venting the air space of the baglet to an atmosphere venting opening associated with the shield.
11. An orthodontic nipple comprising:
a hollow nipple with a connected shank and having an interior chamber in fluid communication with an orifice located at a mouth entering end of the nipple for insertion into an infants mouth up to the opposite end of the shank,
a retaining cap for attachment to a milk bottle and having a hollow interior chamber, the cap having an extent greater than the shank to prevent further insertion of the nipple and shank into the infants mouth, and
the shank which is insertable into the infants mouth comprises a plurality of spaced legs for connecting the nipple to the retaining cap, at least one of the legs being hollow and having a fluid passageway in communication with the interior chamber of the nipple and the interior chamber of the retaining cap for allowing the flow of milk from the milk bottle and through said at least one leg to the nipple orifice, the spaced legs defining tongue guide means having therebetween an aperture to allow movement of the infants tongue therethrough.
12. The orthondontic nipple of claim 11 wherein all of the plurality of spaced legs are hollow and form fluid passageways in fluid communication between the interior chamber of the nipple and the interior chamber of the retaining cap.