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Publication numberUS618009 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 17, 1899
Filing dateSep 12, 1898
Publication numberUS 618009 A, US 618009A, US-A-618009, US618009 A, US618009A
InventorsWilliam J. La Varre
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
la varre
US 618009 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



Application filed Sept. 12, 1898..

No Model.)



SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters latent NO. 518,009, dated January 17,1899.

Application filed September 12, 1898. Serial No. 690 765. (No model.)

T0 0% whom it may concern.-

Be it known that 1, WILLIAM J. LA VARRE, a citizen of the United States, residing at lVashington, in the District of Columbia, have invented certain new and useful Improvements inDen tal Floss-Holders; and I do hereby declare the followingto be a full, clear, and exact description of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art towhich it appertains to make and use the same.

My invention relates to dental instruments or to an instrument to be carried in the pocket by persons other than dentists, the object being to provide an instrument which is designed to hold waxed or other thread while the same is being drawn through the teeth for removing fine impurities or small particles of waste filling after a tooth has been filled, a quantity of waxed or other thread being carried by the instrument, whichis capabio of being drawn out as desired and after the same has been used to be cut off and another portion of unused thread be presented for use.

The invention consists in certain novel constructions, combinations, and arrangements of parts wherehythese objects can be accomplished.

In the accompanying drawings, Figure 2i 2. side elevation of the instrument.' Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the same. Fig. 3 is a plan view, partly in section. Fig. i is a perspective view of the spool. spective view of one end of a prong, showing how the thread is held from slipping; and Fig. 6 is a sectional view of the same, show ing the thread in engagement therewith. Fig. 7 is a perspective view of a modified form of my invention, and Fig. 8 is a transverse section through the spool-retainin g portion and the spool on the line of the shaft.

A in the drawings represents a suitable body portion which forms a suitable handle a, a curved forked portion Bfand an intermediate spool-retaining portion 0. In the construction shown in Figs. 1, 2, and 3 one of the prongs b of the forked portion Bis made hollow and is left open at its outer end.

The other prong Z) is provided with a screw- Fig. 5 is a perfrom slipping by the cap being screwed onto the screw-threaded end 11 The spool-retaining portion 0 is constructed to hold a spool c by means of a shaft (1,, which has abearingin one side of the spool-retaining portion, as at 0 This shaft extends through an aperture in the other wall of the spool-retaining portion and isprovided with a head 0 which is preferably milled to facilitate turning the shaft. The spool c is fixed on the shaft in any suitable manner, so as to revolve therpwith, one form of securing the spool to the shaft being a pin, as c, which passes through a portion of the spool into the shaft. The

outer face of one of the heads of the spool is' provided with a ratchet c and the inner face of one of the walls of the spool-retaining portion adjacent to the ratchet on the spool is also formed with a ratchet c. A spring 0 is interposed between the milled head 0 and the wall of the spool-retaining portion, so as to normally keep the ratchet on the head of the spool in engagement with the ratchet on the inner wallof the spool-retaining portion. The teeth on both of the ratchet-s are so shaped that the spool will be prevented from having a forward movement while they are engaged; but the teeth of the ratchet on the spool are adapted to pass by the-teeth on the spoolretaining portion when the spool is wound to'tighten the thread. By-this con struction and arrangement it will be seen that it would be impossible for the thread to slip or he accidentally unwound and that it can only be unwound by the shaft being pushed in upon pressure being applied to the milled head connected. therewith.

To secure the thread between the prongs of the fork, it is simply necessary to pass the thread through the hollow arm 1) and then through the removable screw-cap If, a short portion of the thread being allowed to extend beyond the inner end of the cap. The cap is then screwed onto the prong b", whereupon the thread would be securely held infrornacoidentally unwinding by the ratehets.

When the. thread which is held between; the prongs has been used and it is desired to prosent a new portion of unused thread, it is simply necessary to loosen the cap b and draw the used portion of the thread through the same and cut it 0% and then replace the cap. By providing means whereby the thread is secured immediately at the end of one of the prongs no unused portion thereof is wasted in cutting or breaking off the used portion of a thread, as would be the case if the thread after being passed through or across the prongs were carried back and its ends secured to the body portion near the spool-retaining portion, as in some constructions.

It will be observed that by curving the outer ends of the prongs out of the plane of the handle and having the thread extend between the prongs at right angles to the handle portion the instrument can be conveniently inserted without having to open the mouth very wide and the spaces between the back teeth thoroughly cleaned while the instrument is held horizontally. If the instrument were not provided with a fork or prong having its outer end curved out of the plane of the handle, it would have to be held at an inclination, or it would have to be provided with means for adjusting the head portion (which construction would enhance the cost of production) in order to readily use the instrument between the back teeth.

The instrument will be found very convenient for dentists use in cleaning between the teeth, particularly the back teeth, which are difficult toreach, and to carry in the pocket by persons other than dentists for cleaning the teeth after meals. Provision being made for the ready removal of the used thread and the presentation of an unused portion of thread, the instrument will not only be found veryconvenient, but will be entirely sanitary and healthful. So far as I am aware no instrument has ever been designed for this purpose, and it is therefore a great improvement over the old method employed by dentists for inserting a thread between the teeth for removing small particles of food or waste filling, which operation was usually accomplished by holding the thread between the fingers and drawing it through the teeth, an operation which was quite cumbersome and unhan'dy, especially in operating between the back teeth.

In Figs. 7 and 8 of the drawings I have illustrated a modified form of construction. In this form of the apparatus the spool is made more readily removable and the entire apparatus is constructed of fewer parts than portion, the wall at this point being formed with a depression or seat, within which the eye rests for the purpose of preventing it from having a longitudinal movement. The other end of the shaft is provided with a concaved surface (1' to fit the other arm or wall of the spool-retaining portion, by which construction the said shattcan be sprung into position and held by the concaved portion engaging the said wall and can, when desired, be readily lowered, as shown in Fig. 8 ofthe drawings, for the purpose of convenientlyremoving the spool or inserting a spool thereon and again snapped up into position, thematerial constituting the spool-retaining portion being sufficiently springy to admit of the same being accomplished. In this construction the prongs E are preferably made solid and the thread is carried from the spool to one of the prongs, as clearly shown in-Fig. 7',

and passed through a slit 9 and then given.

about three turns around the said prong and then extended across to the other prong and passed through a slit e in said prong, and then the thread given two or three turns around the said prong. The slits in the prongs being narrow, the thread will be securely held in a stretched condition between the said prongs.

Having now described my invention, what I claim as new, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is Y 1. An instrument for dental purposes comprising in its construction a suitable handle, a spool-retaining portion, .a removable threadcarrier, and a forked portion, the extreme outer ends of the forked portion being curved out of the plane of the handle and each provided with a single slit for holding a thread in a stretched condition at a right angle to the body portion so that the thread can be readily passed between the teeth, the construction and arrangement being such that the used thread can be removed without wasting the unused thread and when the thread has all been used, another spool of thread can be in: sorted; substantially as described 2. An instrument for dental purposes comprising in its construction, a suitable body portion provided with means for holding a,

thread in a stretched condition, so that it can be passed between the teeth, a removable thread-carrier, a shaft for holding the threadcarrier, said shaft being pivotally secured at one end to the-instrument and adapted to be sprun g into position and held at its other end, the construction and arrangement being such that a portion of the thread can'be removed and a new portion of thread presented, sub stantially as described.

As an improved article of manufacture, an instrument for dental purposes the body portion of which is. constructed of a single piece of wire and comprising in its construc-.

tion, ahand le,,aspool-retaining portion and a forked portion, the outer ends of the forked portion being curved out of the plane of the handle and provided with means at the ends of the fork for holding a thread in a stretched condition at a right angle to the body portion gle slit for holding a thread in a stretched and a spool for holding thread, substantially condition ata right angle to the body portion, as described. and a spool for holding thread, substantially i. As an improved article of manufacture, as described. 15

5 an instrument for dental purposes, the body, In testimony whereof I hereunto affix my portion of which is constructed of a single signature in presence of two witnesses. piece of material and comprising in its constrnction a handle, a spool-retaining portion, VILLIAM LA VARRE' and a forked portion, the outer ends of the \Vitnessesz. v

1o forked portion being curved out of the plane I JOHN L. FLETCHER,

of the handle and each provided with a sin- I T. REED ()LIir'r.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2451181 *Sep 11, 1945Oct 12, 1948Morris SwartzmanDental floss holder
US2554526 *Nov 27, 1948May 29, 1951Dembenski Joseph ESanitary dental floss holder
US4901742 *Apr 28, 1988Feb 20, 1990Olson Mary Lou CDental flosser-dispenser
US4966176 *Dec 22, 1988Oct 30, 1990Lachenberg James ADental flosser
US5267579 *Jun 22, 1990Dec 7, 1993Bushberger Todd EOscillating flossing implement
Cooperative ClassificationA61C15/046
European ClassificationA61C15/04E