US20050039280A1 - Oral hygiene arches - Google Patents

Oral hygiene arches Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050039280A1
US20050039280A1 US10/923,007 US92300704A US2005039280A1 US 20050039280 A1 US20050039280 A1 US 20050039280A1 US 92300704 A US92300704 A US 92300704A US 2005039280 A1 US2005039280 A1 US 2005039280A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
micro
fibrils
device
teeth
oral hygiene
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Abandoned
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US10/923,007
Inventor
William Trimmer
Robert Sears
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Azalea Way Consumer Products LLC
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Azalea Way Consumer Products LLC
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Priority to US49669703P priority Critical
Application filed by Azalea Way Consumer Products LLC filed Critical Azalea Way Consumer Products LLC
Priority to US10/923,007 priority patent/US20050039280A1/en
Assigned to AZALEA WAY CONSUMER PRODUCTS LLC reassignment AZALEA WAY CONSUMER PRODUCTS LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: TRIMMER, WILLIAM STUART, SEARS, ROBERT STEVEN
Publication of US20050039280A1 publication Critical patent/US20050039280A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B9/00Arrangements of the bristles in the brush body
    • A46B9/02Position or arrangement of bristles in relation to surface of the brush body, e.g. inclined, in rows, in groups
    • A46B9/04Arranged like in or for toothbrushes
    • A46B9/045Arranged like in or for toothbrushes specially adapted for cleaning a plurality of tooth surfaces simultaneously
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A46BRUSHWARE
    • A46BBRUSHES
    • A46B9/00Arrangements of the bristles in the brush body
    • A46B9/02Position or arrangement of bristles in relation to surface of the brush body, e.g. inclined, in rows, in groups
    • A46B9/026Position or arrangement of bristles in relation to surface of the brush body, e.g. inclined, in rows, in groups where the surface of the brush body or carrier is not in one plane, e.g. not flat

Abstract

A device for cleansing teeth, including an arcuate housing defining an open top channel for placement over an arch of teeth and a plurality of cleansing components disposed within the channel for engaging and cleansing side and bottom surfaces of the teeth in the housing. The cleansing components include micro-fibrils that project from wall(s) of the housing or are defined on carriers suspended in a medium disposed in the channel.

Description

  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/496,697, filed Aug. 21, 2003, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by this reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to an oral hygiene arch for being placed in the mouth to overlie the upper or lower dental arch for receiving therein the teeth. More specifically, the present invention relates to a trough or channel-like device conforming to the contour of the jaw and containing a medium or elements for engaging the teeth to clean the same, particularly when the jaw undergoes a chewing motion.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Dental disease, caries and periodontal disease are rampant. The infectious base of caries and periodontal disease is well documented. The complexity of the dental plaque as a bio substrate which causes dental disease is well known. This multi-factor disease is function of host resistance, strength of pathogen and environmental factors. The most effective documented way to prevent and reduce incidence of dental disease is mechanical plaque removal.
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs and immunological attempts at caries and periodontal control have been ineffective due to the diversity of organisms involved in causing dental disease.
  • Tooth brushing is used with mechanical, electrical and manual brushing techniques to disrupt the dental plaque and prevent dental disease. Inter-proximal regions have been treated using dental floss to disrupt and remove the dental plaque between the teeth. A wide variety of therapeutic agents have been added to dentifrices in order to reduce dental disease, promote oral hygiene and provide hygiene and esthetics.
  • Patient compliance has long been recognized as a problem in successfully preventing dental disease, the amount of time consumed in effective plaque removal being inhibiting. Mechanical plaque removal is also very technique sensitive.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • An oral hygiene appliance, namely an oral hygiene arch, has been developed which will effectively remove dental plaque from dental structures including natural and prosthetic teeth, prosthetic and orthodontic appliances, gums, and supporting structures. In addition to efficiently removing plaque from the teeth and gums the oral hygiene arches will cleanse the pits, grooves, fishers and smooth surfaces of natural and prosthetic teeth and even around implants and prostheses and orthodontic appliances.
  • According to this invention there is provided a trough or channel-like member that is shaped to follow the normal contour of the upper and lower dental arch and contains tooth cleansing component(s) to engage the surfaces of the user's teeth, to remove plaque and food debris. In an embodiment of the invention, the tooth cleansing component(s) comprise a plurality of micro-fibrils. The micro-fibrils are adapted to engage not only the teeth but also the marginal ends of the gums as well as project between the teeth. If desired, some of the micro-fibrils may be longer than others or have differing tip shape to reach between the inter-proximal spaces of the teeth.
  • In one embodiment, the micro-fibrils are integrally molded to project from the interior surface of the trough or channel of the oral hygiene arch. In an alternate embodiment, the micro-fibrils are defined on the surface of carriers suspended in a medium deposited in the trough or channel of the oral hygiene arch. In either case, when the base of the oral hygiene arch is pressed towards the teeth received in the oral hygiene arch, such as by a chewing or a biting operation of the jaws, the micro-fibrils are forced against and between the teeth and along the sides thereof thereby cleaning the teeth and the gum line.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • These and other objects and advantages of this invention, will be more completely understood and appreciated by careful study of the following more detailed description of the presently preferred exemplary embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of an oral hygiene arch embodying the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic view, partly in cross-section of the oral hygiene arch of FIG. 1 engaging a user's tooth;
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged, schematic cross-section view of the oral hygiene arch of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view of another oral hygiene arch embodying the invention; and
  • FIG. 5 is an enlarged, schematic cross-section view of the oral hygiene arch of FIG. 4.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • As presently proposed, the oral hygiene arches are comprised of a main body, defining the trough or channel-like U-shaped dental arch form, and tooth cleansing component(s) for engaging the surfaces of the user's teeth, to remove plaque and food debris. In a presently preferred embodiment of the invention, the tooth cleansing component(s) comprise a plurality of micro-fibrils. In one embodiment, the micro-fibrils are integrally molded to project from the interior surface of the trough of the oral hygiene arch. In an alternate embodiment, the micro-fibrils are defined on the surface of carriers suspended in a medium deposited in the trough of the oral hygiene arch.
  • An oral hygiene arch according to a first embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example in FIGS. 1-3. This oral hygiene arch 10 is comprised of a trough or channel-like main body 12 that is generally U-shaped in plan so as to follow the contour of the dental arch or jaw. The oral hygiene arch 10 is also generally U-shaped in vertical section so as to define first and second side walls 14, 16 for being disposed in opposed facing relation to the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth along the jaw line and a base wall 18 extending between and interconnecting the sidewalls for being disposed in opposed, facing relation to the bottom surface of the teeth. Thus, the sidewalls and base of the main body are adapted to surround and cover the teeth projecting from the user's gums and also to face at least the marginal ends of the gums. In the illustrated embodiment, the main body further includes rear walls 20, although in some embodiments, the channel defined by the side and base walls may be open ended at the rear of the device.
  • In this embodiment, the main body of the oral hygiene arch has a plurality of closely spaced micro-fibrils 22 defined along the side and bottom wall thereof. The micro-fibrils are each about 10-20 microns wide and about 100 to several hundred microns long. The micro-fibril density as presently proposed is about 40,000 per square centimeter. In an exemplary embodiment, the ends of the micro-fibrils are rounded so as to minimize the potential for damage or trauma to the gums and the gingivalsulcus, the narrow crevice beneath the gum line between the gums and the teeth.
  • In use, the oral hygiene arch is inserted into the user's mouth and the trough or channel is fitted over either the top or bottom arch of teeth. The user then commences a modest chewing action to displace the teeth with respect to the oral hygiene arch, typically in a circular motion. Consequently, when the teeth are moved as a result of a chewing movement of the jaws, the micro-fibrils rub against the teeth, against the marginal ends of the gums between the teeth and into other crevices of the teeth sides and bottom.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, as schematically depicted in FIG. 3, small pockets such as micro cavities or vacuoles 24 (only a few of which are shown) are interspersed with the micro-fibrils 22 on the inner surface of the main body or housing 12. Contained within the micro cavities are chemicals, dentifrices, medicaments, flavorings, etc. The chewing process serves to release these entrapped materials. If deemed necessary or desirable, in addition or in the alternative, a cleansing media such as a toothpaste or gel may be disposed in the oral hygiene arch before engagement with the teeth, or a cleansing paste or gel may be applied to the teeth before the oral hygiene arch is received thereon. Then, during the chewing movement of the jaw, the cleanser will work in conjunction with the micro-fibrils to effectively distribute the cleanser into and about all cavities and recesses in and between the teeth and along the gum line. The distribution of cleanser and the engagement of the teeth with the micro-fibrils quickly and effectively cleanses, simultaneously, all teeth in the dental arch.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the oral hygiene arches are made of a relatively inexpensive material so as to enable disposal after each use. The oral hygiene arches can be made by stamping or molding operations and, if necessary, the main body thereof can be formed from multi-material layers to obtain the desired strength and shape properties as well as to accommodate the tooth cleansing component(s) as described in greater detail below.
  • In an exemplary embodiment, the main body may be formed from ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), e.g., 0.02 inches to 0.035 inches thick, which can be readily formed into the trough-like dental arch shape by forming strips of material, e.g., {fraction (3/4)} inch wide EVA, that are then heated and stamped or pressed to form the U-shaped trough. In the alternative, the main body may be molded at the outset into the U-shaped trough form. The main body can also be made of hydrocolloid or gelatin or pectin.
  • The micro-fibrils may be integrally molded with the main body. To do so, the mold defining the inner surface of the main body is drilled to define a plurality of minute holes therethrough, corresponding to the size and location of the micro-fibrils to be formed. Then, during the molding process, a vacuum is pulled from the side of the mold opposite the die face, to draw the molding material of the main body into the drilled holes, thereby to define the micro-fibrils. Because the molded material is selected to be flexible (elastic) a release angle is not required for the micro-fibrils. Similarly, to form the micro capsules, small suitably located protrusions are formed on the die face, whereby the micro cavities are defined when the main body is removed from the mold.
  • As an alternative to integrally molding the micro-fibrils with the main body, a tooth cleansing micro-fibril layer may be applied/attached to the main body before or after the trough-like oral hygiene arch structure is formed. For example, a second layer of material may be laminated to the main body, the second layer sheet having micro-fibrils formed thereon. In addition to micro-fibrils, the micro-fibril layer may include small pockets such as micro cavities or vacuoles interspersed with the micro-fibrils. As mentioned above, the micro cavities may contain chemicals, dentifrices, medicaments, flavorings, etc.
  • The micro-fibril layer may be formed from ethylene vinyl acetate, hydrocolloid or another resin. An advantage of hydrocolloid in this regard is that it is biologically well tolerated and its stiffness can be varied. Indeed, the characteristics of the medium selected must be consistent with the subsequent processing to which the main body will be subjected as well as the intended use of the product. For example, if the main body structure is formed to its arch shaped form after attachment of the micro-fibril layer, the material of the layer must be selected such that the subsequent re-shaping of the main body will not substantially damage the preformed micro-fibrils.
  • The layer or strip of micro-fiber carrying material may be fused or joined to the main body by solvent-bonding or by using adhesive, or other means known in the art, or the micro-fiber layer can be over-molded to a previously molded outer shell. In the latter case, the outer shell may be molded to include protuberances on the inner surface thereof, to mechanically retain the layer molded thereto. As with the integrally formed micro-fibrils, in use the trough is disposed to overlie the teeth and the user then employs a chewing motion, the result of which is to engage the teeth with the micro-fiber carrying strips to cleanse the inner and outer surfaces, as well as the end surfaces, of the teeth.
  • As an alternative to forming micro-fibrils on the surface of the main body, integrally or as an attached layer, a tooth cleaning medium, preferably including micro-fibrils, is molded into or otherwise deposited in the trough of the main body. An example of this alternate embodiment of the invention is schematically depicted in FIGS. 4-5. In this embodiment, rather than micro-fibrils projecting from the main body of the oral hygiene arch, the main body 112 of the oral hygiene arch 110 is filled with a suitable tooth engaging gel-like material 130, such as flexible hydrocolloid, pectin, gelatin, methyl glucose or the like, or in the alternative a cellulose sponge-like material. If deemed necessary or desirable, to mechanically retain the added medium, the main body may be molded to include protuberances on the inner surface thereof. The gel or other material is provided to suspend micro-fibril carriers 132 that are adapted to engage and cleanse the teeth during a biting or chewing action. In the illustrated example, the main body or outer shell 112 is filled with a flexible hydrocolloid 130 having a texture as stiff gelatin. Inside the filler are a plurality of micro-fibril carriers 132, for example, spheres of harder hydrocolloid covered with an array of micro fibrils 122. The spheres are typically one to several millimeters in diameter and the micro-fibrils are typically about 10 to 20 microns in diameter and about 100 to several hundred microns long. The spacing between the microfibrils is typically about 40 to several hundred microns. The spherical carriers are themselves distributed throughout the medium deposited in the trough of the main body. As the user chews the oral hygiene arch, the fibrils will clean all exposed surfaces, including areas around missing teeth and around braces. The filler may be flavored and/or incorporate breath fresheners or cleansers as well.
  • By way of example, the gel or other medium may substantially fill the trough, as illustrated. In the alternative, the medium may be formed as sidewall layers, having a thickness of 3-6 mm on each side of a central tooth receiving pocket. In the latter case, the pocket is sized and additional slots or cutouts may be provided to ensure release of the teeth from the medium during the chewing, tooth cleansing motion of the jaw. Thus, it will be possible for the teeth to move relative to the trough main body during a chewing or biting action so that the teeth move relative to the tooth cleansing components suspended in the medium disposed within the trough, thereby effectively removing plaque and other medium from the teeth.
  • The main body of the oral hygiene arch provided in accordance with the invention may be furnished in different sizes to accommodate different arch sizes, but typically three to five sizes, such as large, medium or small will be sufficient to meet the requirements of most potential users. By way of example, for a small dental arch, the width of trough of the main body would be about 10-14 mm and the height of the main body would be about 8-14 mm; for a medium dental arch, the width of trough of the main body would be about 12-16 mm and the height of the main body would be about 11-16 mm; and for a large dental arch, the width of trough of the main body would be about 14-18 mm and the height of the main body would be about 11-17 mm, the trough widths depending upon whether the oral hygiene arch is adapted for the upper dental arch or lower dental arch. Also it is envisioned that the posterior portion of the main body will have a lesser hight and a wider trough than the anterior portion thereof. It should also be noted that the flexibility of the main body will allow the oral hygiene arch to conform to different jaw shapes, tooth shapes and misaligned teeth.
  • Thus, it will be seen that the oral hygiene arch of the invention can effectively and quickly be used to cleanse the teeth by a simple and relatively brief chewing motion so that the time consuming and tedious process of using a toothbrush to brush each surface of each tooth or each adjacent pair of teeth will be realized with the invention.
  • A second oral hygiene arch substantially corresponding to the oral hygiene arch used for the teeth of the upper jaw may be applied to the teeth of the lower jaw. The two oral hygiene arches may be used at the same time for simultaneously treatment of the upper and lower teeth. In the alternative, a single oral hygiene arch may be used to cleanse both the upper teeth and the lower teeth in succession. It is to be understood that an advantage of the simultaneous use of two arches is that the engagement of the main bodies of the upper and lower oral hygiene arches will create a frictional resistance which will tend to hold the oral hygiene arches in place as the teeth of the upper and lower jaws are moved relative thereto to effect the cleansing action. As yet a further alternative, the oral hygiene arches may be-connected in pairs for simultaneous application to the upper and lower teeth.
  • While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Claims (17)

1. A device for cleansing teeth, comprising:
a housing extending in an arch and defining an open top channel along the length thereof for placement over an arch of teeth; and
a plurality of cleansing components disposed within said channel for engaging and cleansing side and bottom surfaces of the teeth in said channel, said cleansing components comprising micro-fibrils.
2. A device as in claim 1, wherein said housing includes a base wall and inner and outer side walls defining said channel, and wherein said micro-fibrils extend from at least one of said walls of said housing.
3. A device as in claim 2, wherein said micro-fibrils are each about 10-20 microns wide.
4. A device as in claim 3, wherein said micro-fibrils are each at least about 100 microns long.
5. A device as in claim 2, further comprising a plurality of micro-cavities defined in said walls interspersed with the micro-fibrils.
6. A device as in claim 5, further comprising at least one of a dentifrice, a medicament, and a flavored media disposed in said micro-cavities.
7. A device as in claim 2, wherein there are about 40,000 said micro-fibrils per square centimeter on said at least one wall.
8. A device as in claim 2, wherein said micro-fibrils are integrally molded with said walls.
9. A device as in claim 1, wherein said cleansing components comprise micro-fibril carriers dispersed in a medium deposited in said channel.
10. A device as in claim 9, wherein said micro-fibril carriers comprise spheres of hydrocolloid material covered with an array of micro fibrils.
11. A device as in claim 9, wherein said medium is selected from the group consisting of flexible hydrocolloid, pectin, gellan, and methyl glucose.
12. An oral hygiene device comprising:
a flexible, trough-shaped main body member having side walls and a bottom wall of substantial equal thickness and being generally arcuate in shape to receive and envelope substantially all the teeth projecting from a human jaw, in spaced relation from said teeth; and
a plurality of micro-fibrils projecting inwardly from at least one of the walls of said main body member for engaging a surfaces of the teeth or an adjacent gum surface at the end thereof, at least when the jaw is engaged in a chewing motion, thereby to cleanse said surfaces upon motion of the teeth.
13. An oral hygiene device as in claim 12, wherein said micro-fibrils are each about 10-20 microns wide.
14. An oral hygiene device as in claim 13, wherein said micro-fibrils are each at least about 100 microns long.
15. An oral hygiene device as in claim 12, further comprising a plurality of micro-cavities defined in said walls interspersed with the micro-fibrils.
16. An oral hygiene device as in claim 15, further comprising at least one of a dentifrice, a medicament, and a flavored media disposed in said micro-cavities.
17. An oral hygiene device as in claim 12, wherein said micro-fibrils are integrally molded with said walls.
US10/923,007 2003-08-21 2004-08-23 Oral hygiene arches Abandoned US20050039280A1 (en)

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US49669703P true 2003-08-21 2003-08-21
US10/923,007 US20050039280A1 (en) 2003-08-21 2004-08-23 Oral hygiene arches

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090277461A1 (en) * 2006-02-01 2009-11-12 Gallagher Jr John H Oral appliance
US20130333133A1 (en) * 2010-12-20 2013-12-19 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Process and resulting product for matching a mouthpiece for cleaning teeth to a user's oral geometry
US8635731B2 (en) 2011-07-13 2014-01-28 Robert Garner Teethbrush

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US1668385A (en) * 1928-05-01 Adjustable double toothbrush
US1818146A (en) * 1925-02-02 1931-08-11 John A Maker Gum massaging device
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US3231925A (en) * 1964-02-06 1966-02-01 Joseph Leclair Disposable toothbrush
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1668385A (en) * 1928-05-01 Adjustable double toothbrush
US1818146A (en) * 1925-02-02 1931-08-11 John A Maker Gum massaging device
US1586262A (en) * 1925-04-08 1926-05-25 Noble Rocco Toothbrush
US2140294A (en) * 1938-02-15 1938-12-13 Loeffler Albert Reversible tooth brush
US2257709A (en) * 1938-10-14 1941-09-30 Louis P Anderson Dental appliance
US3103935A (en) * 1960-07-13 1963-09-17 Louis J Woodrow Disposable toothbrush
US3109192A (en) * 1960-08-29 1963-11-05 Myron F Levenson Device for cleaning teeth
US3146478A (en) * 1962-10-24 1964-09-01 Rosenthal Sol Roy Toothbrush
US3231925A (en) * 1964-02-06 1966-02-01 Joseph Leclair Disposable toothbrush
US3769652A (en) * 1970-11-30 1973-11-06 C Rainer Chewing toothbrush
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090277461A1 (en) * 2006-02-01 2009-11-12 Gallagher Jr John H Oral appliance
US8292624B2 (en) 2006-02-01 2012-10-23 Dent-Chew Brush Llc Oral appliance
US20130333133A1 (en) * 2010-12-20 2013-12-19 Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Process and resulting product for matching a mouthpiece for cleaning teeth to a user's oral geometry
US9204713B2 (en) * 2010-12-20 2015-12-08 Koninklijke Philips N.V. Process and resulting product for matching a mouthpiece for cleaning teeth to a user's oral geometry
US8635731B2 (en) 2011-07-13 2014-01-28 Robert Garner Teethbrush

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GB0605419D0 (en) 2006-04-26
GB2421681A (en) 2006-07-05

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