US3742549A - Contoured toothbrush - Google Patents

Contoured toothbrush Download PDF

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Publication number
US3742549A
US3742549A US3742549DA US3742549A US 3742549 A US3742549 A US 3742549A US 3742549D A US3742549D A US 3742549DA US 3742549 A US3742549 A US 3742549A
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Prior art keywords
toothbrush
bristles
tufts
brush
shank
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Expired - Lifetime
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I Scopp
G Cohen
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I Scopp
G Cohen
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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
    • 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
    • A46B9/028Bristle profile, the end of the bristle defining a surface other than a single plane or deviating from a simple geometric form, e.g. cylinder, sphere or cone

Abstract

A contoured toothbrush adapted to reach and clean areas which are inaccessible to conventional toothbrushes, the configuration of the brush being such as to conform to the natural convexity of the teeth. The toothbrush is constituted by an array of tufts, each formed by a cluster of bristles mounted on a shank, the height of the tufts in the longitudinal direction diminishing progressively from the front to the rear of the array. The diameter of each bristle is proportionally related to the height thereof (the taller the thicker, and the shorter the thinner), whereby the consistency of the brush is effectively homogeneous. In the transverse direction, the height of the tufts follows a curve to define a concave channel which conforms to the convex form of the teeth engaged thereby.

Description

United States Patent [1 1 Scopp et a1.

m 3,742,549 [451 July 3,1973

[ CONTOURED TOOTHBRUSl-l [76] Inventors; lrwinW. Scopp, 110 Bleeker St.,

New York, NY. 10012; Gerson Cohen, 2716 Avenue J, Brooklyn, NY. 1 1210 22 Filed: Feb. 3, 1972 211 Appl. No.:223,170

[52] U.S. Cl.- 15/167 R [51] Int. Cl A46b 15/00 [58] Field of Search 15/167 R, 167 A, 15/159 R, 159 A 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 890,143 6/1908 Kuzzer f. 15/167 R 3,188,673 6/1965 Newman 15/167 R 3,624,667

11/1971 .-Muhler l. 15/167 R '17 Hacks J Primary Examiner-Peter Feldman Att0rney-Michael Ebert 5 7 ABSTRACT A contoured toothbrush adapted to reach and clean areas which are inaccessible to conventional toothbrushes, the configuration of the brush being such as to conform to the natural convexity of the teeth. The toothbrush is constituted by an array of tufts, each formed by a cluster of bristles mounted on a shank, the

height of the tufts in the longitudinal direction diminishing progressively from the front to the rear of the array. The diameter of each bristle is proportionally related to the height thereof (the taller the thicker, and the shorter the thinner), whereby the consistency of the brush is effectively homogeneous. in the transverse direction, the height of the tufts follows a curve to define a concave channel which conforms to the convex form of the teeth engaged thereby.

6 Claims, 4 Drawing-Figures 1 CONTOURED TOOTI-IBRU SH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to toothbrushes for cleaning teeth, and more particularly to a contoured toothbrush structure adapted to reach-and clean areas which are inaccessible to conventional toothbrushes.

Man's permanent teeth number thirty-two in all four incisors, two canines, four bicuspids and six molars in each jaw. Regular cleansing is necessary for the development and maintenance of sound teeth, for if plaque, debris, calculus and stains are permitted to collect, these deposits may give rise to cavities as well as periodontal disease. Commercially available toothbrushes are constituted by an array of tufts supported on a shank, each tuft being formed by a cluster of natural or synthetic bristles. Various brush configurations have heretofore been used or proposed for the purpose of facilitating an effective brushing action. Thus in some instances, the brush formation is tapered or otherwise profiled with a view to enhancing the ability of the brush to engage remote areas.

The areas in the mouth that are particularly difficult to clean with present toothbrush configurations, are the lingual surfaces of the lower anterior teeth, the interproximal areas, the bu'ccal, and lingual surfaces of the posterior teeth.

Experience has shown that deleterious plaque is developed on those teeth that are least accessible to the toothrbush, and even when removed, the plaque will form spontaneously. It becomes important, therefore, in the toothbrushing process, to reach and clean the more inaccessible regions such as the buccaland lingual surfaces of the posterior teeth, the interproximal areas, and the lingual surfaces of the lower anterior teeth. It is in these regions that most of the plaque, calculus and debris are lodged and cannot be removed by standard toothbrush configurations.

Another factor which comes into play in toothbrush design is the ability of the brush to retain and apply toothpaste. Toothpaste, which contains cleansing and polishing agents, is only effective if it is applied and rubbed across the exposed surface of the tooth by the brush. But with conventional toothbrush designs, much of the paste laid down on the top of the brush tends to roll off the brush as it is applied to the teeth.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the foregoing, it is the main object of this invention to provide a toothbrush whose brush struc- 'ture is adapted to reach and effectively clean the teeth, especially those areas in the mouth which are inaccessible to toothbrushes of conventional design.

More specifically, it is an object of the invention t provide a toothbrush whose configuration is such as to conform to the natural convexity of the teeth, thereby to bring about intimate contact between the teeth and the toothbrush bristles and to render the bristles more effective in brushing operations.

Also an object of the invention, is to provide a tooth- Still another object of the invention is to provide a highly efficient toothbrush which may be manufactured and sold at low cost.

Briefly stated, these objects are obtained in a toothbrush having an array of tufts, each formed by a cluster of bristles mounted on a shank, the height of the tufts in the longitudinal direction diminishing progressively from the front to the rear of the array so that the longest tufts appear at the front of the brush and the shortest at the rear thereof. The diameter of the individual bristles in the brush is a direct function of the height of the bristles whereby the consistency of the brush is effectively homogeneous.

The array is further characterized by the fact that the height of the tufts in the transverse direction follow a curve imparting a concave channel formation to the top surface thereof, which channel is shaped to conform to the predominantly convex form of the teeth engaged thereby, whereby the brush lies in intimate contact with the teeth, The concavity is such as to afford a retaining channel for the toothpaste laid down on the brush.

OUTLINE OF THE DRAWING For a better understanding of the invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following detailed description to be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toothbrush in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the toothbrush;

FIG. 3 is a front end view of the toothbrush; and

FIG. 4 is a plan view thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawing and more particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a preferred embodiment of a toothbrush in accordance with the invention, consisting of a brush adapted to intimately engage the teeth of the user, generally designated by numeral 10, the brush being supported on a shank 11 having handle extension 12 integral therewith. The shank handle may be formed of a suitable synthetic plastic material of the type found acceptable in conventional toothbrushes.

Brush 10 is constituted by an array of spaced tufts, such as tufts 10A to 10G shown in FIG. 2. Each tuft is formed by a small cluster of upstanding fibers or bristles, the tufts being firmly anchored in the shank. The bristles are fabricated from natural or synthetic material (i.e., nylon or polypropylene).

In order to obtain adequate coverage of the dental area to be brushed, the array in the case of an adult toothbrush, is formed by four rows of tufts, as shown. Obviously, in the case of smaller children's size toothbrushes, the array may have fewer rows.

In the array, the height of the tufts in the longitudinal direction diminishes progressively so that the longest 4 tufts appear at the head of the brush and the shortest atthe rear thereof. In a practical embodiment, the longitudinal taper may be created by a 10 slope.

In the transverse direction, the height of the tufts is caused to followa curve which, as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, imparts a concave channel formation to the top surface of the brush. The radius of this curve is such as to create a concavity conforming to the predominantly convex surface of the human teeth engaged thereby.

Thus, .when the brush is applied to the teeth, no area thereof remains neglected, for the brush surface is in intimate contact with the teeth and the larger bristles penetrate the crevices and between the teeth. Studies have shown that the inner surfaces of teeth situated in the midline of the mouth collect more calculus than other surfaces. The arm and hand positions are controlling factors for toothbrushing. Tapering the brush makes it possible to reach these inaccessible areas. Moreover, the taper angle permits cleansing of the rear teeth with greater facility by reaching further back and hugging the surfaces.

In the brush array, the tufts as best seen in FIG. 4, are effectively divided into four sets I, II, III and IV, whose bristles differ in diameter, the bristles within any given set being all of the same diameter. Thus in the first set near the front end of the brush, all bristles have a diameter of 0.013 inches; in the second set, all bristles have a diameter of 0.012 inches; in the third, all bristles have a diameter of 0.010 inches; .and in the last set, all bristles have a diameter of 0.008 inches.

As one moves from the first to the fourth set of bristles, the height of the bristles diminishes progressively whereas the diameter of the bristles is reduced in a step-wise manner as a direct function of bristle height. This correlation of bristle height and diameter renders .the consistency-of the brush effectively homogeneous.

In other words, while a short bristle makes the brush seem stiff and a tall bristle produces a more yieldable characteristic, by thinning the short bristles and thickening the tall bristles, one effects compensation for height to produce a substantially uniformconsistency throughout the tapered brush. Thus in brushing, one does not have the feeling that one part of the brush is hard and another soft. However, since toothbrushes are generally made to have soft"medium or hard" characteristics, in the design of a toothbrush in accordance with the invention, the diameter values are selected to afford an overall soft, medium or hard characteristic, as desired.

In order to maintain substantially uniform brushing characteristics despite the differences in bristle diameter, the overall peripheral dimension of all tufts in the array is made about the same regardless of tuft position. Thus, each tuft in set I, which have the thickest bristles is made up of a cluster of each tuft in sets [I and III having somewhat thinner bristles, is formed by a cluster of 17; and each tuft is set IV having the thinnest bristles, is formed by a cluster of 17. It is to be understood that these preferred values are given only by way of example, and that desired brush characteristics may be realized with other values.

In practice, those tufts along the edges of the brush may be dyed with a distinctive color in order to visually outline the concave channel. This channel serves to receive and retain toothpaste better than the flat top of conventional toothbrushes, for the paste is banked and cannot roll off.

While there has been shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that many changes may be made without departing from the essential spirit thereof. For example, in lieu of a handle, the toothbrush may be provided with an adaptor for use in an electric toothbrush.

What we claim is:

l. A toothbrush adapted to reach and clean dental areas inaccessible to conventional toothbrushes and comprising a. a shank;'and

b. a brush constituted by a generally rectangular array of upstanding tufts anchored in said shank, each tuft being constituted by a cluster of bristles, the height of the tufts in the longitudinal direction diminishing progressively from the front to the rear of the array, the height of the tufts in the transverse direction following a curve to create a concave channel running the length of the brush and conforming to the natural convexity of teeth to be brushed, the diameter of the bristles in each tuft being a function of height whereby short bristles are thinner than long bristles to provide a brush of substantially homogeneous consistency.

2. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 1, wherein said shank is provided with a handle extension, said shank and handle being integral with each other and being fabricated of synthetic plastic material.

3. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 2, wherein said bristles are formed of synthetic plastic material.

4. A toothbrush as set forth in claim I wherein the number of bristles clustered in each tuft depends on the diameter of the bristles whereby all tufts in the brush have substantially thesame peripheral dimension.

5. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 1, wherein the tufts along the edges of the array have a distinct color to visually demark the concave channel.

6. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 1, further including an adapter connected to said shank for attachment to an electric motor.

Claims (6)

1. A toothbrush adapted to reach and clean dental areas inaccessible to conventional toothbrushes and comprising a. a shank; and b. a brush constituted by a generally rectangular array of upstanding tufts anchored in said shank, each tuft being constituted by a cluster of bristles, the height of the tufts in the longitudinal direction diminishing progressively from the front to the rear of the array, the height of the tufts in the transverse direction following a curve to create a concave channel running the length of the brush and conforming to the natural convexity of teeth to be brushed, the diameter of the bristles in each tuft being a function of height whereby short bristles are thinner than long bristles to provide a brush of substantially homogeneous consistency.
2. A toOthbrush as set forth in claim 1, wherein said shank is provided with a handle extension, said shank and handle being integral with each other and being fabricated of synthetic plastic material.
3. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 2, wherein said bristles are formed of synthetic plastic material.
4. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 1 wherein the number of bristles clustered in each tuft depends on the diameter of the bristles whereby all tufts in the brush have substantially the same peripheral dimension.
5. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 1, wherein the tufts along the edges of the array have a distinct color to visually demark the concave channel.
6. A toothbrush as set forth in claim 1, further including an adapter connected to said shank for attachment to an electric motor.
US3742549D 1972-02-03 1972-02-03 Contoured toothbrush Expired - Lifetime US3742549A (en)

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Cited By (36)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3934298A (en) * 1974-04-23 1976-01-27 Kim James S H Toothbrush
US4307479A (en) * 1979-10-19 1981-12-29 Superior Brush Company Angle tufted rotary brush assembly
US4356585A (en) * 1981-04-08 1982-11-02 Protell Martin R Hygienic dental appliance
US4502177A (en) * 1983-03-02 1985-03-05 Beggs Russell J Toothbrush
US4519111A (en) * 1981-11-06 1985-05-28 Paolo Cavazza Toothbrush having series of bristles of different height
US5121520A (en) * 1990-07-24 1992-06-16 Inter-X Scientific, Inc. Twin-headed toothbrush
US5419001A (en) * 1994-03-29 1995-05-30 Wan; John C. Toothbrush
US5499421A (en) * 1993-06-15 1996-03-19 Brice; Michael F. Twin-headed toothbrush
USD370564S (en) 1995-03-22 1996-06-11 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
US5533227A (en) * 1992-06-22 1996-07-09 Lion Corporation Toothbrush
US5628082A (en) * 1995-03-22 1997-05-13 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush with improved efficacy
US5652990A (en) * 1993-03-17 1997-08-05 Braun Aktiengesellschaft Brush section for an electric toothbrush
US5742972A (en) * 1993-11-02 1998-04-28 Gillette Canada Inc. Toothbrush
US5926897A (en) * 1994-12-01 1999-07-27 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush having bristles for interproximal cleaning
US5930860A (en) * 1996-03-27 1999-08-03 Shipp; Anthony D. Prophy bristle toothbrush
US6006394A (en) * 1992-11-02 1999-12-28 Gillette Canada Inc. Toothbrush
US6041468A (en) * 1998-03-12 2000-03-28 Colgate-Palmolive Company Prophy toothbrush
US6219874B1 (en) 1994-07-13 2001-04-24 The Procter & Gamble Co. Resiliently flexible bristle bearing head toothbrush
US6314605B1 (en) 1996-08-02 2001-11-13 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush
US6408476B1 (en) 1996-01-18 2002-06-25 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush with elastomer filled flexible head
US6514445B1 (en) 1996-12-24 2003-02-04 The Procter & Gamble Company Brush making
US20030135944A1 (en) * 2000-06-16 2003-07-24 Brice Michael F. Twin-headed toothbrush
US20030221272A1 (en) * 2002-05-29 2003-12-04 Lehman James P. Toothbrush
US20050189000A1 (en) * 2001-01-12 2005-09-01 Cacka Joe W. Flosser with motor integrated with vibrating head
US7073225B1 (en) * 2003-06-17 2006-07-11 Stephen C Ford Plaque eradicating system utilizing a plurality of double-sided toothbrushes or toothbrush heads
US20070039112A1 (en) * 2005-08-18 2007-02-22 Yu-Man Ko Brush head and toothbrush with the brush head
US7707676B2 (en) 1999-06-14 2010-05-04 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush
US7941886B2 (en) 2003-09-19 2011-05-17 Braun Gmbh Toothbrushes
US8584299B2 (en) 2003-04-23 2013-11-19 The Procter & Gamble Company Electric toothbrushes
US8943634B2 (en) 2011-05-02 2015-02-03 Water Pik, Inc. Mechanically-driven, sonic toothbrush system
US9468511B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-10-18 Water Pik, Inc. Electronic toothbrush with vibration dampening
USD785947S1 (en) * 2011-03-31 2017-05-09 Obschestvo S Ogranichennoj Otvetstvennostju “Evrocosmed-Stupino” Toothbrush
US9987109B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2018-06-05 Water Pik, Inc. Mechanically-driven, sonic toothbrush and water flosser
USD831973S1 (en) * 2017-06-02 2018-10-30 Ransom Allison Brush
USD844997S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2019-04-09 Water Pik, Inc. Toothbrush handle
USD845636S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2019-04-16 Water Pik, Inc. Toothbrush handle

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US890143A (en) * 1906-06-05 1908-06-09 Klewe & Co Inc Brush for cleaning artificial sets of teeth.
US3188673A (en) * 1964-03-04 1965-06-15 Prophylactic Brush Co Toothbrush
US3624667A (en) * 1970-04-01 1971-11-30 Indiana University Foundation Toothbrush

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US890143A (en) * 1906-06-05 1908-06-09 Klewe & Co Inc Brush for cleaning artificial sets of teeth.
US3188673A (en) * 1964-03-04 1965-06-15 Prophylactic Brush Co Toothbrush
US3624667A (en) * 1970-04-01 1971-11-30 Indiana University Foundation Toothbrush

Cited By (46)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3934298A (en) * 1974-04-23 1976-01-27 Kim James S H Toothbrush
US4307479A (en) * 1979-10-19 1981-12-29 Superior Brush Company Angle tufted rotary brush assembly
US4356585A (en) * 1981-04-08 1982-11-02 Protell Martin R Hygienic dental appliance
US4519111A (en) * 1981-11-06 1985-05-28 Paolo Cavazza Toothbrush having series of bristles of different height
US4502177A (en) * 1983-03-02 1985-03-05 Beggs Russell J Toothbrush
US5121520A (en) * 1990-07-24 1992-06-16 Inter-X Scientific, Inc. Twin-headed toothbrush
US5533227A (en) * 1992-06-22 1996-07-09 Lion Corporation Toothbrush
US6006394A (en) * 1992-11-02 1999-12-28 Gillette Canada Inc. Toothbrush
US5652990A (en) * 1993-03-17 1997-08-05 Braun Aktiengesellschaft Brush section for an electric toothbrush
US5499421A (en) * 1993-06-15 1996-03-19 Brice; Michael F. Twin-headed toothbrush
US6112361A (en) * 1993-06-15 2000-09-05 Michael F. Brice Twin-headed toothbrush
US5742972A (en) * 1993-11-02 1998-04-28 Gillette Canada Inc. Toothbrush
US5419001A (en) * 1994-03-29 1995-05-30 Wan; John C. Toothbrush
US6219874B1 (en) 1994-07-13 2001-04-24 The Procter & Gamble Co. Resiliently flexible bristle bearing head toothbrush
US6178583B1 (en) 1994-12-01 2001-01-30 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush having bristles for interproximal cleaning
US5926897A (en) * 1994-12-01 1999-07-27 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush having bristles for interproximal cleaning
USD370564S (en) 1995-03-22 1996-06-11 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
US5628082A (en) * 1995-03-22 1997-05-13 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush with improved efficacy
EP1240848A2 (en) 1995-03-22 2002-09-18 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush with improved efficacy
USD380903S (en) 1995-04-19 1997-07-15 Colgate-Palmolive Company Toothbrush
US6408476B1 (en) 1996-01-18 2002-06-25 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush with elastomer filled flexible head
US5930860A (en) * 1996-03-27 1999-08-03 Shipp; Anthony D. Prophy bristle toothbrush
US6314605B1 (en) 1996-08-02 2001-11-13 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush
US6514445B1 (en) 1996-12-24 2003-02-04 The Procter & Gamble Company Brush making
US6041468A (en) * 1998-03-12 2000-03-28 Colgate-Palmolive Company Prophy toothbrush
US7707676B2 (en) 1999-06-14 2010-05-04 The Procter & Gamble Company Toothbrush
US20050246847A1 (en) * 2000-06-16 2005-11-10 Brice Michael F Twin-headed toothbrush
US20030135944A1 (en) * 2000-06-16 2003-07-24 Brice Michael F. Twin-headed toothbrush
US7363823B2 (en) 2000-06-16 2008-04-29 Nmoc, Llc Twin-headed toothbrush
US20050189000A1 (en) * 2001-01-12 2005-09-01 Cacka Joe W. Flosser with motor integrated with vibrating head
US20030221272A1 (en) * 2002-05-29 2003-12-04 Lehman James P. Toothbrush
US6851153B2 (en) 2002-05-29 2005-02-08 James P. Lehman Toothbrush
US8584299B2 (en) 2003-04-23 2013-11-19 The Procter & Gamble Company Electric toothbrushes
US8955186B2 (en) 2003-04-23 2015-02-17 The Procter & Gamble Company Electric toothbrushes
US7073225B1 (en) * 2003-06-17 2006-07-11 Stephen C Ford Plaque eradicating system utilizing a plurality of double-sided toothbrushes or toothbrush heads
US7941886B2 (en) 2003-09-19 2011-05-17 Braun Gmbh Toothbrushes
US20070039112A1 (en) * 2005-08-18 2007-02-22 Yu-Man Ko Brush head and toothbrush with the brush head
USD790862S1 (en) * 2011-03-31 2017-07-04 Obschestvo S Ogranichennoj Otvetstvennostju “Evrocosmed-Stupino” Toothbrush
USD785947S1 (en) * 2011-03-31 2017-05-09 Obschestvo S Ogranichennoj Otvetstvennostju “Evrocosmed-Stupino” Toothbrush
US8943634B2 (en) 2011-05-02 2015-02-03 Water Pik, Inc. Mechanically-driven, sonic toothbrush system
US9144477B2 (en) 2011-05-02 2015-09-29 Water Pik, Inc. Mechanically-driven, sonic toothbrush system
US9987109B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2018-06-05 Water Pik, Inc. Mechanically-driven, sonic toothbrush and water flosser
US9468511B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-10-18 Water Pik, Inc. Electronic toothbrush with vibration dampening
USD845636S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2019-04-16 Water Pik, Inc. Toothbrush handle
USD844997S1 (en) 2016-12-15 2019-04-09 Water Pik, Inc. Toothbrush handle
USD831973S1 (en) * 2017-06-02 2018-10-30 Ransom Allison Brush

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