US 2678043 A
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May 11, 1954 E. STARK 2,678,043
MOUTH APPLIANCE Filed DGO. 18, 1951 mvemon EMANUEL STARK ATTORNEY Patentecl May 11, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE MOUTH APPLIANCE Emanuel Stark, Stamford, Conn. Application December 18, 1951, Serial No. 262,313
4 Claims. (Cl. 12S-136) lViy invention relates to mouth appliances for protecting the teeth, mouth andlips of contestants in athletic endeavours, for example, football players.
The mouth appliances now in use by football players are distinctly unpleasant to wear not only because of their awkward size, but also because they make breathing difficult and talking virtually impossible.
My invention is designed to eliminate these faults, accordingly an object of my invention is to provide an athletic mouth protector that is comfortable to wear and permits normal breathing and speech when worn.
A further object is to provide an athletic mouthpiece with a strip insert embedded therein which makes the appliance extremely strong yet pliable. The inclusion of this insert embedded in the appliance distributes the force of a blow or shock over the entire area of the appliance and hence to all the teeth, thus loss of teethis almost completely eliminated.
Another object is the provision of an athletic mouth protector which is easily and rapidly fitted in the mouth and which maintains its position therein during its use, protecting both the upper and lower set of teeth from damage and the mouth and lips from lacerati'ons.
Another object is to provide an athletic mouth protector which is relatively compact in size and which is locked and retained` in close-fittingposition with the upper set of teeth when the wearers mouth is opened to permit breathing and talking.
A further object is the provision of a mouth appliance withflanges and bite portions therebetween shaped to conform to the upper and lower sets respectively of the wearers teeth, the lower set of teeth being adapted to be inserted and withdrawn from its respective flanges and bite portion upon articulation of the wearers lower Jaw.
The above and other features and advantages of the present invention will be fully understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view looking angularly down from above and in front of the device embodying my invention;
Fig. 2 is a view similar to that shown in Fig. 1 but looking angularly upward from below and in front of the underside of my device;
Fig. 3 is a side elevation view of the device as fitted in position for use;
Fig. 4 is a side elevation view thereof similar to that shown in Fig. 3 but showing how the device is retained upon the upper teeth of the wearer to permit talking and breathing through the mouth;
Fig. 5 is a sectional View thereof takenv along the lines 5 5 of Fig. 1.
Referring to the drawings in detail, the U- shaped, soft, cushion rubber protector or mouth appliance embodying my invention is referred to generally by the numeral l0. Mouth appliance It is provided with inner and outer iianges l2 and Hi respectively on its upper side (Fig. l) and inner and outer anges l6 and t8 respectively on its lower side (Fig. 2). The flanges l2, lll, I6' and i8l extend completely around the mouth appliance commencing at one end 20 thereof and continuingaround the loop or bight portion 22 and terminating at the other end 24 thereof. The entire mouth appliance is preferably moldedl in one piece so that said flanges are integral with the body of the mouth appliance forming a substantially continuous unitary structure.
It is intended that the mouth appliance embodying my invention be made by taking a cast of the wearers teeth and from the cast producing an appliance that conforms substantially to the individual shape and contour of the wearers mouth and teethand to-the natural articulation ofthel jaws. It is not intended, however', to limit the scope of my invention to custom made mouth appliances, but protectors embodying my invention may be mass-produced in several sizes and contours to t a great variety of mouths.
TheA flanges l2 andi I4 and the flanges It and Hl" of mouth appliance l0 are constructedv in spaced-confronting relationto` eachA other forming a bite portion 26 therebetween on both sides of the mouth appliance. Since it is preferable that the mouth appliance be made and constructed especially for each individual wearer, the upper and lower bite portions 26 will be molded or shaped to substantially conform to and fit the cusps and faces of the teeth, while the flanges l2 and I4 will be molded and shaped to t the inner and outer sides of the crown surfaces of the upper set of teeth, and the flanges I6 and I8 will -be molded and shaped to fit the inner and outer sides of the crown surfaces of the lower teeth.
The loop or bight portion 22 is thickened while the ends 26 and 2A respectively of mouth appliance l0 taper off and are thinner in relation to said loop or bight portion. A strip of material 28, preferably an extremely strong yet pliable material like ortho-ply resin which is an orthopedic resin is embedded in the soft cushion rubber and extends from one end 20 of the mouth appliance I around the loop or bight portion 22 and terminates at the other end 24 thereof. This strip is preferably vulcanized in the outside arch of the mouth appliance and when said mouth appliance is in place the strip 28 is positioned between the wearers lips and teeth and follows the generally U-shaped contour of the mouth appliance and functions to distribute the shock of a blow evenly over the entire mouth appliance and consequently to all the teeth. Thus, instead of one tooth or several teeth bearing the impact of a blow, the force is spread over and absorbed by all the teeth of the wearer, protecting both the upper and lower sets of teeth from damage, and the mouth and lips from lacerations. The upper face of mouth appliance I 0 is so designed by contour and shape to hold the mouth appliance by suction upon the upper teeth of the wearer, even when the lower set of teeth are removed from the bite portion 2S, As seen in Figs. 3 and 4, due to the compactness of said mouth appliance the wearer may breathe and talk normally without sacriicing any protection of the mouth and teeth.
It will be noted from Fig. that the orthoply resin strip 28 does not abut directly on the wearers teeth, but a portion of soft cushion rubber appears behind said resin strip as well as in front of the same to minimize the effect of a blow or other force that may be struck in the mouth region.
From the foregoing it will be seen that I have provided an athletic mouth appliance that is compact in size and simple in construction which will protect the teeth from damage and minimize the possibility of bruising and cutting or otherwise injuring the lips due to a blow administered upon or over the area of the lips yet at the same time allowing normal and natural breathing and talking.
While I have shown and described the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that the latter may be embodied otherwise than as herein specifically illustrated or described, and that in the illustrated embodiment certain changes in the details of construction and in the arrangement of the parts may be made without departing from the underlying idea or principle of the invention within the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A U-shaped mouth protector for athletic contests comprising a mouthpiece having a pair of substantially U-shaped, spaced flanges on opposite faces of said mouthpiece for receiving the upper and lower sets of the wearers teeth each pair of U-shaped anges being substantially the bite portion therebetween, a resin strip embedded in said mouth protector and located forward of the wearers teeth whereby the force of a blow in the wearers mouth region will be distributed over substantially the entire area of said mouth protector and consequently to substantially all the wearers teeth.
3. A U-shaped mouth protector comprising an upper and lower pair of space-confronting anges adapted to accommodate therebetween the upper and lower teeth respectively, a strip of material embedded in said mouth protector and located forward of and adjacent to said upper and lower teeth whereby the force of a blow in the wearers mouth region will be distributed over substantially the entire area of said mouth protector and consequently to substantially all the wearers teeth.
4. A U-shaped mouth protector comprising an upper and lower pair of space-confronting flanges adapted to accommodate therebetween the upper and lower teeth respectively said upper and lower pair of space-confronting iianges merging into a bite portion located therebetween and transversely thereto, a substantially U-shaped resin strip in said mouth protector located anterior to said upper and lower teeth whereby the force of a blow in the wearers mouth region will be distributed over substantially the entire area of said mouth protector and consequently to substantially all the wearers teeth.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,192,558 Poindexter Mar. 5, 1940 2,600,025 Sage June 10, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 480,423 Germany Aug. 2, 1929
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