Reminder and enforcer apparatus
Patent No. 4,764,111
Issued: August 16, 1988
Inventor: Knierim; Rupert W. (6106 Top 'O Knox Dr., Knoxville, TN 37918)
A device for reminding kids to wear their braces, involving implanting an alarm in their mouths with a timer. A magnet on the braces shuts off the alarm.
"One form of the present invention is an orthodontic device for enforcing the use of an orthodontic headgear. The typical user of an orthodontic headgear is a teenager, and the headgear is usually used to move the patient's teeth rearwardly. Because of the awkwardness and discomfort of the headgear, teenagers are often uncooperative and will not use the headgear as ordered by the doctor.
"An alarm, preferably a beeper, is mounted within the mouthpiece and generates a beep inside the patient's mouth in response to the electric alarm signal. During the use period when the magnetic switch is not actuated, the beeper will continue to beep for a sufficiently long time to irritate the patient and force him to wear the headgear. In other words, in order to turn off the beeper inside his mouth, the patient must wear the headgear. The beeping sound inside the patient's mouth is intended to be sufficiently irritating and, perhaps, embarrassing, to cause the patient to prefer wearing the headgear over hearing a beeper inside his mouth.
"The patient is not informed as to how or why the beeper system works, and the magnet on the face bow may be concealed on the face bow to appear as if it were part of a weld that normally is formed on the face bow. In fact, a patient may be misinformed as to how the device is working so that the patient's efforts, if any, to defeat the beeper system will be unsuccessful. For example, the patient could be told that the device detects the tension on the bow by way of a switch on the teeth to which the bow is attached. In this manner, the patient will try to defeat a nonexistent switch and tension detector system and, probably, will be unsuccessful.
"The enforcer device of the present invention is not limited in its usefulness to orthodontic devices. For example, instead of mounting the magnet on a face bow, the magnet could be mounted in a medicine container. Whenever the beeper sounds, the magnet in the medicine container must be brought into close proximity with the mouthpiece to deactivate the beeper. Thus, to stop the beeper, the user must bring his medicine container to within inches of his mouth. Performing this activity will be sufficient to persuade most people to take their medicine. Having the reminder system built into one's mouth will prevent the patient from losing the beeper system and it will encourage him to not lose his medicine container. Devices in which a beeper system is built into a medicine container are often accidentally defeated by simply failing to carry the medicine container."
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