Solar-powered toothbrush doesn't require toothpaste

Aug 20, 2010 by Lisa Zyga weblog
The Soladey-J3X toothbrush. Credit:

( -- Researchers have designed a toothbrush that cleans teeth by creating a solar-powered chemical reaction in the mouth, doing away with the need for toothpaste.

Dr. Kunio Komiyama, a dentistry professor emeritus at the University of Saskatchewan, designed the first model of the unconventional toothbrush 15 years ago. Today, Komiyama and his colleague Dr. Gerry Uswak are seeking recruits to test their newest model, the Soladey-J3X. The toothbrush, which is manufactured by the Shiken company of Japan, will soon be tested by 120 teenagers to see how it compares to a normal toothbrush.

The Soladey-J3X has a solar panel at its base that transmits electrons to the top of the toothbrush through a lead wire. The react with acid in the mouth, creating a chemical reaction that breaks down and kills . The toothbrush requires no toothpaste, and can operate with about the same amount of light as needed by a solar-powered calculator.

The researchers have already tested the toothbrush in cultures of bacteria that cause periodontal disease, and demonstrated that the brush causes “complete destruction of ,” Komiyama said.

Last month, the researchers presented their research at the FDI Annual World Dental Conference in Dubai, where their poster won first prize out of 170 entries.

Explore further: Bringing history and the future to life with augmented reality

More information: via: and [Japanese]

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User comments : 30

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4.6 / 5 (20) Aug 20, 2010
Brush your teeth, with SCIENCE!!!!
3.1 / 5 (9) Aug 20, 2010
Lead, eh? I'll stick with the plaque and minty freshness.
3.3 / 5 (9) Aug 20, 2010
Yeah I hate the word lead. Sometimes ambiguous to what its referring to however I think in this context it is "lead (electronics), a metallic wire for electrical devices and equipments" rather than metallic lead.
4.1 / 5 (11) Aug 20, 2010
I want! I can never buy what I hear about on physorg!!!
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 20, 2010
This is rather old news. See: http://www.canada...c66345c6 , from November 2007. Did the 120 previous testers die?
4.4 / 5 (5) Aug 20, 2010
Why teenagers? Nevertheless, I doubt the toothpaste industry would sit idly by, letting this catch on. Shame, really, it would be really useful for camping trips, or places with poor infrastructure in general. No toothpaste means no water, I presume.
4 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2010
I don't mind lead, it's perfectly safe unless you breathe and eat tons of Pb dust. Lead is deadly as a form of bullet heading towards you :P
And yes, I'd miss mint too much to go for that.
I agree with kasen, it's good when you're far from any civilization.
4.8 / 5 (6) Aug 20, 2010
I think that is supposed to be lead wire as in leed not the element.

I also think that toothpaste is a waste. I use mouthwash first after floss for that minty taste then brush. I haven't noticed any difference since I stopped using paste a few years ago. Also I can't stand the overpowering flavor of most pastes. I really don't need that taste in my mouth for hours.

So many people would rather use toothpaste than kill the germs, must be our shrinking brains.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2010
I would love this. I drive an hour to work and am always looking for ways to free up a little personal time.
5 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2010
This plus sonic shower and warp drive, please.
5 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2010
Lead: : an insulated electrical conductor connected to an electrical device
5 / 5 (4) Aug 20, 2010
@ Wowter. I read your link, interestingly it seems to be the same story. Almost verbatim in fact. How sad, this is the 5th or 6th story in a week that seems to be recycled from someone else's site. I know it's very common to have multiple reports on a breaking matter, but taking 3 years to break the story here seems to me that the writer has some originality issues here.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2010
If you had an mild acidic wash, couldn't you turn this into a electric loofah and kill all bacteria and fungus's on your skin maybe doing away with soap as well?
1 / 5 (2) Aug 20, 2010
Does this brush do something to freshen your breath? If not I don't see anyone using it for more than a couple of days...
not rated yet Aug 20, 2010
Don't answer that. I thought about it a while and it was my dad's stupid question. I answered him it lasts as long as there is no bacteria in your mouth. He didn't read the part about paradontal bacteria. He is very maticulous man.
not rated yet Aug 20, 2010
You can still get that fresh minty taste after using this toothbrush. It's called mouthwash!
not rated yet Aug 20, 2010
I wonder is that a lead (led) or (leed) wire? BTW I hate mint!
not rated yet Aug 20, 2010
If everyone has bad breath,no one has it.Ask a zebra.
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 20, 2010
For comments about lead toxicity: You do realize that fluoride is also toxic, right? A tube of toothpaste can kill a kid if they consume it. It also can damage your teeth fairly easily.
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 21, 2010
Just use Xylitol, a natural sugar, instead of ordinary sugar and you do not need any fancy gadget to supress plaque building and unwanted bacteria. In fact you don't even need to clean your teeth!
5 / 5 (4) Aug 21, 2010
Just use Xylitol, a natural sugar, instead of ordinary sugar and you do not need any fancy gadget to supress plaque building and unwanted bacteria. In fact you don't even need to clean your teeth!

Uhhh... I'm pretty sure it's not *just* sugar that plaque consume.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 21, 2010
You can lead a horse to water, but its hard to get him to use a toothbrush.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 21, 2010
I wonder how this electrolytic process interacts with metal fillings. I have old ones that probably still have some mercury in the amalgam.
not rated yet Aug 21, 2010
This plus sonic shower and warp drive, please.

RIGHT! and a transporter. No more cars!
1 / 5 (5) Aug 23, 2010
It's an apparent hoax, as the solar cell of given area (covered by palm) can produce neither voltage, neither current required for effective electrolysis described.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
It's an apparent hoax, as the solar cell of given area (covered by palm) can produce neither voltage, neither current required for effective electrolysis described.

How about when it sits on the counter unused all day long and charges the batteries?
5 / 5 (1) Aug 23, 2010
Toothpaste is the worst part of brushing teeth, because it always feels like it never gets fully washed out for a few hours after wards. I'd definitely prefer one of these. As for bad breath, that's why you use a tongue scraper- they sell them right next to the toothbrushes.
5 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
the study was completed on university students and the results were statistically significant in that the brush did reduce plaque and bleeding scores as compared to as standard toothbrush. The brush uses a titanium dioxide rod and it is connected by a lead-wire to the solar panel. There is no lead (Pb) involved in the process. The paper is in the process of being submitted to a scientific journal.
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
Yet another pointless advance in a (for the most part) DEAD END technology...huzzah
5 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2010
It's an apparent hoax, as the solar cell of given area (covered by palm) can produce neither voltage, neither current required for effective electrolysis described.

Atleast that is their claim
"the photo-sensitive titanium rod inside Soladey converts light into negatively-charged ions (electrons). The rod releases these ions, which blend with saliva to attract positive (hydrogen) ions from the acid in the dental plaque on your teeth." -company producing and selling it. However it has also been speculated that a redox reaction between coenzyme A occurs which turns it into a sort of time bomb for bacteria

No extra water needed and you can still use a small amount of toothpaste if you want to.

The toothbrush is available for purchase right now by the way from http://www.solade...arch.htm too bad Komiyama does not get royalties on it though.

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