August 20, 2010 weblog
Solar-powered toothbrush doesn't require toothpaste
(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 electrons react with acid in the mouth, creating a chemical reaction that breaks down plaque and kills bacteria. 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 bacterial cells,” 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.
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