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News / August 27, 2010

Solar toothbrush may spell the end of toothpaste

by Guy Hiscott

An electric toothbrush, powered by solar energy and that works without the need for toothpaste, is under development.

The new brush, designed by Canadian dentistry professors, houses a solar panel at the base of the brush that transmits electrons to the head of the toothbrush. 

When the electrons reach the head, they react with acid in the mouth, creating a chemical reaction that breaks down plaque cells and kills other bacteria in the mouth. 

Canadian dentistry professor, Dr Kunio Komiyama, came up with his first design for the brush 15 years ago.

Now he and fellow dentistry professor Gerry Uswak are working with a Japanese manufacturer, Shiken, to develop the Soladey-J3X.

This will involve 120 teenagers testing the brush to see how it compares to the traditional toothbrush and toothpaste.

The duo have tested the toothbrush on bacteria cultures that cause dental disease and Professor Komiyama says that the toothbrush causes ‘complete destruction of bacterial cells’.

The Soladey-J3X won a first place prize at the annual FDI World Dental Conference in Dubai.