12:14pm Tuesday 22 October 2019

Solar Power No Substitute For Toothpaste

The British Dental Health Foundation has maintained that using a fluoride toothpaste twice a day when brushing teeth is by far the best way to keep mouths healthy.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, underlined the importance of toothpaste to ones oral health.

Dr Carter said: “It is absolutely vital that we stick with fluoride toothpaste when brushing our teeth, in order to maintain the good modern day levels of oral health. Good toothpastes, along with a steady brushing action, can remove harmful plaque and bacteria from the mouth, preventing such diseases as caries, gum disease and tooth loss.

“Over the last century, the ingredients in toothpaste have developed to such an extent that it now offers us an exceptional level of protection against oral diseases such as decay and gum disease.

“The addition of fluoride for instance, which was became common in toothpaste from the 1970s, helps strengthen enamel and makes the teeth more resistant to tooth decay.

Fluoride itself has played a vital role in improving our oral health and since it was introduced, levels of decay have dramatically fallen to less than half their previous levels.”

Other important components in toothpastes include antibacterial agents such as Triclosan and zinc, which helps thwart gingivitis(gum inflammation) that if untreated can lead to periodontal disease the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

More recently whitening toothpastes have become very popular with special stain removers and abrasives to help restore the tooth’s natural whiteness.

Ingredients inside toothpaste also provide the recipient with fresher breath, while sensitive toothpastes help prevent sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.

As well as brushing teeth twice a day, morning and night, with a fluoride toothpaste, the Foundation advise the public to look after their oral health by cutting down on sugary foods and drinks, as well as seeing your dentist, as often as they recommend.

Anyone in need of dental advice, about fluoride or any other matter is welcome to contact the National Dental Helpline (0845 063 1188), a free advice centre staffed my fully–qualified dental health advisors.

Meanwhile, the new Japanese brush, which is currently in the prototype stage, has a solar panel at its base that transmits electrons to the head and reacts with acid in the mouth.

Both then form a chemical reaction
that supposedly breaks down plaque and kills bacteria.

However, Dr Carter, says there could be many pitfalls to the idea and would advise a level of caution towards the gadget.

Dr Carter said: “The components that make up today’s toothpaste are far too complex, for what essentially is a ‘gadget’, to replicate. I’m certain that more tests need to undergone to see if the brush can do what it claims and, in addition, to measure any potential long–term effects not using toothpaste may have on an individual.

“As we know of, there is yet no substitute for brushing our teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste – and I cannot see that changing.”

The company responsible for the brush is currently conducting a study to determine how teenagers rate the solar powered toothbrush in comparison with a regular toothbrush.


Editor’s notes

The solar–powered brush is the idea of Dr. Kunio Komiyama, who is now a professor of dentistry at Canada’s University of Saskatchewan. The brush itself is called the Soladey–J3X.

Prototypes of the device have been developed by Shiken Inc., an Osaka–based company – “shi ken” translates as “dental health” in Japanese.

The Foundation recommends that everyone including children should use a fluoride toothpaste. All children up to three years old, should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million).

After three years old, they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm–1500ppm. Parents should supervise their children’s tooth brushing, and use only a pea–sized smear of fluoride toothpaste until they are about 7 years old.

Electric toothbrushes with rotating, oscillating heads have been proven to be more effective than manual brushes. Look for the Foundation’s approval mark on toothbrushes and other oral health items to see which products are officially accredited by the Foundation.

For further information please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on pr@dentalhealth.org or 01788 539 792.

The British Dental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading oral health charity, with a 30–year track record of providing public information and influencing government policy. It maintains a free consumer advice service, an impartial and objective product accreditation scheme, publishes and distributes a wide range of literature for the profession and consumers, and runs National Smile Month each May, to promote greater awareness of the benefits of better oral health.

A series of ‘Tell Me About…’ leaflets covering topics such as ‘gum disease’, ‘caring for my teeth’ and ‘fluoride’ are also available.

The Foundation’s website can be found at www.dentalhealth.org.

Share on:

MORE FROM Oral and Dental Health

Health news