Solar-powered toothbrush may replace toothpaste
Some innovations are really cool, and lazy people like me feel great when it results in one less chore to do. Oral hygiene is important (otherwise get ready to finance huge dentists bills), but imagine if you can just sit in your bed and brush your teeth, sans the toothpaste, drool and dribble! Great idea right…if Japanese manufacturers and a University of Saskatchewan researcher have their way, you could just be doing that. The Shiken Company of Japan is working on a prototype solar-powered toothbrush, which causes a chemical reaction in your mouth, thus eliminating harmful plaque and bacteria. In the States U Sask dentistry professor emeritus Dr. Kunio Komiyama and his colleague Dr. Gerry Uswak are checking on this innovative method to see if it can replace the usual brush and toothpaste combo. Called the Soladey-J3X, when tested this brush could destroy the two types of bacteria that cause plaque. The brush requires as much light as a solar-powered calculator to work.
Dr. Komiyama designed the first prototype almost 15 years ago; it contained a titanium dioxide rod in the neck of the brush, just below the nylon bristles. Any light falling on the wet rod would release electrons, which would react to the acid typically found in the mouth, helping break down plaque. The latest model, the Soladey-J3X, works in much in the same way, except that it’s twice as powerful. The brush also features a solar panel at the base, which transmits electrons to the top of the toothbrush through a lead wire.