Glowing toothbrush

Published: Saturday 15 February 1997

A toothbrush that beams with light and is used with a special toothpaste may make breath fresher than any currently available dental accessory. Light from a compact source in the handle of the toothbrush is guided to the end of the bristles, which act as optical fibres. Brushing brings the photosensitive compound in the toothpaste into contact with the oral bacteria which cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. The light activates the photosensitive compounds, which then destroy bacteria. Scientists at the Imperial College and the Eastman Dental Institute are now adapting this technique to fight oral bacteria ( New Scientist , Vol 152, No 2057).

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