Brushing your teeth is important to prevent dental problems. But what if you never have to brush your teeth in the first place?
The idea sounds crazy, but researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands could soon make toothpaste and mouthwash redundant… the tooth will effectively clean itself.
The researchers have developed 3D printed teeth and braces that can kill 99% of harmful bacteria in the mouth, preventing accumulation of plaque and tartar. The 3D printed teeth are made of a special antimicrobial resin that can kill bacteria on contact.
The resin is extremely hard and durable and safe for humans.
The researchers tested the resin by coating it with a mixture of saliva and streptococcus mutans bacteria (this bacteria is the main cause of tooth decay). They found that the resin had a sterilizing effect on the bacteria. It killed 99% of the bacteria, a better performance than toothpaste and mouthwash.
The researchers are hopeful that this innovation could be applied in non-medical applications in the near future like toys, food packaging, or water purification.