Replacement Tooth Enamel Means Kids Are Totally Going To Refuse To Brush Twice A Day

Disobedient children everywhere, rejoice! That is, if you’re reading this site in the first place. Scientists in Japan may have found a way around that whole “not brushing your teeth regularly will cause tooth decay.” The breakthrough is a super thin film that can be put on teeth to prevent decay or just to make them look shiny and whiter. In other words, a patch that basically mimics tooth enamel.

The AFP says the invention is a hard-wearing, ultra-flexible material that’s made of the same stuff as the main mineral in tooth enamel, hydroxyapatite. It would also mean no more painful problems for people with sensitive teeth.

“This is the world’s first flexible apatite sheet, which we hope to use to protect teeth or repair damaged enamel,” said a professor in Japan involved with the invention. “Dentists used to think an all-apatite sheet was just a dream, but we are aiming to create artificial enamel,” he added.

And in case you’re worried you’ll look like someone walking around with whitening strips stuck in your mouth, the researchers say the stuff will disappear as soon as it’s placed on a tooth, and can be clear or white depending on your preferences.

Keep brushing for a least five years, however, as that’s how long it’ll likely take until the film is used in dental treatment.

Japan tooth patch could be end of decay [AFP]

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  1. Snowblind says:

    Well sure,

    because the teeth will be nice and white when they fall out from periodontal disease.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      logged in just to say this.

      and for people who don’t care about gum disease…or teeth falling out..
      think bad breath.

  2. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    It’ll probably still be cheaper to actually brush your teeth instead.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Especially as this will probably be considered cosmetic and thus not covered by insurance.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        If it truly was a cure-all for dentistry or nearly that, then insurance WOULD cover it because it would be considered preventative and thus cheaper than paying for lots of dental procedures.

  3. GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

    Sigh. Here’s a little tip. Whenever a press release mentions something will take “~5 years” to come to the market, don’t get too excited. It’s mostly them trying to get funding, and funding cycles come around about every 5 years.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not being rich, I couldn’t afford the first generatio anyway. New inventions I tend to assume I might be able to use it in 15-20 years if I’m lucky.

      I still haven’t owned a smartphone!

      • GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

        It’s not about that. They usually always say “X-5 years away” when they make these announcements, because they are trying to get some money till the next funding cycle. Look at the summaries here. Everything is written as being 5-10 years away.

  4. kfspins says:

    It’s not necessarily a cosmetic thing. I have children who had very thin enamel from the start. They took very good care of their teeth, yet still have had issues because of their enamel. This would have been great for them!

    • msbaskx2 says:

      One of my daughters just had her four front teeth ‘replaced’ for this very reason. She also has had 5 root canals on other teeth.

      My other daughter? Not a cavity in her mouth.

      {sigh}

    • missminimonster says:

      Me too. I am very careful to take care of my teeth but every six months I need a few fillings. I would love to look into something like this and I would still routinely visit my dentist.

  5. Hotscot says:

    When I was younger I thought enamel was practically invincible and therefore brushed with a hard brush. Later I realized that even the plastic brush could wear the enamel down. I use a soft brush these days.

  6. Jalh says:

    I believe people refuse to accept Walmart there because they create low quality jobs.

    • GitEmSteveDaveHatesChange says:

      Which damages the enamel of teeth? Interesting theory. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    • Snaptastic says:

      I wouldn’t blame them. Looking at the folks that cluster around a Wal-Mart, I would also have to consider the possibility that those stores contribute to the decline of society.

  7. dolemite says:

    I don’t think my enamel is bad (at least my dentist says my teeth are really good), but my gums have receded a bit as I’ve gotten older, resulting in very sensitive teeth. This could be very cool.

  8. rookie says:

    I’ve got an appetite for apatite…

  9. Bort says:

    Its my experience that dentistry resists anything new, they are used to how they do things and treat new inventions with a lot of suspicion, denial and doubt for a long time before they will accept that it works.

  10. makoto says:

    So… it’s got to at least cost triple what implants would cost since implants or dentures are the two end results of tooth decay. Great. Me, with my crappy genes and weak enamel (not tooth decay caused by non-brushing) will still have to fork over a good $40,000 to be able to protect my mouth from the misery of toothlessness.