The toothpaste uses "bioactive" glass to help strengthen teeth and protect against tooth decay.
An unlikely ingredient is behind a new toothpastes researchers say can help restore teeth.
A research team from Queen Mary University of London developed a very fast dissolving "bioactive" glass that can be used in toothpaste or dental fillings to repair decayed teeth.
The team created a company, BioMin Technologies, and is launching its second product, a remineralizing toothpaste called BioMin C, designed for people who don't want to use a fluoride toothpaste or anyone who wants to combat natural tooth decay. The company already sells a fluoride version, BioMin F, which it touts as slowly releasing calcium, phosphate and fluoride ions. "These combine to form fluorapatite that could help reduce the risk of tooth decay, sensitivity and acid erosion," the company said.
But BioMin C loses the fluoride. "This toothpaste is unique because it can put back the mineral lost from your teeth after consumption of an acidic drink, but without the use of fluoride," said professor Robert Hill of Queen Mary University's Institute of Dentistry. "This isn't just for people who have bad teeth, everyone can potentially benefit from using this new toothpaste."
The research behind the fluoride-free version has shown the potential of a glass that uses chlorine rather than fluorine. (Fluorine is an element, and fluoride is its negative ion.) The chlorine atoms and ions are much bigger than those of fluorine, which enables them to incorporate much more of it into the glass. The resulting compound releases a chemical that mimics tooth and bone mineral. So the researchers incorporated it into toothpaste and dental fillings to replace the mineral lost when teeth decay.