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New Evaluation Method for Assessing Toothpastes

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DrAnil's picture
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New Evaluation Method for Assessing Toothpastes 

 

There are various types of toothpaste available on the market. They come as pastes and gels, there are some that guard against tooth decay or protect teeth from acid attack, others that are designed for sensitive teeth. But which toothpastes clean well? Which preserve the tooth enamel? A new evaluation method sheds light on the subject.

 

Everyone wants to have beautiful teeth. After all, a perfect set of teeth symbolizes health and youthfulness, and can even influence career prospects. If having pristine teeth calls for thorough oral hygiene, then how well or badly does a given toothpaste clean? How effective is it? What should it contain in order not to damage the structure of the teeth? Such questions are primarily of interest to manufacturers of dental hygiene products, and answers are being delivered by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Halle. Through close collaboration with the Microtribology Centre µTC in Karlsruhe they have developed a new process for testing the abrasive effect of toothpastes, allowing this 'abrasivity', as experts call it, to be compared and evaluated in the lab.

 

Dangerous abrasive effect

Cleaning particles are an important component of toothpastes. These abrasives, as they are known, mechanically remove dental plaque. Nevertheless, the paste should not be too strongly abrasive. Over the years the abrasion can cause damage to the tooth enamel, which does not regenerate itself. This damage is more visible and pronounced in the soft dentin. The German Dental Association recommends that people choose less abrasive toothpaste if the necks of their teeth are exposed.

The abrasive effect of a particular toothpaste on tooth dentin depends on the hardness, amount and particle size of the abrasive additives it contains, such as silica or alumina. Abrasivity is measured as the RDA value (radioactive dentin abrasion), ranging from 30 to over 200. This value is determined via a complex process that involves testers brushing over radioactively marked dentin samples. The abraded material is then measured via the resultant radiation intensity of the toothpaste slurry. Not all experts agree on the validity of RDA values, as test results have been known to vary partly from lab to lab.

 

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New Evaluation Method for Assessing Toothpastes

 

Researchers intend to supplement their microtribological analyses of the interaction between toothbrush, toothpaste and tooth surface with practical tests, using a tooth cleaning machine they have developed themselves. Bottom right: Friction and wear tests with individual bristles. (Credit: Copyright Fraunhofer IWM)
 

Determining abrasion rates with microtribological tests

The researchers at the IWM have chosen an alternative method to this radiotracer system. "Our new approach enables us to determine realistic abrasion rates and characterize the interaction between brush, enamel and toothpaste. What's more, our tests are less laborious than the time-intensive radiotracer procedures carried out by only a handful of laboratories worldwide," says Dr. Andreas Kiesow, team leader at the IWM. The scientist and his team have successfully managed to determine the abrasion of various toothpastes on a microscopic scale and to measure the friction values using microtribological experiments. "Until now, tribological values such as friction coefficient, did not exist" says Kiesow.

The researchers use human teeth as well as different toothpastes made by industrial partners for their experiments. These toothpastes were diluted with water and saliva in order to create a solution whose consistency corresponds to the mixture of toothpaste and saliva that is present when people brush their teeth. The friction and wear tests were each carried out with a single bristle -- referred to as a monofilament. This is mounted in specialized tribological instruments, a microtribometer and a nanoindenter, and moved over the sample in both straight and circular motions, in the latter case up to 8000 times. Highly sensitive instruments then measure the depth of the resultant marks left on the surface of the tooth.

"Our findings reveal that the RDA value of toothpastes correlates with the depth of abrasion; the higher the value, the greater the abrasion. By analyzing the friction value we also identified a clear relationship between the friction behaviors of the bristle on the dental enamel and the abrasiveness of the toothpaste," sums up Kiesow. The new process allows the researchers to not only characterize the abrasion more quickly and simply, but also to describe how different geometries of toothbrush filaments act upon the surface of the tooth and how the bristle shape should ideally be designed. The experts at IWM can use their know how to support manufacturers of dental hygiene with product development. At the end of the day it is the consumer who benefits most.

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drrajvanshi's picture
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New Evaluation Method for Assessing Toothpastes

Research on Toothpastes. A good topic. Any idea about a toothpaste that removes fluoride stains???????????

Wish to know more????????

Read my page in miscellaneous section.

Thanks

Dr S K Rajvanshi

AttachmentSize
Fluoride Stains Before Bleaching 30.52 KB
After Bleaching with Defluoridating Paste "DFL" 11.28 KB
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New Evaluation Method for Assessing Toothpastes

Fluoride toothpaste is prohibitively expensive for the world's poorest people, according to a new study. Researchers revealed that the poorest populations of developing countries have the least access to affordable toothpaste.
The team, which includes Ann Goldman of the School of Public Health and Health Services at the George Washington University in Washington D.C., Robert Yee and Christopher Holmgren of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and Habib Benzian of the FDI World Dental Federation compared the relative affordability of fluoride toothpaste in 48 countries.
Globalization has led to a worldwide tendency to eat a more westernized diet, which is higher in carbohydrates and refined sugars. This has resulted in an increasing prevalence of tooth decay in developing countries, which can lead to malnutrition and a reduced quality of life. The cost and relative unavailability of dental care in poorer countries means that tooth decay usually remains untreated.
Fluoride toothpaste is the most widely used method of preventing dental decay, but currently only 12.5% of the world benefits from it. The researchers believe that the low-use of fluoride toothpaste is due to its cost, which is too high in some parts of the world. This study is the first to attempt to quantify the affordability of toothpaste across the globe.
Questionnaires regarding the cost of fluoride toothpaste were completed by dental associations, non-government oral health organisations and individuals around the world. The cost of a year's worth of toothpaste for one person was calculated as both a proportion of household expenditure and in terms of the number of days of work needed to cover the cost.
The results showed that in different income groups in various countries, as the per capita income decreased, the proportion of income needed to purchase a year's supply of toothpaste increased; the poorest in each country being the hardest hit.
"Because of the importance of fluoride toothpaste in preventing tooth decay, it must be made more available to the world's poorest populations," commented Goldman, "steps should be taken to make fluoride toothpaste more affordable and more accessible." The authors suggest that this can be done by exempting fluoride toothpaste from taxation, encouraging the local manufacture of fluoride toothpaste and persuading multinational manufacturers to implement different pricing policies for poorer countries

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New Evaluation Method for Assessing Toothpastes

The dentrifice delivery system has changed little since the first tube of toothpaste was filled more than 100 years ago. But that could change with the introduction of chewable toothpaste tablets, which are less messy and more environmentally friendly.

The tablets offer a "laundry list" of advantages over a tube delivery system, according to Scott Jacobs, president of Archtek and creator of the Toothpaste Tablet.

“I'm dumbfounded that after 140 years we're still dealing with the same delivery system.”
— Scott Jacobs, Artchtek president
"The first is sanitation because you're not swiping the tube against a used brush, which transfers all the microbes from the brush onto the end of the tube," he said. "There's an environmental advantage because the product comes in a recyclable container. None of the toothpaste tubes on the market can be recycled, and there's about 560 million per year in the U.S. alone that end up in landfills."

The tablets, which come in 60-tablet bottles or boxes of 100 individually wrapped doses, are also tidy. "I have two boys, so I've lived with the mess toothpaste makes," Jacobs laughed. "You've got goo on the sinks, the counter, the floor, inside the drawers. ..."

Traversing Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports with the toothpaste tablets is easier than with traditional tubes since the dry tablets are not subject to the 3 oz. liquid limit guidelines for carry-on items.

"I'm dumbfounded that after 140 years we're still dealing with the same delivery system," Jacobs said. "So many advances have been made in other areas toward mobility, sanitation, and lessening environmental impact."

The tablets contain cranberry extract (Exocyan), which reduces plaque, and xylitol to help mitigate the formation of caries. Two clinical studies, which are scheduled to be finished in June, are being performed at two different universities that Jacobs hopes will provide enough data for approval. He declined to name them until the studies are completed.

A clinical study conducted by Archtek provided enough evidence for the Dental Advisor to award it the Top Innovative Consumer Product of 2011 in January, according to Jacobs. The tablets received an 86% clinical rating from the Dental Advisor reviewers, with 57% saying they would recommend the product and 29% saying they would switch from a paste to the tablet.

8 years in the making

Jacobs first had the idea for a tablet-delivered dentifrice about eight years ago.

"I tried to introduce an effervescent tablet that created an amazing foaming action as soon as you put it in your mouth without ever needing a brush, but there were stability issues and expense-related ones," he said.

The idea for a tablet stuck, however. "The more I thought about a tablet-based delivery system, the more the advantages became apparent," he added.

Creating a cost-comparable product with similar dosing were two primary obstacles. The first aspect was overcome during research and development. Sorting out the matter of dosing and public perception will take more time.

"People often ask me, 'How many uses do I get out of a tube of paste?' " Jacobs said. "The recommended dose is somewhere around 12 brushings per ounce. But because there's never been anything different in the marketplace, the thought process of the public is, 'How do I compare a 60-tablet bottle to a tube of paste. Is it equal to one? Two?' They flat out don't know."

Jacobs referenced a recent Wall Street Journal article that reported the existence of more than 350 varieties of toothpaste. "It's tough for the consumer to perceive the nuances between them," he said.

Archtek, which was started in the 1960s by Jacobs's father after he invented the boiling water mouthguard, is hoping to gain the ADA seal of approval for the tablets. Jacobs is also working to add the tablets to consumer store shelves; the Wal-Mart travel section will begin carrying the product in June. Archtek has also had a presence at dental and travel goods conventions while courting organizations such as Cardinal Health and smaller, independent pharmacies.

"We're hitting everything from big boxes to brushing stations at dental offices," Jacobs said. "It's all about whether or not I can gain enough market acceptance early on before the really monster companies get into it."

Other companies are marketing similar products, although so far not on the same scale that Jacobs is working to achieve. Akina's Ceto-Q toothpaste tablets are being sold to travelers as a toothpaste alternative, and Lush, a U.K.-based cosmetics company, has launched a similar product in Europe that reportedly will be available in the U.S. beginning in June.

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An easy way for you to share and discuss dentistry and more...

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