And this new development is glass…but not just any glass, bioactive glass. For a primer on bioactive glass and its benefits, take a look at “What is Bioactive Glass?”
Bioactive glass has been an additive in toothpaste in countries outside of the United State for around 10 year. But the FDA has only recently approved a bioactive glass toothpaste that can be obtained by prescription.
What’s so terrific about this type of toothpaste? After brushing with it, the bioactive glass reacts with saliva and forms a mineral layer that strengthens the enamel and protects against acids that can erode teeth. It also helps with sensitive teeth.
This newly one approved toothpaste includes an added benefit–the bioactive glass contains fluoride. When brushing with this toothpaste, fluoride, calcium and phosphate combine to form a layer of fluorapatite on the surface of teeth. This protective layer can withstand acids of a pH of 4, protecting the teeth from stronger acids and remaining longer on the teeth.
Regular fluoride toothpastes have soluble fluoride that initially, at brushing, provides fluoride but which, within the first hour after brushing, exponentially decreases. This new toothpaste has fluoride integrated its bioglass structure. As it is applied, the fluoride slowly dissolves out of the bioglass thus exposing tooth enamel to fluoride for a longer period of time–8-12 hours longer.
Another benefit of this type of toothpaste is its non-abrasive nature. Unlike whitening toothpastes which have large particles that can do a lot of damage to the surface of teeth, the particles in this toothpaste are small.
Exciting research is underway that uses bioactive glass to create self-healing tooth fillings. The idea is that bioactive glass will restore minerals into the dentine of the tooth. These and other new ideas are part of the new technology that is bioactive glass.
- Bioactive glass toothpaste is coming to America. American Ceramic Society Bulletin, 100(3) 18-19.