Health: Smart bomb mouthwash can banish tooth decayAnnounced last week, scientists are developing what they call a “smart bomb” mouthwash that targets a strain of bacteria responsible for tooth decay, while leaving healthy bacteria that help protect teeth.

Wenyuan Shi, chair of the oral biology section of the UCLA School of Dentistry in the US, and his team have created a mouthwash that targets the bacterial strain called S. mutans, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Compared to other commercial mouthwashes on the market — which Shi describes as “broad spectrum” in that they wipe out all bacteria in the mouth, including the “99.9 percent” that are good bacteria — the new mouthwash only kills the harmful strain, according to the report.

Researchers tested the formula on 12 participants and found those who rinsed with the mouthwash were free of the S. mutans strain for about four days afterward. Their findings were published in the November issue of the journal Caries Research.

Shi has been working on the mouthwash for ten years, according to the CBS report, and the team has submitted its invention to the Food and Drug Administration in the US for approval. If the FDA delivers its stamp of approval, the mouthwash will be the first preventative drug developed to fight tooth decay since fluoride, according to CBS. More testing is expected to begin this spring.

Meanwhile, other new inventions designed to keep your teeth squeaky clean include Philips Sonicare AirFloss, a brand-new toothbrush that promises to blast away plaque with pressurized air, for results similar to using string floss.

Two new toothbrushes from Japan have also hit the market this year — one uses electricity to eliminate the need for toothpaste (the Shiken Soladay-J3X), while the other promises a clean mouth all day after one brushing in the morning (the Misoka Toothbrush). — AFP RELAXNEWS