When it comes to keeping your pearly whites in good shape, one of the most important things is to preserve your enamel. If you lose that protective coating, your teeth will get sensitive and there's no way to get it back — until now. Japanese researchers have just developed a biomaterial that could be used as an impervious shield on your chompers.
Hydroxyapatite has always been attractive for use in repairing bones and teeth, but it tends to be inflexible and difficult to apply. Now, Japanese researchers have found a way to make it pliable enough to be 0.004mm thin, making it a practically invisible barrier shrink-wrapped around your teeth.
There are all kinds of practical benefits to this. In addition to being used to repair enamel, it can be used to protect it before it's eroded by acid and sugar. And while the stuff that's been tested on disembodied human teeth has been clear, it could also come in a nice shade of white. The stuff still has to undergo some testing, but it could be available for cosmetic dentistry in as little as three years and for more practical purposes in five. [AFP via Medical Daily]