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This nanotech toothbrush cleans your teeth without toothpaste

We’ve made some pretty amazing technological advances in the past couple decades, but while our computers keep getting smaller and our processors keep getting faster, one thing has remained constant: we still brush our teeth like people did in the 1800’s.

Japanese designer Kosho Ueshima aims to change that. He’s invented a toothbrush, dubbed Misoka, that leverages nanotechnology to clean your teeth — without the help of toothpaste. To make this possible, Ueshima teamed up with nanotechnology company Yumeshokunin Co. LTD to develop specially-engineered bristles that are coated in “nanosized mineral ions.” Apparently, these ions pass from the bristles to your teeth during brushing, removing stains and forming a protective coating that makes it more difficult for plaque and other material to adhere to your enamel.

03_Misoka_front2RelatedQuip: The last electric toothbrush you’ll ever need

The idea seems to be that, by ridding you from the need to use toothpaste, the Misoka brush will save you money and reduce the amount of waste you produce. But there’s a catch. Due to the fact that the bristles are fragile and the nanocoating tends to wear off after a while, the toothbrush only lasts for about a month with regular use. After that, you’ve got to go out and get another one — which doesn’t sound very cost-effective or eco-friendly.

We haven’t had a chance to test out one of these badboys for ourselves quite yet, but apparently they’ve been on sale in Japan since 2007, and are set to hit European shelves later this year. We’re not entirely sure if “nanosized mineral ions” are a legitimate means of cleaning your teeth or simply a load of pseudoscientific bull crap (we’ll believe it when we see it) — but in any case, it’s refreshing to see that someone out there is working to give the humble toothbrush a 21st century update.