Prized by design engineers for its enviable strength-to-weight ratio and high modulus, titanium has made its way in recent years into all sorts of high-tech products from turbine engines to bicycle frames. Now, a new toothbrush with a titanium dioxide core in its handle has hit the market in Europe and the US. Developed by the Osaka-based Shiken Corp., the Soladey toothbrush leverages the electrochemical behavior of titanium dioxide to reportedly reduce bacteria in your mouth. Studies have shown that exposure to UV light induces antibacterial activity in titanium dioxide (TiO2).
But are people buying the concept? The NYT reports in its article “Brushing Innovations, Built on Titanium,” that this new twist on the venerable old toothbrush may take some getting used to: “People think it’s hocus-pocus,” said Erik Powers, of Powers International in Henderson, Nev., who has recently started importing the $29.95 no-toothpaste Soladey brush to the US. “If you put this on the shelf next to a 99-cent toothbrush, which would you buy?” If it works, I guess it rules out brushing your teeth in the dark.