Patients with orthodontic braces know that they must avoid eating certain foods and stop all tobacco use. This can sometimes be hard, however, when there is no one to monitor you or hold you accountable for your actions. Scientists from the National University of Taiwan claim that they have developed a solution for this dilemma. The researchers have created a so-called "smart tooth" that can detect when people chew, drink, speak, smoke and cough and could help them and their doctors or dentists keep track of their overall health.
"The human mouth is one part of the human body that is always in constant use," the researchers explained in a report about the smart tooth. "We use our mouth to perform some of the most important daily functions, such as eating, drinking, speaking, coughing, breathing and smoking. Because the mouth is an opening into human health, this oral sensory system has the potential to enhance existing healthcare monitoring applications such as dietary tracking."
According to The Daily Mail, the smart tooth can either be a detachable implant or a sensor inserted into an existing crown. In a small study of eight volunteers, the device was found to be 94 percent accurate in detecting which substances the patients were consuming.
Dr. Hao-hua Chu, one of the smart tooth's inventors, told the source that his daughter inspired him to the develop the device. He said that the 11-year-old has had a few too many cavities, and he wanted to help her to be better able to follow her dentist's recommendations.
If you are interested in learning about how you can keep your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment, contact a New York City orthodontist today.