Although silica particles have been used for tooth polishing, polishing with nanosized particles has not been reported. Here we hypothesized that such a polishing may protect tooth surface against the damage caused by cariogenic bacteria because the bacteria can easily be removed from such a polished tooth surface. This was tested on human teeth ex vivo. The roughness of the polished surfaces was measured with atomic force microscopy (AFM). Considerably lower, compared to the other polishing pastes, a nanometer level of roughness was obtained when using the silica nanoparticles to polish the tooth surface. Bacterial attachment to the dental surfaces was studied for Streptococcus Mutans, the most abundant cariogenic bacteria. It is demonstrated that it is easier to remove the bacteria from the areas that have nanometer roughness.  The results demonstrate the advantage of using silica nanosize particles as abrasives for tooth polishing.


before and after polishing

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