iDENTifi, Innovative Device To Identify Tooth Decay

Although tooth decay has declined among young children as a group, it can still be a problem for individual children, and even teens and adults. That’s because plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars or starches, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and after many such attacks, the enamel can break down and a cavity forms.
You can help prevent tooth decay by following these tips:
Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.    
Clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaner.    
Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacking.    
Check with your dentist about use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth, and about use of dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from decay.    
Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examination.
A team of scientists from the University of Liverpool has won an award for developing a device that can identify early tooth decay and plaque before it is visible to the human eye. 
The innovation, iDENTifi, comprises a clinical digital camera which incorporates Qualitative Light Induced Fluorescence (QLF) technology to take images of the mouth using blue light and special filters which can show up cavities and plaque. The images can then be transferred using wireless technology to a computer, laptop, iPad or smart phone for immediate assessment and evaluation by a dental care professional. 
The tool shows up early stage plaque, tiny cavities, secondary cavities which develop when fillings start to fail and cavities which can occur on the smooth surfaces - or biting surfaces - of teeth. The device can identify more mature and potentially damaging plaque without the need for current methods using unsightly dyes or disclosing agents and has the potential to improve preventive dental strategies, and could change patient's dental care and dietary behaviour. iDENTifi will be of particular benefit to orthodontic patients to highlight plaque left behind after cleaning as this is more difficult with Root Canal Endodontic appliances in the mouth. 
iDENTifi will continue to be used in clinical trials and a launch is anticipated in summer 2012. 
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