WINNIPEG -- A University of Manitoba professor is developing a better way to keep teeth healthier longer using nanoparticles

We brush our teeth and see the dentist to prevent cavities, still dentist and bio-medical engineer Dr. Rodrigo França said have some tooth decay or in other words, a dental caries.

Enamel is the best tooth protector, keeping bacteria from getting inside the tooth, França said.

“All the materials that we put on, it is just like a patch,” França told CTV News Winnipeg.

His research is looking to strengthen teeth from the inside out and maintain enamel longer, using microscopic nanoparticles.

“Nano-particles are very small particles that are used for many years for many areas in medicine,” França said.

There are about 100 atoms in one nanoparticle, França said. Meaning one nanoparticle is about 4,000 times smaller than a human hair.

França is studying these nanoparticles, using a powerful imaging machine called XPS. He is studying how these nanoparticles may help to prevent tooth decay.

“When for example acids from other bacteria come, the tooth will be prepared to defend itself,” he said.

França said the particles will be attracted into the tooth’s centre using a magnetic field, travelling through tiny tubules that already exist in teeth.

With feasibility studies nearly done, França said he expects dentists to be using nanoparticles within the next decade.