Did you know that coconut is a natural antibiotic? Coconut has been incorporated into commercial dental care products, since digested coconut oil has been shown to attack the bacteria which causes tooth decay, according to scientists presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference at the University of Warwick.
Coconut oil in its natural state was pitted against coconut oil that had been treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion. Streptococcus bacteria, which are common inhabitants of the mouth, were the oil’s targets.
The Enzyme-modified coconut oil was found to strongly inhibit the growth of most strains of bacteria, including the major cause of tooth decay, Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium.
Partially digested foodstuffs have been shown in many previous studies to be active against micro-organisms. And earlier work on milk that had been enzyme-modified showed it was able to reduce the binding of S. mutans to tooth enamels, which prompted the group to investigate the effect of other enzymes.
What does this mean for you? If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign, brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains coconut oil or using coconut oil in your cooking may help reduce your chances of plaque buildup and tooth decay.
Its important to maintain your oral health to prevent tooth decay, especially when your teeth may be more vulnerable such as during orthodontic treatment or when you’re a young adult.
If you would like to learn more about how you can protect your smile, please contact us today!