Tooth decay affects 60% to 90% of children in industrialised countries, reports BBC news, but the humble coconut could be the answer to your family’s teeth cleaning needs.
Scientists from Ireland’s Athlone Institute of Technology found that coconut oil (which has been treated with enzymes) stopped the growth of Streptococcus bacteria – a major cause of tooth decay.
Vegetable oil and olive oil (also treated with enzymes) did little to combat the pesky bacteria, but coconut oil saw off most strains.
And, it wasn’t done there. Coconut oil was also found to attack Streptococcus mutans, which are an acid-producing bacterium – also a major cause of tooth decay.
Looking after your child’s precious first teeth is important. Researches believe that the enzymes break down the fatty coconut oil and turn it into an acid capable of zapping the nasties.
Lead researcher Dr Damien Brady said the nut could be an attractive alternative to chemicals. He added, “It works at relatively low concentrations.”