Eating just a portion of specific berries each day could decrease the risk of tooth decay, new research has shown.
A recent study by scientists looked into the effects of polyphenols on tooth decay. Polyphenols are completely natural compounds found in various fruits and vegetables and could soon be a key ingredient in numerous dental hygiene products in the years to come. Although polyphenols are found in lots of natural foods, scientists have zoned in on cranberries and blueberries as particularly effective in reducing the risks of tooth decay. This is because these berries, when consumed, actually leave the polyphenols active in your saliva long after being eaten. This means that they can work their magic for hours throughout the day, research suggests.
What’s so special about polyphenols anyway?
The magical secret of polyphenols is their ability to protect the teeth against specific strands of bacteria. One of those strands is harmful to the mouth and if in contact with the tooth can accelerate tooth decay (not good!). The polyphenols work in a way that effectively stops these bad bacteria from sticking to the teeth. These powerful compounds are not only useful in reducing tooth decay, they could also help reduce plaque and gum disease as discussed in this article by the BBC.
Dr Carter of the Oral Health Foundation, stated; “The nutrients and fibre in fruit are vital for our health and wellbeing. They help protect us against heart disease and cancer, as well as a range of other diseases. “Cranberries seem especially good for our oral health, as their polyphenols stick around in our saliva and will continue to help our mouth, even after we’ve swallowed them. “What is especially exciting is that these natural extracts are completely sugar-free. This means they can be added to oral care products in several ways. “They can dissolve in water so can be used to create healthy drinks, as well as to reformulate unhealthy drinks packed full of sugar. “They also have wider applications for tooth decay prevention and control. Mouthwash could benefit from this ingredient, as could toothpastes. More testing must be done but it will be extremely interesting to see whether manufactures make more use of polyphenols in the future.”
Let’s Not Ignore the Natural Sugars
Although these benefits of certain fruits have now received more backing, it is also fair to consider that natural sugars are present and so that must be taken into account. It is advised to eat foods high in sugar at the same time as other meals in order to limit the amount of times sugar is in contact with the teeth.
Too Late for Polyphenols?
Are you already too deep into dental decay? Although we always promote prevention of treatment, this can sometimes happen but don’t fret, Bamboo are always here to get your dental health back on track. We even have a brand new dentist, Mr James Ban, who specialises in periodontics. Get in touch with the team for a check up.