The Oral Health Foundation claims that blueberries (and cranberries) seem ‘especially good for oral health’. Dentists have urged manufacturers of mouthwash and toothpastes to start using the blueberries in their products.
It comes after scientists found the berries can reduce the risk of tooth decay by lowering the activity of bacteria in the mouth. Fruits such as these are a rich source of polyphenols which are antioxidants, already known to protect against free radicals in the body.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the OHF, is now calling for the dark berries to become an ingredient in dental products such as mouthwash. He said the ‘polyphenols stick around in our saliva and will continue to help our mouth, even after we’ve swallowed them’.
Carter added: ‘What is especially exciting is 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.’
Researchers at the University of Queensland tested extracts of cranberry, blueberry and strawberry on mouth bacteria. They found significant reductions with cranberries and blueberries, according to the results in the journal Oral Sciences.
According to an article on en.brinkwire.com, blueberries had the fastest growing sales of any food product in supermarkets in the UK in 2018, with Brits spending an extra £100 million on popular berries.