Researchers at International Islamic University Malaysia have developed a mouthwash and tooth varnish made from virgin coconut oil to defend against oral health problems. Led by Dr Zurainie Binti Abllah, the researchers say their products could help prevent tooth decay.
Chemical mouthwash is often used as a method for mechanical plaque control. However, it is only recommended for adults. Researchers have been looking into more natural alternatives to chemical mouthwash that are suitable for all age groups and do not have any side effects from prolonged use.
The antibacterial mouthwash aims to reduce the bacterial counts in dental plaque that can cause dental caries. Without the accumulation of bacteria, it would be lesser dental caries formation. Therefore, it helps the population to have better dental health. It is proven in lab study that virgin coconut oil in form of mouthwash could arrest the bacteria that can caused dental caries.
Antibacterial tooth-cleaning products derived from virgin coconut oil do not currently exist on the market. The product developed by Abllah and her team use a halal emulsion to mix the oil with water, making them shariah-compliant and providing a trustworthy alternative for Muslim users.
The coconut-oil-based products are made from locally sourced coconuts, which are naturally abundant in rural parts of Malaysia and are known for their inherent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This and similar projects could help boost economic growth among Malaysia's rural populations.