Seaweed in toothpaste prevents tooth decay, experts say

Last updated at 10:45
Close up of teeth with two men behindPA

Adding particles from seaweed to toothpaste and mouthwash could provide better protection against tooth decay, UK scientists say.

Researchers at Newcastle University were studying seaweed to see if it cleans the bottom of ships.

But then they discovered it could clean areas between human teeth.

Their lab tests suggest the seaweed microbes cut through plaque, getting rid of the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Dr Nick Jakubovics (on the right above) said: "Ultimately we hope to harness this power into a paste, mouthwash or denture-cleaning solution."

What is plaque?

Plaque is a substance on your teeth, made up of bacteria which build up in one area.

The main work of toothpaste and tootbrushes is to scrub off the plaque containing that bacteria.

But that doesnt always work, and so the bacteria develops and starts to eat away at the teeth, creating a hole which dentists call a cavity.

Microbes from seaweed like this could improve your teeth!

Dr Jakubovis said more studies are needed to show how the seaweed the technique works.

He said the same technology could hopefully be used to keep other parts of the body clean.