Cranberries are a timeless traditional part of any family’s Thanksgiving day feast. But did you know they are also protectors of your teeth on this special holiday?
Studies have shown that cranberries can help as a defense against the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay. During most Thanksgiving Day feasts, we consume large amounts of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and desserts. These foods contain large amounts of carbohydrates and simple sugars that can increase our risk for tooth decay from the bacteria already present in our mouths. Tooth decay occurs as the bacteria feed on the sugars and carbohydrates releasing acids into your mouth that eat away at tooth enamel.
Where do Cranberries Come In?
The research team at Rochester Medical Center found that compounds naturally existing within the cranberry itself are able to make some of the bad bacteria (particularly Streptococcus Mutans) in our mouths vulnerable to destruction by the production of certain enzymes.
Work is now being done to isolate the particular compounds at work here. The hope is that tooth decay may meet a strong opponent in the very near future. Acid production responsible for cavities, periodontal disease, and a host of other dental problems could possibly be avoided.
Unfortunately, the cranberries at our dinner table do not do what the study proposes. These compounds within the cranberry would have to be drawn out of cranberries to be of any use. Cranberries are acid and high in sugar themselves, essentially negating the effects of the beneficial substances they contain. Research continues to convert these compounds into something usable for dental health.
Dental Health Tips For Thanksgiving
-Brush and floss your teeth after eating.
–Crack nuts with a nutcracker, not your teeth.
-Drink plenty of water to wash away the sugars, acid, and carbohydrates while eating.