Dental Pros and Cons of Cranberries this Thanksgiving

Cranberry PlantIf you’re a planner, you may already be making your list for your holiday menus. Sugary, cavity-inducing treats will soon be brought into work on a daily basis. Doubtless, sugar should be avoided if you’re thinking about your oral and overall health. There are some holiday favorites that have been shown in studies to have compounds with the potential to fight tooth and gum disease, however. One of these consumables is the cranberry. Most often served on the Thanksgiving table as a sauce to go with turkey, cranberry juice has become a year round beverage.  Ankeny dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord explains some pros and cons of cranberries when it comes to your teeth.

The Good News

According to a study at the University of Rochester, cranberries can fight tooth decay. The study was led by Dr. Hyun “Michel” Koo, a dentist turned food scientist and microbiologist. Cranberries have deep properties that can make it impossible for S. mutans (the bacteria that cause tooth decay) to create plaque and stick to teeth. Scientists are working to isolate the compound so that it can be infused into toothpastes, mouthwashes, and sugar-free gums in the future.

The Bad News

Unfortunately, any dark food or drink has the potential to stain your pearly whites. Cranberries might have some properties that are healthy for your teeth, but the amounts needed are not yet known. This is why researchers plan on separating the compound and adding it to oral hygiene products. If you try to load up on cranberry-based foods over the holidays thinking that you’re fighting cavities, you may only be dulling your teeth. Of course, if cranberry juice, coffee, tea, wine, and other dark foods and drinks have stained your teeth, Dr. Peddicord has teeth whitening options available for you.

About Your Ankeny Dentist

Dr. Peddicord offers a complete range of preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures as well as high quality dental prosthetics. Dr. Peddicord can answer your inquiries, and provide the services you need to maintain the health, beauty, and function of your teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Erika Peddicord, please contact us at 515-963-3339. Our Ankeny, IA, office proudly provides general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients from Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, and Cambridge.