December 19, 2022
You often hear about the hazards of common holiday staples like pies, caramels, and toffee, but what’s talked about much less often are the festive foods that can actually improve your oral health. You might not have guessed it, but cranberry sauce happens to have serious anti-bacterial properties that can prevent gum disease. If you’re skeptical, here’s a rundown of why that is, and how you can make the best use of that information.
How Do Cranberries Affect Oral Health?
You’re probably familiar with the concept of plaque—that sticky gunk that builds up when you don’t brush your teeth. What you may not know is that plaque is made up of colonies of bacteria that have stuck themselves to your teeth. Those bacteria contribute to a host of oral health issues, including gum disease and tooth decay.
Cranberries are instantly recognizable for their ruby-red hue. The pigments that make it that color also happen to have anti-adhesive properties. That means that cranberries can prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and building plaque formations.
Is Cranberry Sauce Good for My Teeth?
Any sauce that contains real cranberries will have some of these red pigments in it, which means that they’ll be able to prevent plaque formation. So, in a sense, cranberry sauce is good for your oral health.
However, there are two major caveats: First, many store-bought cranberry sauces are filled to the brim with sugar, which means they’ll feed the bacteria in your mouth. Second, the same dark pigments that prevent bacteria from adhering can themselves get stuck to your teeth, making your smile less white.
As it turns out, the pigment in cranberries is effective in reducing plaque formation even at incredibly small concentrations. It may be best to have a little cranberry sauce with dinner, but not so much that the sugar starts to be a problem.
Are Other Holiday Foods Good for My Teeth Too?
Cranberries aren’t the only holiday food with oral health benefits. Turkey, for example, is packed with phosphorous that fosters bone health. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, which have considerable health benefits for many parts of the body, including the teeth.
The holidays don’t have to be all doom and gloom; as you can see, there are plenty of foods that can have a positive impact on oral health. Now you know how to make your dinner plate delicious and nutritious.
About Our Practice
At Cranbrook Dental Care, our team is committed to providing exceptional service to everyone who visits our office. Each of the four dentists on our staff has their own specialty, and they’ll be able to coordinate with each other to address whatever issue you may be facing. We’ll also take the time to truly listen to your concerns and to work with you to reach your smile goals. If you have any questions about taking care of your teeth over the holidays, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (248) 647-5434.
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