We tend to think that all fruit juices are bad because they’re often full of sugar, which can be harmful for our health. It’s somewhat of a guilty pleasure or just something to drink every now and then. However, new research suggests the cranberry juice can help to protect teeth by keeping tooth decay, plaque, and cavities at bay.
A recent study published in the journal Beverages looked at the positive effects of consuming common drinks like raspberry flavored teas and cranberry juice cocktails on dental health. Researchers compared the results of drinking each drink both with and without added sugars to see if there was a difference. After 24 to 48 hours, they examined the amount of plaque bacteria on the surface of the participants’ teeth.
The researchers found that the non-added sugar version of each drink helped reduce the formation of plaque bacteria. They credited this to drinks like cranberry juice in particular containing polyphenols including flavonoids and phenolic acids. These compounds have been shown to ward off tooth decay, plaque, and gum disease by preventing bad bacteria from sticking to our teeth and gums.
For this reason, oral biologist Hyun “Michel” Koo, DDS, PhD, notes that cranberry juice “acts like Teflon® for teeth.” He also suggests avoiding sugar-filled cranberry juice varieties as they might cause cavities. Instead stick to a brand like Ocean Spray Pure 100% Unsweetened Cranberry Juice (Buy at Walmart, $4.58).
The great news is that a little cranberry juice can go a long way. Drinking four ounces daily is all it takes to protect your teeth and gums. Also, the experts at Better Dentist recommend brushing after drinking it because it can stain your teeth similarly to wine.
While natural cranberry juice has these amazing tooth decay-fighting perks, Koo empathizes the importance of good dental hygiene. This includes brushing after dinner, getting regular dental checkups, and staying away from sugary foods to maintain healthy teeth for good.
While cranberry season is upon us, let’s try making this juice our go-to for protection against tooth and gum diseases all year round!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.
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