For a tart injection of flavor, a spoonful of cranberry sauce can really turn up the experience for your taste buds with some turkey and dressing during the holidays. There are also dried cranberries, cranberry juice, and more ways to consume this distinctive berry.
Some people certainly enjoy the taste of cranberries. But do they benefit your oral health? Keep reading to find out what your dentist in Marlton has to say about them.
Cranberries Protect You from Health-Related Problems
Cranberries contain fiber that relieves constipation and promotes healthy cholesterol levels to reduce your chances of heart disease. They are low in fat while containing vitamin C and antioxidants.
Cranberries benefit urinary tract health, particularly in women, and have shown promise in nutritional support against stomach cancer, some infectious diseases, as well as neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They help prevent stomach ulcers and aid in digestion so you can process your meals and absorb nutrients more effectively.
The vitamin C in cranberries works to promote collagen and helps repair your body’s tissues and skin from damage.
How Can Cranberries Contribute to a Healthy Mouth?
Once attached to each other, bacteria form a slimy substance called biofilm, such as in dental plaque, which glues their cooperative community together. Drinking cranberry juice can reduce plaque by 95 percent. It decreases the production of sugars in the mouth and makes it more difficult for acids to generate, thus decreasing damage to tooth enamel.
Cranberries contain chemical compounds in their red pigment called proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from binding together on the surface of your teeth to form plaque. These compounds play a preventive role in oral infections by stopping the attachment of pathogens to host tissues.
The proanthocyanidins prohibit the adherence and biofilm formation of a particular bacterium associated with gum disease to markedly reduce its invasiveness. They neutralize enzymes that destroy gum tissue and possess anti-inflammatory properties, as well.
Regular use of proanthocyanidins serves to reduce the amount of antibiotics a person needs and helps prevent bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Should I Incorporate Cranberries into My Diet Regularly?
The impact of daily use of cranberry proanthocyanidins can be substantial on a person’s quality of life and reduced healthcare costs. It is beneficial to have a cup of cranberry juice daily, even for children, but seek out unsweetened juice to avoid the troublesome added sugar content.
It is better for your health to eat a cup of raw cranberries – or however many you’d like less than that. You still get some benefits from cranberry sauce, but added sugar is an issue so enjoy it in moderation and not regularly as you can with the unsweetened juice.
Beyond being mindful of the sugar content if you consume cranberries in any manner other than unsweetened juice or pill form, also consider their potential to stain your teeth and the effect of their acidity on your tooth enamel. Wait about 30 minutes after consuming cranberries in whatever form you choose and then brush your teeth after saliva has diluted the acids and you can prevent staining.
Overall, consuming cranberries daily has an incredible number of benefits. Just don’t look to the cranberry sauce or sweetened juice often and be sure to brush not too long afterward to avoid potential stains and enamel wear.
About the Practice
At the South Jersey Center for Dental Medicine, we look forward to welcoming you into our state-of-the-art practice. Our goal is to offer Marlton and South Jersey families superior dentistry through individualized service where you are part of our extended dental family. We’ll never overbook appointments so that we get to you on time as part of your busy day. We are open at convenient hours and provide a wide array of treatments under one roof, so you don’t have to travel across town for services. Like any food item that is beneficial for you, just use good judgment about how you consume cranberries – limit the sauce to special occasions – and don’t forget to grab your toothbrush 30 minutes later. When it’s time for your next dental cleaning and exam, we look forward to seeing you. Just schedule an appointment on our website or call (856) 596-4333.