Cranberries: a “berry” good way to fight cavities!!
Did you know cranberries can help fight cavities? While the American settlers back in 1683 did not have Sonicare or Listerine, they did have bushels full of a bacteria-busting berry: the cranberry! What could be more exciting than a tasty way to avoid the dental drill? But new research is showing us another benefit of this healthy berry. Drinking 100% cranberry juice can help fight cavities. It works by inhibiting the bacteria from clinging to your teeth and causing tooth decay. Cranberry juice has a specific enzyme that acts as a bacteria repellent on teeth. This enzyme inhibits bacteria from sticking. If it can’t stick, it can’t begin its feeding frenzy that eats through the layers of your tooth and eventually reach your nerves. Can anyone say “root canal“?
Dr. Koo at the University of Rochester Medical Center calls it Teflon® for the teeth. Our mouths are full of bacteria that feed on the sugars in our mouths. When bacteria are eating the sugars they excrete acids that cause tooth decay.
This enzyme in the cranberry packs a 1-2 punch. Along with stopping the bacteria before they start feeding on the sugars in your mouth, it also may disrupt the formation of glucan, one of the main building blocks of plaque. Oral plaque buildup has been linked to arterial plaque buildup and heart disease. So much great stuff packed into a little berry.
Let’s take a look at the impressive C.V. of a glass of C.J.
- Loaded with vitamin C
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Helps cure UTI (urinary tract infections)
- Cuts colds and sore throats
- Boosts eyesight
- Lowers blood pressure
- Great detoxifier
- Fights free-radicals
Before you run out and load your cart with cranberry juice, STOP! To get the decay fighting benefits you must choose 100% cranberry juice with no added sugars, flavors or colors. Well, no added anything. You can add 100% apple juice to cut the bitter taste. (Cosmopolitans are not a suitable substitute!) But you can relax with a hot mug of 100% cranberry juice that has been simmered on the stove with a cheesecloth wrapped goody bag of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and orange zest. Yum!
So keep flossing and brush for 2 minutes at least. Replace your toothbrush monthly, or boil it for 1 minute in saltwater. Get a Sonicare with UV sanitizer and see your dental hygienist every 3-6 months. This cranberry enzyme will likely show up soon in mouth rinses and toothpaste. Until then you can enjoy the cavity-fighting benefits today via juice! Cheers!