Pella Family Dentist: Cranberries Benefit Teeth

The time for giving thanks sneaks into existence this week. Although time rapidly burned away in 2012, new research might make the whole year worthwhile. Now begins the time when families travel miles and miles to see old friends and relatives to share in a holiday feast. A study from the University of Rochester indicates that cranberries could play an important role in limiting tooth decay. Your Pella family dentist, Dr. Jeffrey F. Allen, discusses recent findings which indicate that cranberries are good for teeth.


Recent reports indicate that more families will eat cranberry sauce more than any other side dish in America. A food scientist recently determined that a compound found inside cranberries can limit the effects of harmful oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. These bacteria take responsibility for decaying teeth and attacking tooth enamel. When these bacteria come into contact with sugar or carbohydrates, the bacteria secretes lactic acids which can damage tooth enamel. Many foods and beverages can increase the intensity of acid attacks. Sour candies, soft drinks, and energy drinks all contain high levels of acid which threatens the integrity of tooth enamel.

The study showed that the cranberry compound can limit the ability of S. mutans to cling to tooth enamel. Additionally, the study indicated that the cranberry compound can contribute to a limitation of plaque growth. Bacteria love when plaque develops, because plaque serves as a hiding place for bacteria. Plaque forms on teeth as a clear, sticky, gooey substance. If plaque is left untreated for long periods, your teeth will require a professional cleaning for removal. The scientist responsible for the cranberry study hopes to extract the compound and incorporate it into mouthwash, toothpaste, and throat lozenges.

Cranberry on Shelves

We must warn people that most current products labeled with cranberry flavoring contain a high amount of added sugar which can harm teeth. Dried cranberries remain a popular snack. Dried fruits can stick between teeth and increase your risk for cavities. Additionally, canned cranberry sauces usually contain added sugar.

Schedule Your Pella Dental Visit

Wish that cranberries could prevent tooth decay right away? Interested in learning more about the information found in this study? Due for a checkup?
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.