Raisins may help fight — not cause — cavities
Countering a longstanding public perception that raisins promote cavities, a recent study suggests that compounds in the popular fruit snack may in fact fight tooth decay.
According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, certain chemicals in raisins suppress the growth of oral bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease.
It has been long known that eating sweet and sticky foods can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on foods left on the teeth, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Although raisins are sticky and sweet, they contain mainly fructose and glucose types of sugar — not sucrose, which some experts consider the main culprit of sugar-related oral diseases.
Before you break out the boxes of raisins, however, keep in mind some basic points of dental health care:
- Any food particles left on teeth — including particles from raisins — can lead to tooth decay. Always brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth once daily with floss.
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups to keep your smile healthy.