There may be another reason to look forward to Thanksgiving this year. According to a study done by Dr. Hyun Koo at the University of Rochester, drinking cranberry juice, a popular Thanksgiving beverage, can help you prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth. This means that you will essentially be protecting yourself from plaque build-up that causes cavities and gum disease. In his study, Koo found that a beverage containing 25 percent cranberry juice was able to stop bacteria from attaching to the surface of a tooth by 67 to 85 percent. Apparently, cranberry juice “disarms” the pathogens that cause decay in a person’s tooth. This oral health benefit adds to the long list of other advantages people experience from consuming cranberry juice, including preventing urinary tract infections and protecting the heart from cardiovascular disease.
However, be aware that these findings were only in regard to cranberry juice itself. Because of its high levels of sugar, the cranberry sauce you enjoy on Thanksgiving is actually unhealthy for your teeth! It’s important to consult your dentist if you have any concerns about tooth-healthy foods or beverages, including cranberries. Together with the help of your dentist and a boost from the cranberry juice, you can be on your way to a great smile this Thanksgiving season.