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Cranberries May Help Fight Tooth Decay

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Cranberries May Help Fight Tooth Decay

Cranberries May Help Fight Tooth Decay

December 01, 2004
By: Michelle Rizzo for Dental1.org

Cranberries, which are already used for their benefits on heart and urinary tract health, prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth. This helps stop the formation of plaque responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease causes bleeding gums and bad breath, and is a leading cause of tooth loss.
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How to incorporate cranberries into your everyday life:
  • Cranberry juice and sauce are available at grocery stores year round. Fresh cranberries are available from September to December.
  • The National Kidney Foundation recommends drinking a 10oz glass of cranberry juice cocktail each day
  • Eating one half cup of cranberries or drinking three quarters cup of cranberry juice equals one serving out of the five servings of fruit a day that the Produce for Better Health Foundation recommends.
  • For more information, visit the Cranberry Institute or the Ocean Spray Web site


  • Dr. Hyun Koo of the University of Rochester in New York, presented his research recently at the Cranberry Institute’s Second Biennial Cranberry Health Research Symposium, held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In his study, two daily doses of a drink containing twenty-five percent cranberry juice blocked bacteria sticking to an artificial tooth surface by sixty-seven to eighty-five percent.

    New cranberry oral health products, including dental floss and toothpaste, are already on the market and are becoming more readily available. But Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, cautions against high intakes of cranberries and notes that consumption should be limited to mealtimes.

    “Cranberry juice is naturally very acidic,” Dr. Carter warned. “Every time you drink something acidic the enamel on your teeth is softened temporarily,” he said. “If given time to recover, then your saliva will neutralize this acidity in your mouth and restore it to its natural balance.”

    A $2.6 million federal initiative to investigate the health effects of cranberries is helping to fund research studies. Nine cranberry studies, funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, are being conducted to study the benefits of cranberries.

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