pile of grapesClaire Donnelly had not given her son soda or juice, and yet her five-year-old had to have a decayed tooth removed. Their family dentist said that the sugar in dried fruit likely caused the decay. Claire felt like she had failed her son for something easily preventable happening to him. The main reason dried fruit can be so damaging to teeth isn’t just from sugar alone — they actually contain types of sugar that don’t cause as much damage. But tiny pieces of dried fruit stick to teeth and are difficult to clean away. Even natural sugars from nutritious sources can initiate decay when stuck to teeth.

Hidden Benefits of Raisins

Despite the sticky drawbacks of dried fruit, there’s actually a type of snack that can help prevent tooth decay — raisins. A chemical analysis of raisins revealed the presence of several antioxidants, one of which inhibits the growth of two major species of oral bacteria. The compound, called Oleanolic acid, slows down the onset of cavities and periodontal disease. It can even prevent cavity-causing bacteria from developing by keeping the bacteria from adhering to the surface of the tooth at all.

Reap the Benefits While Taking Precautions

With the news about the cavity-fighting powers of raisins, you may be tempted to eat more of them and call your cavity fears gone for good, but maintaining oral hygiene at home and with a dentist is still very important. The sugars in dried raisins, or any food, can still feed bacteria and promote decay, so be sure to keep up with brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings. A family dentist can help you make the best decisions for your family when it comes to maintaining clean and healthy smiles. Dr. Siegel can offer advice on changes to diet during a thorough checkup. With regular cleanings, Dr. Siegel will also identify problems before they start to make sure your family’s teeth stay healthy. If you would like to set up an appointment with Dr. Siegel for long-term family dental care, call our office at (610) 272-0828 or request an appointment online.