- There are chemicals called phytochemicals in raisins that help fight the bacteria
- The study served as a reminder that not all sticky foods cause tooth decay
- In fact, the main cause of tooth decay and cavities is added sugar, such as sucrose
If you’re looking for a sweet, but healthy snack, grab a handful of raisins!
A recent study conducted by Dr. Christine D. Wu, led at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, shows that, contrary to popular belief, raisins actually help protect teeth against cavities. Past studies had suggested that the sweet, dried fruit promoted cavities; Dr. Wu’s study shows this to be untrue.
There are chemicals called phytochemicals in raisins that help fight the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. These phytochemicals are considered antioxidants and can be found in a number of plants. Oleanolic acid is one of the key phytochemicals the study identified in raisins. Oleanolic acid helped curb the growth of Streptococcus mutans, one of the main types of oral bacteria and the culprit of many cavities. It also fought off Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the leading periodontal disease-causing bacterias.
The study served as a reminder that not all sticky foods cause tooth decay. Raisins may be sweet, but they contain primarily fructose and glucose, two more natural sugars. In fact, the main cause of tooth decay and cavities is added sugar, such as sucrose, which can be found in a number of processed foods.
Speak to your dentist to learn more about what snacks are healthy and safe for your teeth.