Thanksgiving’s Secret Weapon: The Cranberry | Walnut Creek Dentist

As we prepare ourselves for the biggest food fest of the year, it is important to remember that the main reason for the season is to give thanks for everything, and everyone, you have in your life. It is the perfect day for family, football and fabulous foods. But there is one food in particular that your smile is most excited to see – the cranberry. Now we know that dark food and drinks can eventually begin to stain your teeth, but this tiny berry has an additional benefit to your teeth that you may not be aware of…and it’s worth having another helping on your plate.

When it comes to cavities, it isn’t exactly the sugars that are causing the issues. The sugars in our diets are used as food for us, but also for the bad bacteria in our mouth. It is these bacteria that is hiding in the crevices of our teeth, waiting for you to feed them. Once you have that slice of pumpkin pie, they have their meal.

According to Dr. Koo from the University of Rochester, the cranberry has compounds that disrupt enzymes known as glucosyltransferases that bacteria use to build glucans. Without its glucans, S. mutans and other bad bacteria in plaque becomes vulnerable, making it difficult to attack tooth enamel.

So, when you are filling your plate, make sure you are aware that starch and sugar are what is causing tooth decay. But we have a little secret weapon on our table that can help turn that around while we are waiting to brush. Enjoy the holiday and your loved ones…

For more information about cavity prevention, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.