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Commercially Marketed Raisin Bran Bad For The Teeth

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Commercially Marketed Raisin Bran Bad For The Teeth

Unsweetened Raisins do not promote acidity of plaque, but commercially marketed raisin bran does…

Elevated dental plaque acid is a risk factor that contributes to cavities in children. Many dentists believe that sticky foods such as raisins are more likely to cause cavities because they are difficult to clear off the tooth surfaces.

But a new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, show that raisins, without added sugar, are rapidly cleared from the surface of the teeth just like apples, bananas and chocolate.

In the study, children ages 7 to 11 compared four food groups raisins, bran flakes, commercially marketed raisin bran cereal, and a mix of bran flakes with raisins lacking any added sugar. Sucrose, or table sugar, and sorbitol, a sugar substitute often used in diet foods, were also tested as controls.

Sweetened Raisins Bad For Teeth

The children was asked to chew and swallow the test foods within two minutes. The acid produced by the plaque bacteria on the surface of their teeth was measured at intervals.

All test foods except the sorbitol solution promoted acid production in dental plaque over 30 minutes ??? the largest production occurring between 10 to 15 minutes.

Christine Wu, professor and director of cariology research at UIC and lead investigator of the study said there is a well-documented danger zone of dental plaque acidity that puts a tooths enamel at risk for mineral loss that may lead to cavities.

Achint Utreja, a research scientist and dentist formerly on Wus team, said plaque acidity did not reach that point after children consumed 10 grams of raisins. Adding unsweetened raisins to bran flakes did not increase plaque acid compared to bran flakes alone.

However, eating commercially marketed raisin bran did lead to significantly more acid in the plaque.

Plaque bacteria on tooth surfaces can ferment various sugars such as glucose, fructose or sucrose and produce acids that may promote decay. But sucrose is also used by bacteria to produce sticky sugar polymers that help the bacteria remain on tooth surfaces, Wu said. Raisins themselves do not contain sucrose.

In a previous study at UIC, researchers identified several natural compounds from raisins that can inhibit the growth of some oral bacteria linked to cavities or gum disease.

The study was published in the journal Pediatric Dentistry.


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