Many adults occasionally indulge in a glass of red wine at dinner. Substantial research has supported the amazing health benefits of red wine including improving heart health and containing beneficial, cancer-fighting antioxidants. A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that red wine could also have benefits for teeth by preventing harmful bacteria from building up inside the mouth.
The “magic” ingredient responsible for combating the bacteria is phenolic extracts found in wine and grapes. Similarly, polyphenols found in tea and cranberries also play a similar role. Streptoccus is the name of the bad bacteria that cause cavities. Both phenolic extracts in wine and polyphenols in tea and cranberries were found to inhibit the growth of the bad bacteria. Non-alcoholic red wine and grape seed extract were also effecting in warding off the harmful bacteria in the mouth.
“This study is about applying something to the teeth that decreases bacteria. The effectiveness of [red wine] depends on how long it stays on the tooth, known as its ‘substantivity,’ ” says Dr. Glasband, DDS, a dentist in private practice in Long Beach, California (who was not involved in this study), “Wine has a high substantivity, which you can see as it stains the teeth when you drink it.”
It is important to note that drinking red wine can cause teeth staining. One way to prevent teeth staining while still obtaining the health benefits of red wine is to drink water to wash away any wine left on your teeth between sips. Another way is to brush your teeth before drinking since wine likes to stick onto any plaque that has built up onto your teeth. Red wine should only be incorporated into a balanced and nutritious diet in moderate amounts.
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