Children who add a handful of raisins onto their breakfast cereal will not increase their chances of developing tooth decay, a study has found.
Bran cereals with raisins that do not have added sugar is no worse for children’s teeth than regular bran flakes.
Scientists suggest eating raisins, which contain a natural source of sugar, with their bran cereal does not contribute towards tooth cavities in children.
The sugar disappears from the tooth rather than fermenting, as it does with fruits such as bananas and apples.
Professor Christine Wu, from the University of Illinois in Chicago, explained:’Some dentists believe sweet, sticky foods such as raisins cause cavities because they are difficult to clear off the tooth surfaces. Studies have shown that raisins are rapidly cleared from the surface of the teeth.’
The study, from the US university, looked at the acid produced by the plaque bacteria on the surface of the child’s teeth after they ate a mix of raisins, flakes of bran, a high street raisin bran cereal and mix of bran flakes with raisins and no added sugar.
Plaque which stays on the tooth can ferment into sugars from glucose, fructose and sucrose which all produce acid that develop into decay.
Raisins do not contain sucrose, which is thought to be the main sugar that forms a sticky barrier, helping bacteria to grow.
The study is published in the journal Pediatric Dentistry.