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Nutty November: Is Peanut Butter Bad for Your Teeth?

Posted on Nov 09, 2012 by DentalVibe
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Nutty November: Is Peanut Butter Bad for Your Teeth?

November is here, and that means lots of things: cooler weather, Christmas shopping, turkey, and of course peanut butter. Wait... peanut butter?

That's right! Did you know that November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month? It seems like there's a day, week, or month for everything now, but that's okay with us because we love to celebrate, and we really love peanut butter!

November is Dedicated to the Peanut Butter Lover in All of Us

The observance began decades ago when Southern Peanut Growers, a nonprofit trade association representing southern peanut farmers, inaugurated the first Peanut Butter Lovers Day on November 4, 1990.

That date marked the anniversary of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the famous cereal magnate) applying for the world's first peanut butter patent. It turned into a month-long affair five years later, when peanut butter's 100th birthday officially rolled around in 1995. Now we buy it by the jar-full every Thanksgiving season.

The Pros and Cons of Peanut Butter from a Dental Health Perspective

As previously mentioned, we here at DentalVibe love peanut butter, but since we're all about keeping teeth healthy and alleviating dental pain, you might be wondering: is peanut butter bad for your teeth?

Actually, it depends. Peanut butter offers a rich and creamy blend of both good and bad for the mouth. In fact, oral health care contributed an important chapter to the tasty paste's history. 

Dr. Ambrose Straub claimed one of the substance's first popular productions when he invented a peanut butter-making machine in the late 1800s. He used the paste as a means of enhancing protein intake for his toothless patients, which brings us to the first item in our list of peanut butter's dental pros and cons.

The Upside: Why Peanut Butter is Good for Your Teeth and Oral Hygiene

Peanut butter is a great source of protein, with about eight grams per serving. Protein is essential for keeping good, strong teeth, and that's what got Dr. Straub interested in it all those years ago.

Additionally, peanut butter contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats, which are good for your entire body. It's a pretty decent source of fiber, too (the same goes for all-fruit jelly, for those of you who like a good "PB&J" sandwich now and then).

The Downside: Why Peanut Butter is Bad for Your Teeth and Oral Hygiene

In the 'cons' column, peanut butter is high in carbohydrates, which can encourage bacterial growth inside your mouth. Since peanut butter sticks to your gums and teeth, it's easier for that bacteria to wear away at your enamel. It can also cause bad breath (even in the short term).

So since peanut butter has its fair share of both pros and cons when it comes to good dental health, moderation is key. Remember to brush your teeth after enjoying peanut butter (or swish with water when you're on the go), and talk to your doctor or nutritionist before making any major dietary changes.

Happy November, peanut butter lovers!

Are you as nutty about peanut butter as we are? If so, do you take any steps to keep your dental health in check?

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