Dried fruit and dental health

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Dec;67(8):944-59. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1207061. Epub 2016 Jul 14.


A comprehensive review of the literature has found that the common perceptions that dried fruits are "sticky", adhere to teeth, and are detrimental to dental health on account of their sugar content are based on weak evidence. There is a lack of good quality scientific data to support restrictive advice for dried fruit intake on the basis of dental health parameters and further research is required. A number of potentially positive attributes for dental health, such as the need to chew dried fruits which encourages salivary flow, and the presence of anti-microbial compounds and of sorbitol, also require investigation to establish the extent of their effects and whether they balance against any potentially negative attributes of dried fruit. Advice on dried fruit consumption should also take account of the nutritional benefits of dried fruit, being high in fibre, low in fat and containing useful levels of micronutrients.

Keywords: Dried fruits; acid production; dental caries; oral retention; polyphenols; sorbitol.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / etiology
  • Evidence-Based Dentistry
  • Food Analysis
  • Food, Preserved / adverse effects*
  • Food, Preserved / analysis
  • Fruit / adverse effects*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Nutritive Value
  • Oral Health*
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Salivation
  • Sugars / analysis
  • Sugars / classification
  • Tooth Demineralization / etiology


  • Polyphenols
  • Sugars