Looking for another good reason to enjoy a glass of red wine without the judgmental stares? Well look no further. A new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that red wine, as well as grape seed extract, has the potential to help prevent cavities. It could be a way to develop natural products that help ward off dental diseases with much fewer side effects.

Dental disease is a very common problem throughout the world. Cavities, periodontal disease and tooth loss are the top contenders that affect an estimated 60 to 90 percent of the global population. These problems arise when certain bacteria in the mouth get together and develop what is known as biofilms – the communities of bacteria which are very difficult to kill. They then form plaque, which then forms acid that starts damaging the teeth. Although brushing, the fluoride in toothpaste and water are ways of getting rid of these biofilms the effects are limited.

Research before has suggested that polyphenols, grape seed extract and wine can slow down the growth of bacterial growth so the Moreno-Arribas’ team tested it under realistic conditions. They grew the cultures of bacteria that were found to be the causes for dental disease as a biofilm. They then dipped these biofilms for a couple of minutes into different liquids, which included red wine, red wine without the alcohol, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, and water and 12% ethanol for a comparison.

The results showed that both red wine, red wine without alcohol and red wine spiked with grape seed extract were the most effective at getting rid of the bacteria. So a glass of wine is not only just good for the heart but now also great for your teeth.