When it comes to dental health chocolate has a bad reputation. But how bad is chocolate for your teeth and is there such a thing as good chocolate?
The good news is that not all chocolate is bad for your teeth.
Before you go out and fill up a shopping basket with just any old chocolate, you need to know what type of chocolate we’re talking about.
So let’s start by saying that we’re not talking about milk or white chocolate. Typically these types of chocolate contains a lot of sugar and can contain less than 10% cocoa. High sugar content is what makes the chocolate bad for your teeth and can lead to tooth decay. What you’re looking for is dark chocolate which has a higher percentage of cocoa, the higher the percentage the better it is.
So put down the milk chocolate and look for the dark chocolate, it may taste slightly bitter but it’s far better for you and you don’t have to feel so guilty eating it!
Now here’s the reason
Dark chocolate is a good source of polyphenols, natural chemicals that can limit oral bacteria. They are also able to neutralise microorganisms that cause bad breath and prevent some bacteria from turning sugar and starches into acid, which love to wreck havoc on your teeth. Antioxidants in dark chocolate have been shown to fight periodontal disease. And research suggests it might be better at fighting tooth decay than fluoride. There’s also a compound found in chocolate called CBH (cocoa bean husk) that could be used in mouthwashes and toothpaste someday.
To benefit from all of this the cocoa in the chocolate should be at least 85%.
But that’s not all, there’s more benefits to switching to dark chocolate.
- The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help prevent heart disease
- Eating dark chocolate can help release endorphins making you feel happy and put a smile on your face!
- It can help protect and increase blood flow to your skin, and improve skin’s hydration and complexion.
It’s official, dark chocolate makes you feel and look better!
So all in all there is some good news, obviously, here at the surgery we’d say to keep it to a minimum and not to snack throughout the day. It’s not so bad if you have it as a dessert just after a meal, and if you think you’ve over indulged why not book an appointment for a check up to ensure there’s no tooth decay!