Is chocolate bad for your teeth? Here’s the good news
Most of us consume more chocolate than we care to admit. We know it’s bad for our waistlines, but is chocolate also bad for our teeth? Aside from the obvious calories and sugar content, research shows that if eaten in moderation, chocolate can actually have a positive effect on oral health.
By now we’ve heard that eating chocolate releases feel-good endorphins and it also contributes to increased brain cognition. But what does it do to our tooth enamel? Will it cause us to suffer from a tooth cavity? This depends on the type of chocolate:
Milk chocolate and our teeth
Milk chocolate is popular and widely consumed. However, it also has a higher sugar content than dark chocolate (15 grams per ounce vs 14 grams per ounce). While the difference in weight isn’t that huge, over time, the even this small difference can lead to tooth decay and tooth cavity.
Dark chocolate and our teeth
Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate. This already makes it a healthier option for your teeth. Plus, of the 300 compounds that it’s composed of, there are three that have been shown to enhance oral health. These include:
- Polyphenols, which help fight the build-up of bacteria in our mouths. These chemicals can also neutralize those pesky organisms that lead to bad breath. They’ve also been shown to prevent some forms of sugar from turning into acid, which weakens our tooth enamel and causes cavities.
- Flavonoids, which slow tooth decay.
- Antioxidants help fight gum disease, especially if you have higher levels in your saliva.
The chocolate-y bottom line
Whether you prefer milk or dark chocolate, go ahead and indulge yourself, within limits! And while research shows that the dark chocolate benefits oral health, daily brushing and flossing is key to prevent getting cavities. Want to learn more about taking care of your teeth – and your families’ teeth – to last a lifetime?
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About the author: Dr. Abbe Kellner-Kutno, co-founder of Raanana Dental Care, is an American-trained dentist with over 23 years of experience in a family dental practice in the US and Israel. Dr. Kellner-Kutno is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and her approach to dentistry is defined by one word, “family”. She takes pride in putting even the most fearful patients at ease while focusing on providing the highest quality care to adults and children to achieve functional, healthy and esthetic results. Learn more about Dr. Kellner-Kutno here
About the Clinic: Raanana Dental Care, established by co-founders, Dr. Anna Jotkowitz, Dr. Abbe Kellner-Kutno and Dr. Dena Naeh, focuses on preventative care and specializes in high quality restorative and esthetic dental treatments, dental phobias, as well as emergency dental care. The Clinic’s state-of-the-art, serene, patient-centred offices are centrally located in the heart of Raanana. To schedule an appointment please call: +972(9)–957-7660 firstname.lastname@example.org