Here’s something you never thought you’d hear your dentist say: chocolate may be surprisingly good for teeth! Emerging research shows that certain kinds of chocolate are chock full of oral health benefits. However, don’t go swapping your mouth wash for a chocolate bar just yet!
What Kind of Chocolate Is Good for Teeth?
If you’re looking for a tasty treat that also provides health benefits, reach for some dark chocolate. It has far less sugar than milk or white chocolate, making it a more teeth-friendly snack. Even more exciting, recent studies show that dark chocolate may have cavity-fighting properties!
When choosing chocolate for its healthy properties, look for options that have less than 8 grams of sugar per serving. If available, raw or organic dark chocolate is the superior option.
How Does Dark Chocolate Fight Tooth Decay?
Oral bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches in the food you eat. As the bacteria breaks down the sugar, it produces acid. The acid wears away on teeth and can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Acid and bacteria can contribute to plaque, a sticky biofilm notorious for causing cavities and gum disease. Certain compounds in dark chocolate counteract these effects: they have antibacterial properties and ward off plaque.
Is Dark Chocolate a Substitute for Fluoride?
New information suggests that dark chocolate might harden tooth enamel more effectively than fluoride. Tooth enamel protects the delicate interior of your teeth from infection and other damage. Damaged tooth enamel can lead to cavities or be the culprit behind tooth sensitivity.
Mission Hills Family Dental for the Latest in Oral Health!
While our team is excited by this new information, Dr. Miller recommends continuing to enjoy your chocolate in moderation. In the meantime, we’ll continue to monitor the latest research for other delicious developments in oral health. To ask us any questions or to schedule an appointment, call our San Marcos office today!