What Is It About Dark Chocolate that Helps Your Teeth?
Posted on 4/15/2019 by Dr. Nick Raptou
Attention all chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate is actually beneficial for your teeth and can prevent cavities! The same can't be said about milk chocolate and other varieties, but if you want to improve your oral health, adding dark chocolate to your daily diet may help.
How it Helps Cocoa beans contain three major components that help to improve the health of your mouth:
Tannins. The source of the slightly bitter taste associated with dark chocolate, tannins inhibits bacteria from sticking to your teeth. If the bacteria can't stick, they can't produce acids that will wear away at the enamel.
Flavonoids. This component offers a wealth of benefits to the mouth, including the ability to slow down the tooth decay process.
Polyphenols. This component will limit the effect of bacteria. They neutralize the bacteria that cause bad breath and gum infections, and they can actually battle tooth decay.
Each of these components is also an antioxidant that can improve your overall health in addition to your teeth. Antioxidants not only inhibit plaque production, but they also reduce body inflammation and work to prevent gingivitis, a major symptom of which is swollen gums.
Additionally, dark chocolate contains less sugar than other varieties, making it even healthier for your teeth and gums.
Is All Dark Chocolate the Same?
Dark chocolate is the least processed variety, so it contains the most cocoa beans. That's what makes it the healthiest option, and if you want to choose the best variety for your teeth, select chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa. Most dark chocolate bars are clearly packaged so that you can view the percentage.
A well-balanced diet is an important component of healthy teeth, but regular visits to the dentist are still essential. Call us today to set up your next cleaning and evaluation to keep your teeth in optimal health.