How Bad Is Chocolate When It Comes to Dental Health?

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Many people assume chocolate is a common cause of cavities, but does it also have beneficial properties for oral health?

As young children, it gets drummed in to us that chocolate equals sugar, which leads to cavities and fillings. And while there’s definitely an element of truth to this, eating chocolate doesn’t necessarily equate to a mouth full of cavities and a painful trip to the dentist. Recent studies even show that chocolate is less harmful than many other sweets because the antibacterial agents in cocoa beans lowers its high sugar levels. It all sounds too good to be true, so why not have a look into the science behind it? Although, even with science on our side, moderation is the key to everything.
Can Chocolate Really Help Fight Cavities?
The main ingredient in chocolate is the cocoa bean. The most important component found in the cocoa
bean husk is called theobromine, which was shown to have good remineralization potential. The cocoa
bean also contains antioxidants that can benefit your mouth and teeth including tannins, polyphenols
and flavonoids. They help prevent cavities by preventing bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Polyphenols limit the effects of bacteria, meaning they work to neutralize the microorganisms that
cause bad breath, prevent infections in your gums and battle tooth decay. Flavonoids work to slow
tooth decay, among other things.
Dark Chocolate
Dentists will recommend reducing your sugar intake and opting for dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa), which
is the least processed and closest to the cocoa bean. Minimize your intake of white and milk chocolate,
as these varieties contain more sugar. It’s healthier to eat chocolate in one sitting and to eat your
chocolate after meals, because this reduces the number of acid attacks on your teeth. It takes our
mouths between 20 minutes and 2 hours to re-balance the decay-causing acids which are produced by
eating sugars. Therefore, grazing on sweet treats keeps the teeth under constant attack. With proper
dental hygiene, chocolate shouldn’t be a cause for devastation!
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
Affinity Dental has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to
orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all of your needs. With 170 combined years of
treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your
teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719- 7900 or contact us online.
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