Did you know that you can eat chocolate in order to benefit your oral health? It's true, but it depends on the type of chocolate that you enjoy. While milk chocolate often leads to tooth decay due to its high concentrations of milk and sugar, dark chocolate can actually offer a wealth of benefits when consumed in moderation.
What Are the Benefits of Dark Chocolate?
The benefits are plentiful in regards to dark chocolate and your oral health. Dark chocolate contains epicatechin - a flavonoid that has been shown to minimize tooth decay. Polyphenols are also included in dark chocolate, and these natural chemicals limit oral bacteria. They can actually neutralize the germs that cause bad breath, as well.
There are two other important components of dark chocolate that can help with your teeth - antioxidants and tannins. We've all heard of antioxidants, which are a type of molecule that can keep your body healthy and fights issues like periodontal disease.
On the other hand, tannins help to stop bacteria from adhering to the teeth. However, you need to remember that those same, dark-colored tannins can be staining, so proper oral hygiene is a must when you consume them.
How Much Can You Eat? When it comes to eating dark chocolate, moderation is key. If possible, you should always choose an organic variety. A sugar content of less than 6-8 grams per serving is also recommended. Remember that less processed options like raw chocolate are always the best choice, as more antioxidants and nutrients will be left intact.
If chocolate isn't your thing, there are plenty of other ways that you can improve your oral health. One of the best is to let our experienced dentists examine your mouth and make our recommendations. From simple cleanings to restorations and beyond, we are here to help. Call us today!
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